Selectman T.J. Williams signs a replica of the Mexico town charter with a quill pen during Tuesday’s Bicentennial Day ceremony at Mountain Valley Middle School. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)
Mexico Bicentennial Committee member Marilla Couch uses a souvenir bicentennial postmark from the United States Postal Service to stamp unused postcards of Mexico from the 1950s brought by Dave Gawtry. The stamping was held Tuesday as part of the town’s bicentennial ceremony at Mountain Valley Middle School. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)
A special cake was served during Bicentennial Day in Mexico on Tuesday at Mountain Valley Middle School. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)
Members of the Mexico Police Explorers opened the 40-minute Bicentennial Day ceremony at Mountaina Valley Middle School on Tuesday by presenting the flag. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)
MEXICO — More than 100 people gathered Tuesday evening for a Bicentennial Day ceremony at the Mountain Valley Middle School.
The program was presented by the Mexico Bicentennial Committee, a kickoff for 13 events this year.
Members of the Mexico Police Explorers opened the 40-minute ceremony by presenting the flag, followed by a prayer from Pastor Izzie Radford-Nash of the Mexico Congregational Church.
Richie Philbrick, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, noted there are four other states with a town called Mexico — New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Missouri.
State Sen. Lisa Keim said Mexico was settled in the 1700s when Jonathan Holman and 26 other men from Massachusetts purchased land with the intention of creating a town.
“Those men, and those who followed, knew that hard work and self-reliance were essential for their town to prosper,” she said. “Mexico has a history of farmers, mill workers, small business owners, woodsmen and authors.”
Also delivering messages were Tim Gallant, representing U.S. Congressman Bruce Poliquin; Ben Tucker, representing U.S. Sen. Angus King; and Ryan Angela, representing U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.
Town Manager Jack Gaudet announced he and selectmen would sign a replica of the town charter with a quill pen. The replica will be placed on a wall in the Town Office.
Following the program, a bicentennial cake was served.
Several people brought items to be stamped with a free souvenir bicentennial postmark from the United States Postal Service. The souvenir postmark will available for 30 days at the Mexico Post Office.
Earlier in the day, a contingent from Mexico went to the Maine House of Representatives in Augusta where Elaine Michaud sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Rep. John Madigan, former town manager, presented a Legislative Sentiment.
Upcoming bicentennial events include:
• A town talent show at Meroby Elementary School on Friday, March 23. Youngsters will be asked to perform a skit about the first town meeting on March 23, 1818;
• A Civil War Re-enactment Group on April 16;
• A May Mexican Maineiac Manhunt, a take-off on Where’s Waldo, with the Mexican Maineiac hiding in businesses.