Sestercentennial anyone?

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The Latin term is either "sestercentennial" or "semiquincentennial" depending on whom you talk to.

But regardless of which term is used, John Saliba thinks it’s high time Bridgton residents started planning for the town’s 250th celebration. That is, if Bridgton residents want it to be anywhere near as successful as the town’s 200th birthday was.

“In 1968 I became a year-round resident, and the Bicentennial that year was a blast,” Saliba told Bridgton Selectmen at their June 10 meeting. There were events happening all summer long, he said, and “the town really pulled together” to provide a proper birthday party commemorating the town’s founding. “I’d like to see that happen again.”

The Shorey family was very involved, with former Bridgton News Editor Eula Shorey producing an updated town history. The Bridgton Historical Society played a big role, as did many other organizations in town.

“It takes time to plan” a party that big, said Saliba, who asked for selectmen’s support to begin organizing for the 250th celebration that he hopes will be held in the summer of 2018, four years from now.

Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz said the planning should be done by a private committee, in collaboration with town government but not led by it. Recreation Director Gary Colello could lend a hand, he said.

Saliba agreed that was the best course. He said he wanted to float the idea of starting a committee now, so there would be plenty of time to decide how the celebration should take place. Anyone interested in becoming involved may contact the town at 647-8786 to be put in touch with Saliba.




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