Ken Langille chairing a 250th-anniversary meeting Sept. 27 in Yarmouth. To his left are Winnie Surette and Bruce Bishop. Eric Bourque photo
By Eric Bourque
With less than three months to go before the start of Yarmouth’s 250th-anniversary year, it looks like 2011 will be an exciting and activity-filled time of celebration, says a spokesman for the 250th.
“It’s going to be quite a year,” said Ken Langille. “It’s going to be a fantastic party.”
He made the remarks after chairing a meeting last week of people representing groups or activities in or around the Town of Yarmouth connected to the area’s 250th celebrations.
The session was held in a room at the town hall, Langille noting that this will become the town’s headquarters for the celebrations of 2011.
“This room will be fixed up eventually (so) that there’ll be calendars in here, resources will be here for groups, that sort of thing,” he said. “This will be the centre point, so if people need anything, they can come into this facility and we’ll help them out.”
The goal is to have some New Year’s Eve fireworks to help kick off the celebrations and the plan is to have plenty of activities throughout 2011 in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first English settlers to the Yarmouth area.
“The amount of public support for this is incredible,” Langille said. “People are taking a lot of pride in it.”
The list of proposed/planned activities for the anniversary year includes musical events, theatrical presentations (including the return of The Baltimore by former Yarmouth resident André Haines), an historical reenactment, various competitions focusing on the 250th theme, the launch of a 250th anniversary cookbook and the planting of 250 trees.
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Aside from activities or projects specifically organized for the anniversary year, the idea is to make annual events like Seafest part of the 250th celebrations.
“When we (went) through the list of well over 50 events here tonight, there’s only one or two that are somewhat questionable,” Langille said after Monday’s meeting, “so it’s going to be a full year. For those one or two (proposed activities) that went by the wayside, we gained about another five or six.”
One thing that’s lacking is a major event for young people – the “16-to-30 crowd” – and organizers are looking into this.
While the focus of last Monday’s meeting was primarily on the town, Langille noted that the celebrations of 2011 will be taking place throughout the Yarmouth area.
“We had people here tonight from the county, people here from Argyle…sharing their events, (seeing) what’s going on and how they fit into the puzzle,” he said.
The idea too is to include different cultural traditions in the celebrations.
Putting on the many planned anniversary-year activities will cost money, Langille said, and so funding is to be sought from different government sources.
Organizers see great potential in the 250th celebrations as a chance to draw visitors to southwestern Nova Scotia, he said.
“This is the opportunity that we’re going to have to make this community a destination rather then the gateway it’s been for decades,” he said. “We’re going to swing things around and bring people into the area.”