Mexico bicentennial activities begin in February

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Mexico Bicentennial Committee member Sheryl Briggs, standing at left, and Town Manager Jack Gaudet, kneeling at left, recently presented Walmart of Mexico with a Mexicopoly game in appreciation of the retailer’s financial support for Mexico’s bicentennial celebration events throughout 2018. (Submitted photo)

MEXICO — The town has 13 events planned throughout 2018 to celebrate its bicentennial.

A committee of volunteers met in December to review the bicentennial calendar, which begins Feb. 10 at Mountain Valley Middle School.

On that day, a winter carnival is planned for the top field, across from the school’s driveway. Families are encouraged to make snow sculptures, do some sledding and enjoy hot chocolate.

There will be piles of snow to use for the sculpting, and the Mexico Trailblazers Snowmobile Club will create the embankment for sledding. People will need to bring their own sleds.

Prizes for the sculpting will be certificates and a photo of the sculpture.

The committee will also be selling bicentennial products, including T-shirts, hoodies, ceramic “spooner” mugs, sip ’n’ flip aluminum mugs, bicentennial coins and the Mexicopoly game.

This is also the day for the Blessing of the Sleds, an antique snowmobile show, and the Hope Association’s annual ride-in.

On Feb. 13, a Bicentennial Day Ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the middle school.

The committee is hoping the Board of Selectmen and town manager will participate in recreating the signing of the charter, including a quill pen and dressing in period clothing, at the lecture hall.

Behind them will be Bicentennial Committee members, also in period clothing, carrying muskets as the proclamation of the town is read.

Refreshments will be served at the cafeteria, including a sheet cake with the bicentennial logo.

That day at 10 a.m., the Legislature will recognize Feb. 13, 2018, as the town of Mexico’s bicentennial and will acknowledge all of the people visiting that day.

State Rep. John Madigan, a former Mexico town manager, has been asked to sponsor a Legislative Sentiment for the bicentennial, with Rep. Richard Pickett and Sen. Lisa Keim as co-sponsors.

The town will be acknowledged at the national level with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol from Sen. Susan Collins. That flag will be displayed at bicenetenial events.

On March 23, a talent show will be held at Meroby Elementary School. This is also the date of Mexico’s first town meeting in 1818. Children will be asked to perform a skit about the town meeting.

The committee is still looking for a Revolutionary War Reenactment Group to perform, tentatively on April 16. Contact the Town Office at 364-7971 for more information on this.

The entire month of May will be the May Mexican Maineiac Manhunt. This is a take-off on Where’s Waldo, with the Mexican Maineiac hiding in various town businesses throughout May.

The Mexican Maineiac is described as a cardboard character in a sombrero with the bicentennial logo on it that will be placed in stores and businesses. Participants will have a paper form saying what stores to find the character in, and people will go in to find it.

Once found, a store clerk will stamp the form and all completed forms will win a prize.

For the Mexico portion of the Memorial Day Parade on May 28, the plan is to pass out 1,000 small flags. Each flag will have a label saying it is donated by the committee to honor or in memory of a veteran from Mexico.

Woodsmen’s Day will be held June 23 at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology. Students in the forestry program will demonstrate various lumberjack events. The day will also include a moustache and beard contest.

July 7 is the date of the Mexico Bicentennial Parade. The parade will start in back of the Town Office, go up Route 17 and end at the Mexico Recreation Park. Because of the length of the parade, people are welcome to join in sections of the route.

Organizations are encouraged to build floats and the Shriners have been invited to participate.

At the rec park, various activities will take place, with local bands performing from the bandstand. There will be food vendors as well.

On Aug. 18, a free family outdoor movie will be shown in the Mexico Recreation Park. Showtime is around 8 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

On Sept. 22, a craft show and demonstration will be held at the middle school. Featured will be a timeline demonstration of the town’s different eras. There will also be a raffle of a town bicentennial quilts.

The committee still needs the community’s help with making the historical Mexico quilts.

“We’re looking for any town citizen or business who would like to either create a design by cross stitch, needlepoint, iron-on transfer, photos, etc. — anything that makes you think of Mexico,” committee member Sheryl Briggs said.

The goal is to make two identical quilts, “so we can have one for the town to keep, and the other one will be raffled off,” she said.

Briggs said perhaps the town’s quilt will be placed on the back wall of the conference room at the town hall.

People can pick up their two 8½- by 8½-inch quilting squares at the Town Office during regular business hours.

A Chowder, Chili and Pie Contest will be held Oct. 20 in the Calvin Lyons Room at the Town Office. Selectmen will serve as judges.

Nov. 17 will be the Thanksgiving Thank You Dinner. This is by invitation only, for Bicentennial Committee members and other volunteers. The time and location will be determined.

Christmas caroling will be held Dec. 1 at the Mexico Gazebo behind the Town Office. The Town Office will be open for bathroom access and for carolers to warm up with hot chocolate.

The committee said all dates and activities are subject to change.

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