PERRY – The Town of Perry will be celebrating its Bicentennial with a host of activities this weekend Aug. 11-12.
Formerly known as Township Number 1, Perry was settled in 1763 by Captain John Frost, a fur trader who established an outpost to trade with the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The Town was incorporated 55 years later in 1818, two years before Maine became a State.
Perry was named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, celebrated hero of the War of 1812. Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie prevented the British from gaining a crucial foothold in the center of the country, and was a pivotal moment in the War.
“Naming the Town for Perry was a shot across the bow of the British, who were still occupying the neighboring community of Eastport when Perry was incorporated on February 12, 1818,” said Kevin Raye, Chairman of the Perry Bicentennial Committee. “While the Town was actually incorporated in February, we decided to hold our celebration in August, in keeping with the precedent of Perry’s Sesquicentennial in 1968.”
Bicentennial festivities will kick off Friday evening at 7 p.m. with an old-fashioned barn dance at the Kendall Farm Cottages Event Barn on Golding Road. Featuring the popular musical group Keltic Schmeltic and caller Ron Lowe of New Brunswick, there will be both square dancing and contra dancing. A modest $5 admission fee includes non-alcoholic beverages, popcorn and pretzels with an array of Raye’s Mustards. Lubec Brewing Company will also be on hand for a tasting event.
On Saturday morning, from 7-10 a.m., there will be a Blueberry Pancake Breakfast at the New Friendly Restaurant, on Route 1, sponsored by North Perry United Methodist Church.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, there will be a non-competitive Family Fun Run/Walk/ Bike around Boyden Lake, starting at Pottle’s Tree Farm on South Meadow Road. It will end with a noon-time pot luck lunch back at the tree farm. For details, contact coordinator Stephanie Allard at 853-0658.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Lobster Crate on Route 190 will be sponsoring an antique car drive-in and art show with live music, horseshoes and corn hole. Meanwhile, the Washington County Gem and Mineral Society is sponsoring a display of rocks, gems and minerals at Perry Elementary School from 10-11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
On Saturday at 2 p.m., there will be a ceremony at the Perry Municipal Building, to include remarks, the presentation of the official Perry Bicentennial quilt that will hang in the town office, the burial of a time capsule and cutting the Town’s 200th Birthday cake.
The Perry Grange will hold a spaghetti supper Saturday, 5-7 p.m., at the Grange Hall on South Meadow Road.
On Sunday, Aug. 12, Perry’s three churches will each include the Bicentennial in their services. At North Perry United Methodist Church at 9 a.m., there will be special music and the historic North Perry School bell will be rung in honor of the Bicentennial. Perry Congregational Church, also at 9 a.m., will feature a dramatic presentation on the history of the church. Perry Bible Fellowship’s 11 a.m. service will feature a sermon on Acts 7 and the history of how the gospel came to the church.
The final event of the weekend will be a 7 p.m. Bicentennial Organ Concert at Perry Congregational Church on Sunday, featuring organist Edward French and the Breakwater Buoys, a barbershop quartet. Admission is free but donations will be accepted.
“We appreciate all those who came forward to help organize individual events to make for a memorable weekend,” said Raye. “We are looking forward to an enjoyable celebration of the Town’s first 200 years.”
Committee members who have been meeting faithfully to plan the Bicentennial over the past months include Kevin and Karen Raye, Amy Johnson, Jerry and Sarah Morrison, Eileen Curry, Andrew and Debbie Pottle, Theresa Peek and Georgie Kendall.
“In addition to the Bicentennial events, we encourage people to attend the various Indian Days activities happening at Pleasant Point throughout the weekend,” said Raye. “The Passamaquoddy Tribe is an integral part of Perry and its history so it is fitting that the entire community join in celebrating their culture and rich history.”
At various events during the weekend, commemorative Pilsner beer glasses will be available for purchase for $10 each, and pre-orders will be taken for the commemorative Perry Bicentennial Book, priced at $20 each, to be published in the weeks following the celebration. A video will also be produced for posterity capturing the events of the Bicentennial weekend and interviews with Perry residents.
For more information on Perry Bicentennial events, visit the “Perry, Maine Bicentennial and Old Photos” page on Facebook, or contact Kevin Raye by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.