Falmouth 300th celebration planners seek public's input

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FALMOUTH — Where does one even start to plan a celebration 300 years in the making?

That’s where the public comes in.

The year 2018 will mark the town’s 300th anniversary, and the ad hoc tercentennial committee is offering three ways to gather the public’s input on what kind of celebrations should be planned.

Erin Cadigan, the tercentennial coordinator, said there will be a stakeholder meeting Feb.29 at Lunt Auditorium on Lunt Road. The meeting, which will start at 6:30 p.m., is open to the public, but Cadigan said the goal of the meeting is to meet with representatives from community and nonprofit organizations, businesses and other groups.

The second meeting, which will be held in the same location on March 7, is specifically to get input from the public. It will also be held at 6:30 p.m. Finally, an online survey has been available on the town’s website since Feb. 10. The survey is open until March 11.

“The committee has met several times and come up with a pretty ambitious list of ideas,” Cadigan said. “But they realized this shouldn’t be a committee decision.”

Cadigan said ideas range from parades and festivals, to a documentary video, to a published history, a series of lectures and other proposals that run the gamut of educational, historical and community activities.

“That doesn’t mean any of those will happen,” she said, adding that committee members want to hear from residents and stakeholders before making decisions.

Once the input is in, Cadigan said the committee will come up with recommendations to send to the Town Council. She said the hope is to send the recommendations sometime in the spring.

“It will be exciting to see what ideas come out of these meetings we haven’t heard before,” she said.

The committee also wants to discover if residents want a year-long celebration, or something limited to a few weeks or even just one weekend. Cadigan said members also want to know what the goal should be: reflective or forward looking?

“Maybe it’s a combination of those things,” she said.

Cadigan and the committee have been meeting with local community groups – such as the Falmouth Land Trust, the historical society, the library and the schools – to generate interest.

“This is coming up,” she said. “Two years isn’t too soon to start planning.”

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.