WOODSTOCK — The last time the town celebrated a noteworthy anniversary was its sesquicentennial in 1965. Fifty years later, the town is rallying again to celebrate its bicentennial.

Town Manager Vern Maxfield said this year’s celebration will be split into two parts, with the first from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Woodstock Fire Station. Maxfield said that he will dress in period clothing and read an abbreviated version of the minutes from Woodstock’s first town meeting.

The town was established by charter on Feb. 8, 1815.

“It’s a brief part of what we have planned for the rest of the afternoon,” Maxfield said.

Following the reading, proclamations of town and world events will be heard.

“We’re going to present a series of documents, pictures, poems and songs focused on Woodstock’s history, and we’re even going to have a town crier alerting us to events that were taking place in Woodstock and across the world in 1815,” Maxfield said.


Later, residents will have the opportunity to share their memories of Woodstock.

“We’re hoping that some of the people at the meeting will step up and share their stories of Woodstock’s past,” Maxfield said. “I know there’s a lot of people out there with a lot of different stories.”

A poster contest, run by Woodstock Elementary School teacher Tonya Prentice, will be judged during the celebration. The posters, which are meant to focus on Woodstock in the past, present or future, will be judged by Arla Patch and Monica Mann, who will award $25 prizes to children in four age categories.

Maxfield said residents will also have the chance to contribute to a time line of historical events on a 20-foot-long sheet of paper.

“People can add events that they consider important to the time line,” he said.

The second part of the bicentennial will kick off Saturday, June 20. The Bicentennial Committee had discussed a quilt raffle, an auto show, a performance by the Mahoosuc Community Band, a chicken barbecue at the Masonic Lodge and lumberjack and whittling demonstrations.

One item brainstormed by the Conservation Commission was a Woodstock passport, Maxfield said.

“Basically, everyone would be given a passport, and people could go around to different notable places in Woodstock and get that location stamped off on their passport,” Maxfield said. “It’s a fun little thing for people to do throughout the day.”

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