Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Big Night in a Small Vermont Town

I've lived in small towns all my life. I've lived in one little Vermont town for more than 30 years now. Pownal is the first town in Vermont as you're headed north from Massachusetts on Route 7. Mostly people know Pownal because that's where the Green Mountain Race Track used to be. There's usually not much exciting happening here - and most like it that way.

But last night was an exception. Last night the Town of Pownal kicked off a year-long celebration of its 250th anniversary. You can find the schedule of events right here. So have a look and if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and celebrate with us.

Here are some photos from last night's festivities in the Pownal Elementary School gym.

Doreen Forney piped in the crowd. She wanted to make sure I contacted her about our holiday Spirit of Sharing campaign next year. I missed her this last go-around.

The gym at the elementary school was SRO last night. It was noted that this was likely the largest gathering in town since the track closed. Could be right.

Willie Jones, retired Pownal school teacher, noted thespian and host of two radio programs on WBTN, reads the charter signed by Gov. Benning Wentworth on January 8, 1760. At left is Rachel Mason, Pownal's Poet Laureate. At right is MC Rich Ryder, also a program host at WBTN in Bennington.

The Pownal Elementary School Chorus led the crowd in rousing renditions of several historic and patriotic songs.

Bill Botzow, our state representative whom we share with the Town of Woodford, came in period attire. Before I forget, the portrait on the front of the podium is Thomas Pownall, the Royal Governor of  Massachusetts. It's complicated. We were chartered by the Governor of New Hampshire and took the name of the Royal Governor of Massachusetts. Wentworth left off the second "L" in the charter.

Here's Saint Wendy The Patient with our anniversary logo. Wendy is one of the organizers of our 250th anniversary celebration. It's been a lot of work.

Pownal's 250th anniversary quilt, put together by the talented Barb Luscia.

This is our square. Our little neighborhood of Center Street in Pownal Center has been designated a Historic District by the State of Vermont.

Bill shows off an oversized version of a special first-day cover with cancellation scheduled for January 28 at the Pownal Post Office. Better get there early!

The little ones brought out a big paper cake. We all got to make a wish and blow out the candle.

We had a surprise visit from Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who traveled from Montpelier (we're as far away as you can get) on some very snowy roads.

It's still a big deal when the Governor visits a small town like Pownal. He was welcomed with a Standing O!

That's Jordan Schell-Lambert on the left. He's a Master Gardener and manages our Community Garden. On the right is Sue Sweeney, who coordinated our 2010 calendar. The cake was awesome.

This is Charlotte Comar with one of the calendars. You can order celebratory merchandise here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, I come here for the Crane stationery but leave wanting to live in Vermont. Looks like lots of fun and a great community! Have a wonderful birthday, Pownal.