The state’s new bicentennial flag, designed by Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, was unveiled at the bicentennial kick-off event at Broadway Park on July 30, 2019.

Despite widespread concerns about the spread of coronavirus, Maine’s Bicentennial Commission is moving forward with its plans to host a Statehood Day party on Sunday in Augusta, celebrating the day Maine officially became a state in 1820.

The free event, set for 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 at the Augusta Armory, will feature speeches, music, poems and a giant birthday cake to celebrate Maine’s 200th birthday. It will also feature hand sanitizer and encouragement to not shake hands.

Dave Cheever, vice chair of the bicentennial commission and coordinator of statewide events, said he and his team will do whatever the Maine Center for Disease Control advises them to do when it comes to the safety of party-goers.

“So far, with no detectable cases in Maine, we feel extremely fortunate. But things can happen that we can’t control, of course,” said Cheever. “We will do whatever the Maine CDC advises us to do. We hope we can continue on as planned, but we’re prepared to change if we have to.”

The event will include remarks from Gov. Janet Mills, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, chairman of the Maine Bicentennial Commission Sen. Bill Diamond, Maulian Dana of the Penobscot Nation, state historian Earle Shettleworth and from Maine’s congressional delegation,

Maine poet laureate Stu Kestenbaum will read a poem and there will be a performance by the combined Bicentennial Choir and Bangor Symphony Orchestra, debuting the specially commissioned piece by Colin Britt, “So Also We Sing: A Maine Trilogy.”

The event will also include the unveiling of the United States Postal Service Bicentennial Postage Stamp, the Maine Army National Guard colorguard and birthday cake provided by Hannaford Supermarkets.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.