October 16, 2000

Parade through Town to Kick Off Middlebury College Founders’ Day Celebration Nov. 1

Events Include History Festival Featuring Exhibits and Performances by Area School Students, Professional Entertainers, and Local Museums

 

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- At 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, former Vermont governors, school marching bands, and historical floats will all be part of a parade through downtown Middlebury to commemorate Middlebury College’s founding by town fathers 200 years ago on the same date. The parade will launch a day-long series of activities that will bring the community and the College together in a celebration that lasts into the evening. A ceremony on the town green immediately after the parade, a history festival, and fireworks will complete the festivities. All events are free and open to the public.

Nov. 1, Founders’ Day, is the start of Founders’ Week, the five-day culmination of the College’s Bicentennial celebration, which concludes Nov. 5.

"It is fitting that we acknowledge Founders’ Day with events that celebrate the history of Addison County and the town of Middlebury, which gave birth to the College," said Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr.

The parade will begin on Porter Field Road off South Main Street (Route 30) and continue onto Main Steet, culminating at the town green. Preparation for the parade began months ago, according to Mona Wheatley, director of Bicentennial planning for the College. Entries in the parade range from a float created by Mary Hogan School students depicting the Otter Creek Falls in Middlebury to community members dressed as local historic figures. The parade route will be closed to traffic from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Following the parade at 1:30 p.m., a ceremony will take place on the town green, where former Vermont governors, as well as state, local, and College officials will give brief remarks. After the ceremony, the College will serve birthday cake to all those present.

From 4:30–8:30 p.m., "Our Town, Our College: A Festival of Community History" will

take place on the College campus at Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). Area school students from the 4th-12th grades, professional entertainers from throughout Vermont, and local museums will offer exhibits and performances.

Entertainment includes the French Canadian music and dancing of the Beaudoin Family, the songs and stories of Margaret MacArthur, frequent guest on public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion, " and a 19th century magic show. Students will provide a display about settlements along Otter Creek 200 years ago, models of the log cabin where Revolutionary War heroine Ann Story lived, and other exhibits. Visitors will learn about the 19th century Merino sheep craze in Addison County at the Rokeby Museum’s presentation and observe exhibits and demonstrations from the Shelburne Museum, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and other local museums.

Light refreshments will be available free of charge.

At 8 p.m., festivalgoers will view birthday fireworks from the western entrance of Bicentennial Hall.

For more information, contact Susan Levine in the Middlebury College external affairs office at 443-5183.

To follow is a schedule of events:

 

Events Calendar Listings

Founders’ Day

Middlebury College Bicentennial Celebration

 

November 1

12:30 p.m.: Bicentennial Parade

Parade will feature Middlebury Union High School and Middlebury Union Middle School marching bands, historical costumes, and floats celebrating the town and College’s shared past. Parade begins on Porter Field Road off South Main Street (Route 30) and continues onto Main Street, culminating at the town green.

 

1:30 p.m.: Ceremony on Middlebury Town Green

Following the parade, former Vermont governors, as well as state, local, and College officials will give brief remarks at a ceremony celebrating 200 years of town and College history, with birthday cake for all.

 

4:30–8:30 p.m.: Our Town, Our College: A Festival of Community History

Area school students from 4th-12th grades, professional entertainers from throughout Vermont, and local museums will offer exhibits and performances. Entertainment includes the French Canadian Beaudoin Family and frequent "Prairie Home Companion" guest Margaret MacArthur. Student exhibits include models of the log cabin where Revolutionary War heroine Ann Story lived. Exhibits and demonstrations from the Shelburne Museum, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and others. Free refreshments.

Middlebury College, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)

 

8 p.m.: Birthday Fireworks

View fireworks from the western entrance of Bicentennial Hall.

Middlebury College, Bicentennial Hall, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)

All events are free and open to the public.

 

For more information, contact Susan Levine in the Middlebury College external affairs office at 443-5183.

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