BETHEL — Bethel Performing Arts Project is partnering with the Bethel Historical Society to add something different to the group’s annual Sudbury Canada Days on Aug. 8. As part of the three-day event, Aug. 7-9, the Bethel Community Players will perform an original play by Ross Timberlake titled “When the Parade Came By Our House Every Year About This Time We Would Gather on the Porch.” The five-act play will be performed on five different porches, one stand-alone act at each porch, starting at lower Main Street and ending on a Broad Street porch in Bethel’s historic district.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce visitors to Bethel’s rich history,” said Ross Timberlake, co-volunteer coordinator of the Bethel Performing Arts Project and board member of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s also a terrific venue for our local performing artists, and I’m sure all of us will take from this experience a better understanding and appreciation of our small town.”
Between acts, a “town crier” will guide the audience up the street, telling the history of buildings and landmarks along the way. Each act will last about 20 minutes, and there will be 45 minutes between acts. This will give the moving audience a chance to wander into area businesses where many merchants and innkeepers will discuss the historical nature and unique aspects of their businesses. With the support and encouragement of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, a number of businesses will be offering samples of their wares and special promotions, some of historic value.
Sudbury Canada Days is the Bethel Historical Society’s summer heritage festival. The festival will include the Hall Memorial Lecture on Friday evening, Aug. 7, 18th-century re-enactors, old-time crafts, an art show, historical films, period-house tours, children’s games, croquet tournament, badminton, a public supper on Saturday evening after the porch plays, and many other events for the family over the three days.
“It always amazes me when I learn something new about this town where I grew up as it reminds me how vast a history a small town can possess,” Timberlake said, referring to the research for his work of “historical fiction.”

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