Rockport begins this evening, Feb. 25, to mark the 125th anniversary of its incorporation as a Town, after separating from Camden, and the public is invited to help celebrate. Tonight, the official birthday ceremony. Friday evening: Fireside Chat with stories about Rockport, and the guest line-up is great. On Saturday, My Home by the Sea, Scott Dyer’s famous play, then a bean supper, and finally, dance at the Simonton Corner Community Building.
The events began Thursday, Feb. 25, with a Blood Feud, an American Red Cross Blood Drive, held at the Masonic Hall, on Main Street, in Rockport, and at the Congregational Church, in Camden, from noon until 5 p.m. Preregistration and time reservations can be made online at redcrossblood.org.
Then, the official ceremony recognizing the 1891 Maine Legislative Act that split Camden into two Towns takes place at the Rockport Opera House, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with guest speakers, a slide show, and music with the Midcoast Brass Quintet.
Speakers include Granville Ames, Herbert Annis, Jon Potter, William Chapman, Roger Moody, John French, Linda Greenlaw, Brenda Richardson, Rick Bates, Steve Beveridge, Mark Kelley, James Aldus, Sen. Dave Miramant, Rep. Joan Welsh, and video greetings from Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, as well as U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, and sentiments sent by Gov. Paul LePage.
The evening will be rounded out with cake!
On Friday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a Fireside Chat with Rockport Elders. This will be an informal gathering at the Rockport Opera House, where many stories and personal memories about growing up in Rockport will be shared.
Both evenings will be recorded for historic posterity and have memorabilia on display and commemorative items for sale.
Then, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the celebration will move to the Camden-Rockport Elementary School, from 11 a.m. To 2 p.m., where there will be children's activities and games, courtesy of Ben and Ben, of the Rockport Public Library, and ice carving with Tim Pierce, of the Samoset Resort.
At 1 p.m., Scott Dyer will stage his renowned play, “My Home by the Sea,” with the fourth graders. CRES teacher Dyer produces annually in the spring the play at the Camden Opera House. This year, he has pulled together last year's third graders – now fourth graders – to reprise the production, but with special acts added to highlight Rockport's own history.
It promises to be an exciting play, and the public is encouraged to attend. There will be refreshments for sale in the cafeteria.
The afternoon events will continue at the Union Street Arch, which marks the town line between Camden and Rockport, on what is old U.S. Route 1.
There, the Select Boards from both Towns will convene at 3 p.m. for a special joint meeting, so to speak.
At 5 p.m., the community is invited to a Bean Supper at the Masonic Hall on Main Street in Rockport. Dinner will include baked beans, hot dogs, brown bread, coleslaw and dessert. It will be served until 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $8 per person.
Then, to round out the weekend, there will be a dance at the Simonton Corner Community Hall with the band Midnight Riders. There is a $10 charge per person and all proceeds will benefit Community Hall renovations.
Plan to attend and participate in the festivities, and mark your calendars for July 29 through Aug. 7, when even more fun will occur with a Firefighters Ball at the Samoset, a parade, concerts, film festival, dinner on the Goose River Bridge, art and events around Town!.
The action is in Rockport, and the Town knows how to celebrate!
For more information, visit town.rockport.me.us or Facebook/rockport125, or call 236-9648.