February 17, 2018
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Machias 250th Birthday Celebration seeking volunteers

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MACHIAS, Maine — A number of teams working on the Machias 250th Birthday Celebration, a series of events that began last week and will culminate in a full week of special activities, fireworks, parades and concerts in June, are asking for help.

“We need a few good volunteers,” Chairman Sharon Mack said following the group’s monthly meeting on Jan. 17. The birthday celebrates the arrival of the first 16 white settlers to Machias, which then consisted of Machias, East Machias, Whitneyville, Marshfield and Machiasport. Several of those towns are holding special events too.

The Machias 250th Birthday Committee has split the workload among individual teams. “Events such as the historical presentations, the art events, the program creation, fireworks, fundraising, parade and floats, these all have wonderful, dedicated volunteers working to ensure they are fun and successful,” she said.

But there are some areas that could use more volunteers. “In particular, we are looking for someone to lead the Moustache/Beard growing contest and the cooking contest, as well as a few creative souls to help put on a play or story-telling event,” Mack said. She said the committee is also in desperate need of someone to help with coordinating the concerts and musical events.

Mack said the committee is looking for someone willing to make a large sandwich sign that can be used to advertise the daily events and their location next June.

“If this celebration is going to be successful, we need more Machias people to lend us their enthusiasm and ideas,” she said. She said advertising for the events is already underway and will be on the Maine Office of Tourism list, as well as in local and statewide newspapers throughout New England and New York.

“Every business here — whether they are lodging, restaurants or service based — should reap great rewards,” she said.

The 250th events began last week with a highly successful presentation by Donald Soctomah, the official historian for the Passamaquoddy Tribe. More than three dozen people attended the talk, which is the first in a series of such presentations that should continue through March.

Meanwhile, plans are really progressing for the June week of events. The parade, set for June 15, already has seven bands and nearly 20 floats and walking groups committed. Julie Millay of the Parade Team is working to have a special fly-over during the parade.

Other events set for that week include a Paint Machias Day, concerts, a kid’s activities day, various contests and plays, and a community picnic with birthday cake, followed by a giant fireworks display. Machias Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, Machias Hanaford, as well as several individuals, have already made generous donations.

“The theme of this historic celebration is Back To Our Roots,” Mack said. “This is why all of the events are planned as family activities. This is truly a community-based , grass-roots effort and we really need help.”

The next meeting of the entire Committee is Feb. 28. For more information or to volunteer for a specific team, contact Mack at 263-8859 or sharonkileymack@hotmail.com.