Cape Elizabeth set to cap 250th birthday celebration

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CAPE ELIZABETH — With a little over a month left until the town’s 250th anniversary, there are only a few more chances to join the festivities.

Three events are planned this fall as part of the year-long celebration of Cape Elizabeth’s founding. Events started last fall and will conclude on Nov. 1.

The first event this fall, “a very special birthday Farm to Table dinner,” will be held Sept. 28 at the Good Table. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with the five-course meal being served at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will include locally harvested food paired with wine. According to the restaurant’s website, there will be lobster and a meat course, but the rest of the menu is being kept secret.

Tickets for the dinner are $70 with everything included; reservations need to be made in advance by calling the restaurant. The 250th anniversary committee, which has planned all the events this past year, partnered with the Cape Farm Alliance to put on the dinner.

The following week, the committee has a full day planned on Oct. 4. From 8-11 a.m. at the Bowery Beach School, the Lion’s Club will be hosting a pancake breakfast. Following that, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be a self-guided tour of Cape Elizabeth’s historic places.

“It is the final educational offering of our 250th anniversary series of activities,” Barbara Powers, chair of the anniversary committee, said. “The self-driven tour will highlight several important historic sites around town where much is to be learned to be fully appreciated.”

Anyone interested in the tour can pick up a map at Thomas Memorial Library, the town hall, or at Cape Elizabeth Community Services and drive around to each of the 10 locations shown. Maps can also be printed from the town website.

The tour includes the Dyer Hutchinson house, Spurwink Church, the Spurwink Grange, the Pomeroy Jordan House, Two Lights, Tristam Jordan farm/Journey’s End, the town center, Fort Williams Park and Goddard Mansion, Cape Casino and Theater/Armstrong Store, and the Shore Road Trolley Stop.

A member of either the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society or the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust will be at each stop to provide information on the site.

The final event of the celebration will be held on the anniversary on Nov. 1. from 5-7 p.m. at Inn by the Sea. The cocktail party, called “Toast to Cape,” will be a final thank you to everyone involved in the celebration and its success. Information on tickets isn’t yet available.

“All those who contributed time, talent, and resources to this amazing series of events will be invited to attend,” Powers said.

Powers said she thinks the year-long celebration has gone very well.

“The anniversary range of events seems to have achieved what we set out to accomplish, which was to offer a wide range of experiences to residents of Cape Elizabeth to enable them to learn more about the rich, historic legacy of this town and celebrate it as a distinct community,” she said. “There was a robust response to nearly every single offering.”

The events over the past year included films, lectures, bus tours, parades, ice cream socials, and more. The biggest event was “A Night at the Light,” a Portland Symphony Orchestra concert at Fort Williams Park, in July. It drew around 3,000 people.

Powers said the year has been successful because of the efforts of the entire community.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our committee and of all the volunteers, local organizations, and businesses in town who joined us to make the series of events such a success,” she said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.