CANTON — A bicentennial celebration that includes dinners, historical reenactments and fireworks is planned for 2021, selectmen were told at their meeting Thursday evening.

Bicentennial Committee member Phyllis Ouellette told the board a gala dinner and dance is planned for February, marking the town’s incorporation on Feb. 5, 1821.

From Aug. 5 to 8, 2021, events include a Founders’ Dinner, the comedy troupe Teachers’ Lounge Mafia, photo and art exhibit, trolley tours, a street dance and a parade, she said.

“For the event we’re also working on fundraising because we still need to gather money to pull off all of those August events,” Ouellette said.

A complete list of events and dates is available online at

In other business, selectmen decided to appoint a five-member committee to generate ideas for using the $32,000 in the Community Benefit Fund, money from Canton Mountain Wind farm on Canton Mountain.

At a selectmen meeting in August, Planning Board Secretary Diane Ray asked them to consider setting up a committee so residents can present ideas on use the fund.

“I think people in the town would like to know what criteria are being used to spend the money,” Ray said. Some projects “could become a pretty significant undertaking.”

At a public forum two years ago to share ideas on uses for the money, several residents suggested fixing the sidewalks on Main Street.

On Thursday, Selectman Brian Keene supported establishing a committee to collect ideas but thought selectmen should make the final decision on how the money is spent.

“That would give the selectmen the opportunity to do what we did a couple years ago and use part of that money to offset taxes, which benefits the entire community as well,” Keene said.

Applications for the Community Benefit Fund committee will be available at the Town Office next week, Deputy Town Clerk Jennifer Blodgett said.

Also Thursday, selectmen:

• Voted to hire Jody Brown of Canton to bushhog at least 12 town lots on School Street.

• Hired Richard Adams of Canton as code enforcement officer. He has worked in construction for many years and will work on his certifications for the position and work closely with selectmen, Chairman Russell Adams said Friday.

• Listened to plans for a proposed 65-megawatt solar energy project on roughly 360 of more than 1,000 acres.

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Canton Bicentennial Committee member Phyllis Ouellette gives the town selectmen an update on the town’s bicentennial celebration events set for August 5 through 8 during their meeting on Thursday. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

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