Ludlow celebration is ON

Ludlow, one of the mountain towns hardest hit by Irene, is going ahead with its 250th celebration this weekend. The roads in are open, although you may wish to allow a little extra driving time as they are rough in a few spots.

Have you got an announcement about a business, nonprofit or organization that is reopening after Irene? Send them along to me or to the Vermont Today blog and we’ll get the word out.

Here’s the note from Ralph Pace, blogger, 250th Committee chair and man-about-Ludlow.

“Ludlow Readies for 250th Celebration Sept 16-17 

Ludlow will mark its 250th year of existence on Friday and Saturday, September 16-17 with a program that is guaranteed to be remembered by everyone.”  This was Ludlow 250 Committee Chairman Ralph Pace’s observation on the forthcoming celebration that marks the issuance of Ludlow’s charter by Benning Wentworth, Royal Governor of New Hampshire on September 16, 1761. 

According to the colorful program prepared for the two day event, there will be a parade, music, historic readings and musings, and a birthday cake and card that may make the Guinness Book of Records.  In addition to this, special custom flags honoring the Battle of Bennington will be hung along Main Street.  Custom banners for the celebration will also be displayed throughout the town and at the gazebo.  A special “campaign-style” button has been created to mark this historic occasion as well. 

Ludlow 250 activities will begin on Friday, September 16 at 6 PM at the Gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park following the march of the American Legion Color Guard from the Legion home to the park.  George Thomson will serve as emcee at the gazebo.  Music supplied by the Sugar River Band will precede the opening ceremonies and continue following the completion of the formal ceremonies that evening. 

Among the planned activities on Friday will be an invocation by Pastor Tom Deibler, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Legion Commander Ned Brown, a singing of “God Bless America” led by Bob Kirkbride, a reading of the actual charter that created Ludlow by Newton Rose, a reading of the State Legislature’s resolution commending Ludlow by State Senator Alice Nitka, and some closing thoughts by Town Manager Frank Heald.  

When all of this is completed, the viewers will have the opportunity to sign the mammoth birthday card, created by the Okemo sign shop, and listen to more music by the Sugar River Band. 

That same evening, the Josh Cole Memorial Soccer Tournament will take place at Dorsey Park. 

The following day, Saturday, September 17 will begin at 11 AM with a parade from Benson’s Chevrolet to the Park.  Among those planning on participating in the parade are the Black River High School Band, the BRHS soccer teams, the fire department, ambulance squad, Ludlow Police, a group of cyclists, the Seth Warner Mt. Independence Fife & Drum Corps, floats from various area organizations, and senior citizens of the town. 

When everyone has reached the gazebo, the participants will have the chance to partake of the largest birthday cake ever baked in Ludlow.  The cake, provided by the Andrie Rose Inn, will serve over 300 people and have a scene of the gazebo adorning the top.  The birthday card will also be available for signing. 

At 1 PM, courtesy of the Vermont Humanities Council, Linda Radtke will offer a songfest that covers Vermont’s history through song. 

This will lead into the Annual Ludlow Rotary Duck Race which will be viewed from the nearby Walker Bridge. 

That evening, the Josh Cole Memorial Soccer Tournament will feature games at 6 and 8 PM at Dorsey Park. 

In the event of rain, the Friday celebration will be held in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium; the Saturday activities will take place in the Ludlow Community Center (formerly the Armory). 

According to Pace, all the costs of this celebration were raised through voluntary contributions from area residents, businesses, and second home owners.  Over 80 individual donations were made.  Area businesses that contributed included Peoples United Bank, Andrie Rose Inn, American Legion Ballard-Hobart Post #36, the Town and Village of Ludlow, Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow Insurance Agency, and Luzenac America. 

The Ludlow 250 committee consisted of Pam Cruickshank, Willow Feller, Theresa Southworth, Susan McNeely, Patty Greenwood, Newton Rose, Joyce Washburn, Jackie Hunt, Connie Wilcox, Sharon Bixby, Linda Tucker, John Bremer, Georgia Brehm, Frank Heald, Dennis Devereux, Beth Graves-Lombard, Barbara LeMire, and Ralph Pace.”

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