Moscow residents are preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the town’s incorporation with events planned for this Saturday, for February and for 10 days in July.

The town was incorporated Jan. 30, 1816, and town officials said they hope to mark the actual 200th anniversary this weekend before embarking on a yearlong celebration.

“I think we’ll have a lot of people there, ” said First Selectman Donald Beane, who is a member of the Moscow Celebrates 2016 Bicentennial Planning Committee. “We have no way of knowing, but everything is free.”

Saturday’s celebration will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. at Moscow Elementary School. A torch run is planned at Baker Mountain, a small community ski area, for Feb. 27, depending on snow conditions, said Sheree Brown, chairwoman of the bicentennial committee. The ski area was established in 1937.

At 1 p.m. a historical photo and antique exhibit will be on display as well as the components of a time capsule containing letters from and posters made by Moscow students.

Girls ages 6 to 18 who attend or have attended the Moscow Elementary School or live in Moscow are invited to participate in a Miss Moscow Pageant that includes a formal wear competition, talent show and question-and-answer session at 2 p.m.

Winners will be invited to participate in a parade when the 200th anniversary celebration continues over 10 days from July 15 to July 24 this summer.

The town has set aside more than $50,000 for the cost of the two celebrations, which also will include fireworks and live music in the summer. Most of the events will take place in July, according to Beane, although he said the town did want to do something small to commemorate the actual day the town was incorporated in January.

There are also plans to buy a bicentennial clock commemorating the anniversary that will be put on display at the Town Office. Residents approved spending $6,000 — about half the clock’s estimated cost — at last year’s Town Meeting. Fundraising for the remainder of the cost has been slow, but Beane said it is still something the town plans to pursue.

The committee is contacting area businesses in hopes that it will be able to collect enough donations to buy the clock in time for an unveiling at the summer celebration, Brown said. That would mean collecting about $7,000 by the end of May.

“We’ve been reaching out to business owners and also need donations. We very much need that support to make this a reality,” she said.

Saturday’s celebration will include a dinner buffet at 4 p.m., presentation by the Old Canada Road Historical Society at 6:30 and a community chorus performance at 7 p.m., including three original songs written about the town by resident Pearl Hawes.

The dinner is a “combination of things,” Beane said, and it will include a dish called Bubble and Squeak, which he described as a hamburger and vegetable stew that used to be served in the Moscow schools.

Among the area’s first European settlers were Joseph Baker, who migrated to Moscow from Readfield in 1783 with his wife and six children, and Isaac Temple, who built the first sawmill in Moscow, according to the town’s website.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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