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A LOOK BACK AT 2012: 400th anniversary begins in less than 7 years

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Plymouth 400

The first official events celebrating the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims are now less than seven years away.
If that still seems like a long time, look at your kids. Remember when you could hold them in your arms? Remember the last time they let you put your arms around them – in public?
Those seven years will fly by, but you wouldn’t know it from the interest Plymouth residents have shown in this historic occasion.
The Plymouth 400 Opening Ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, followed the next morning by the Plymouth 400 Sunrise Commemoration.
Meanwhile, members of the two committees responsible for getting this party started look a bit like the ant toiling away while the grasshopper fiddles.
They have initiated several fundraising efforts, which they hope will become annual events – including a fishing derby. They’ve established an informational website and are well into the design of an exhibit that will travel the world to promote the town and educate others about the history of (and reasons for visiting) this community.
They are also trying to, literally, rev up interest with a state license plate which, when 1,500 are sold, will bear the celebration logo and make each vehicle bearing the plate an ambassador for the town and the celebration.
The committee also received a $250,000 matching grant from the state.
In addition to the traveling exhibit, the opening ceremony and the sunrise commemoration, the schedule of major events includes Plymouth Rocks (an international educational Webcast), a Wampanoag Signature Event, a multi-day Plymouth 400 Embarkation Festival and an international youth conference tentatively titled the 2020 Compact Summit.
But there will also be events and activities on a more human scale during 2020, and a variety of smaller events leading up to the big year.
On All Soul’s Eve, for example, the 1749 Courthouse hosted a musical celebration of the 1612 publication of Henry Ainsworth’s Book of Psalmes, the Pilgrim’s musical reference book.
On Burial Hill, the Plymouth Antiquarian Society offers a special historic walking tour the first Saturday of each month (except January), which it has promised to continue till 2020.
So, though the events now are small and attract only dozens of people, to paraphrase Gov. William Bradford, they are the small candles that may light a thousand.
By Frank Mand
Wicked Local

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