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APRIL 12, 2012                  
Plymouth MA – Planning for the Plymouth 400 celebrations has recently kicked into high gear, despite the fact that the anniversary is still eight years away. A recent meeting of the non-profit “Plymouth 400 Inc Committee” saw huge movement forward and the development of several key events slated for this spring and summer.
It is expected that a newly designed website and associated social networking resources will soon go live in anticipation of a large “Meet the Committees” night, which will involve the non-profit committee, as well as a newly established town based committee. The two committees will serve as “two sides of a coin”, with the town committee handling the important infrastructure issues, coordinating activities in an “umbrella” capacity and engaging in community outreach on the local, national, and international stage. The non-profit side will focus on the promotion and production of the key events.
“There has been a public perception that planning for Plymouth’s 400th has been stagnant – that we haven’t been doing much”, said committee member Peter Balboni. “From the public perception standpoint, I can see that. There has really been a lot going on behind the scenes, however”. Balboni went further and explained that “much of the early planning is boring logistics and not the kind of thing that interests the public but we’re about to get a lot more visible”.
The committee has already had a small fundraiser that netted a little more than $5000 from a Scotch whisky tasting event at the RooBar in Plymouth’s Cordage Park which featured remarks from Massachusetts Senate President Theresa Murray. Murray lives in the area. The Senator recently announced a $10,000 grant to the Plymouth 400 celebration from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
“We’ve got a lot of momentum going right now”, said Dennis Hanks, who serves on the non-profit committee in addition to his duties as Executive Director of the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce. “The dual sided approach is going to prove to be very effective at leveraging funding and manpower in order to get everything jumpstarted. It’s going to be a good thing – the collaboration and dual roles within the two committees; it’ll really allow us to continue moving forward”.
The Plymouth 400th Anniversary commemorates the 1620 landing of the Pilgrims in Plymouth. Massachusetts, and highlights the cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the interaction of the Wampanoag and English peoples; a story that began a national legacy.
The 400th anniversary celebration is expected to be an economic boon to the state, as well as to the local area. Jamestown, Virginia’s recent celebration generated 1.2 billion dollars in sales and created twenty thousand jobs for the area. That amounted to 22 million dollars in taxes for the state of Virginia and another 6.4 million for local government. Plymouth’s popularity as a tourist destination coupled with the worldwide exponential growth in “heritage tourism” could see similar numbers.

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