photo: Margaret Brennen
After months of preparation, Lyme celebrated 200 years since its founding in 1818. The weekend included concerts, free ice cream. carnival rides, a parade and fireworks.
Throughout the celebration, which began on Friday evening with a concert and free ice cream social at the Three Mile Bay Fire Hall, hundreds of town residents attended the events.
The festivities coincided with the annual Lyme Community Days, which showcased crafts and local businesses on the Copley House Lawn in downtown Chaumont, on Saturday. The 16th Annual Classic Car & Vendor Show took place at Chaumont Fire Hall. Both events attract several hundred visitors to the town each year.
Bicentennial events on Saturday included the dedication of Bicentennial Park, town land just south of Barnes Bay Cemetery near the Chaumont Beach. Assemblywoman Addie Jenne was present to present a proclamation in honor of the town’s 200th. Ms. Jenne also presented the Chaumont and Three Mile Bay volunteer fire departments with a proclamation honoring their long hours of service during the shoreline flooding in 2017.
Saturday evening saw bands The Arrhythmias, Tas Cru, and the 10th Mountain Division Band take the stage. At 9 pm a spectacular fireworks display capped off the evening. Sunday’s parade, consisting of floats, local elected officials, law enforcement agencies, local businesses and community organizations, started at Lyme Central School at 1pm and made its way to Main Street, where it headed west to the Chaumont Volunteer Fire Department. Some highlights included the Lyme Free Library's float, pulled by a 1949 Ford tractor driven by Marilyn Peters, Lyme Central School's float with teachers and students in costumes from 1818, 1918 and 2018, as well as vintage convertibles carrying Assemblywoman Jenne, Lyme’s own Miss Ireland 2018, Brightlynn Sharlow, and French Festival Queen Leah Hagelin, and our own town officials who organized many of the events.
After the parade, scores of residents, many of them children, flocked to the rear lawn of the Chaumont Fire Hall. There, several rides, rented from Scotty’s Jump’n’Fun, homemade games, a dunking booth, concessions and a petting zoo had been set up. The carnival lasted about three hours.
“Can we have a bicentennial every year?” one youngster was overheard asking his parent. Milestone birthdays don’t come around every year, but that young man wasn’t alone in hoping that we have another celebration like this one sooner rather than later.
Some more photos of the bicentennial are here:
Hope Johnston, Lyme Garden Club, lines up before the parade. (Photo courtesy Tammy Sharlow)
Petting zoo at the Bicentennial Carnival, courtesy of Lucky Ring Farms, Don & Betsy Ring
Marilyn Peters on a restored 1949 Ford Tractor
Lyme Central School: 1818, 1918 & 2018
Camden Continentals Marching Band
French Festival Queen ’18, Leah Hagelin
Miss Ireland '18 Brightlynn Sharlow in a '69 Plymouth Road Runner