by Susan Cornell
First came the 200 or so lawn signs saying simply, “350,” and then the logoed flags were raised along Route 81 and Main Street. Between in-laws and shopping, I’m in Clinton often and see the guerrilla marketing but wasn’t quite sure what this meant in terms of fun so I called the Clinton 350 Headquarters.
John Allen, a member of the 350th Celebration Committee, said rather than having just one party to celebrate the town’s birthday, the committee wanted to have a year-long series of events.
The usual activities that happen in the village during the year will all be themed as part of the 350th birthday. “Plus, there will be the extraordinary, one-time-only things for this year,” Allen says.
The first spring event is the Bike and Pedestrian Fest which celebrates Clinton’s History in Motion. “This is a walk and bike parade from the center of town to the beach. They have 350 jerseys, all with the different years between 1663 and 2013. Whatever your year is, you have to learn about that year,” Allen explained.
On Memorial Day, aside from the traditional parade, Allen said, “kids will march carrying banners with the names of veterans of the French and Indian War, the Spanish War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, World War I, and World War II. We’re making it a 350th Memorial Day.”
The big weekend, Labor Day Weekend (a.k.a. Heritage Days), will include a series of events dedicated strictly to celebrating the town’s history. The plan includes a major parade with fife and drum corps, floats, motorcycles and antique cars.
“The town itself will be buzzing with activity – there’ll be music in the gazebos and professional pirates walking through the town. There’ll be a Blessing of the Fleet and an ecumenical sunrise.”
In the fall, Community Spirit Days will be geared towards kids. A Last Night party will close the year off. For more, please visit Clinton350.org.