Celebrants sought for Topsham's 250th celebration

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TOPSHAM — The town’s 250th anniversary is right around the corner, but planners of what is hoped to be a year-long celebration aren’t seeing the kind of public interest they expected.

A steering committee has been working since last year to organize the 2014 event. It recently established a Facebook page and will hold an organizational meeting in the Topsham Municipal Building at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, where it will solicit ideas from the community and gauge interest.

“So far the steering committee has not had much to steer,” Steve Edmondson, who co-chairs the committee with Mike Labbe, said Tuesday. “But we’re not giving up.”

“We’ve been meeting for over a year, and we’ve done everything that we think we could do to generate interest and to spark some activity, and we’re just … not at a point where I thought we would be at this point,” Edmondson said.

The group has planned some activities, “but we’re … looking for the bigger stuff, the big-bang stuff,” he said. “… And I think it will come.”

Topsham celebrated its 200th anniversary as an incorporated town in July 1964 with a three-day event. But the committee has wanted to stretch this milestone across all 12 months next year, starting with a bonfire at the Topsham Fairgrounds on Dec. 31.

The steering committee wants residents, organizations, clubs and other groups that want to host or sponsor events can start planning under the umbrella of the committee, which will ultimately promote all of the events.

But despite media coverage, and letters sent to agencies, social groups and other organizations in the area, not much interest has been generated, Edmondson said.

With summer coming to an end, and 2014 getting closer, “we’re hoping things will start rolling here,” Edmondson said.

People and groups who want to get in touch with the committee, share ideas or help out with the year’s events can log onto topshammaine.com/250.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.