‘2020 Committee’ Formed to Organize Darien’s Upcoming Bicentennial

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The town of Darien is starting to plan for the town’s bicentennial in the year 2020 with a “New Vision” of its past and future, and a special committee has been established by the Board of Selectmen to coordinate the effort.

Darien Plaque

Wikimedia Commons

Darien historical plaque

— an announcement from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson

“The year 2020 will be a year of great celebration as we mark the Town of Darien’s Bicentennial,” said First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.

“We will be planning activities that honor our past as we look to an exciting future here in Darien. The 2020 Committee is charged with making the town’s 200th birthday a year to remember and we encourage everyone to participate!”

The state Legislature granted a town charter in 1820, establishing this area as the independent Town of Darien. Prior to that, the area was part of Stamford and Norwalk and known as Middlesex Parish.

The 2020 Committee has been meeting since the summer of 2018 to discuss preliminary plans for the bicentennial celebration.

Darien historical plaque part one

Historical plaque

The committee co-chairs are Dave Polett, who also serves as chairman of the town’s Monuments and Ceremonies Commission, and Tracy Root, who also serves as vice chair of the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission Graveyard Committee.

“The town’s bicentennial will be a really exciting time, and it will be our goal to make sure we get broad participation with as many town organizations as possible,” Polett said.

Some preliminary plans that the 2020 Steering Committee have been developing are a logo contest with high school students, a special calendar of events and a town-wide Birthday Bash in June of 2020.

Hindley School

Stone walls at the intersection of Nearwater Lane and the Post Road, where some of the local militia are said to have died when Tories raided the area during the Revolutionary War. The town has no commemoration of this event.

Polett and Root will be reaching out to leaders of the community to round out the committee, and key subcommittees in the areas of finance, merchandising and communications will be established for more specific planning, Root said.

Root also said that the committee will be reaching out to businesses and town organizations to solicit involvement and to suggest ways to support the efforts of the committee.

“We need a broad range of talents and a lot of coordination to launch this effort and make it a success,” Root said.

For questions, please contact Town of Darien, Office of the First Selectman at 203.656.7338 or email info.Darien2020@gmail.com.

Members of the 2020 Committee

Members of the 2020 Committee include (in alphabetical order):

  • Marian Castell, Town Historian
  • Jami Dawson, Secretary, 2020 Committee and Parks and Recreation Program Supervisor, Town of Darien
  • Sarah Lexow Keena, Darien Historical Society Educator
  • Kate Larson, Darien Historical Society Board of Directors
  • Maggie McIntire, Executive Director, Darien Historical Society
  • Dave Polett, co-chairman, 2020 Committee
  • Ken Reiss, Darien Historical Society Historian
  • Tracy Root, co-chairman, 2020 Committee
  • Lisa Shanahan, vice chairman, 2020 Committee and Vice President, Darien Historical Society Board of Directors
  • Jayme Stevenson, First Selectman, Town of Darien
  • Lauren Swenson, Executive Director, Mather Homestead

 

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