In 1669, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations incorporated King’s County as the Town of Westerly. This year, Westerly is celebrating the 350th anniversary of its existence.
Some events that are on the calendar for Westerly’s 350th Anniversary include the Olde Tyme Fair, Living Legends of Westerly Film Debut, and a time capsule burial. The Olde Tyme Fair is on Aug 24 and goes from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Wilcox Park. This event is the signature event of the whole 350th year. It is described as a step back in time!
Take some time to enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the day. Headlining will be Roomful of Blues with music also by British Mania, a tribute band to the Beatles. The Westminster Youth String Ensemble will also be performing at the Westerly Olde Tyme Fair on Saturday, August 24th from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Gazebo at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park, as stated on Westerly’s 350th Celebration’s Facebook page.
In addition to the music, there will be free swan boat rides, trackless train rides sponsored by the Westerly Lions Club, and strolling performers. There will be plenty of family activities present, such as magic shows, a jester, storytelling, carnival games and more! A gigantic Westerly cake will also be served. The best part about all of these activities is that they are completely free!
“The Chamber of Commerce volunteered to be our treasury. Without their help, it would’ve been really tough,” said Olde Tyme Fair Committee Chair, Paul Donahue. Donahue holds a special place in his heart for the town of Westerly. At the age of 19, Mr. Donahue volunteered for Westerly’s 300th Celebration and is back working Westerly’s 350th Celebration. “Westerly is a big family,” said Donahue. He describes the town of Westerly as “people who care.” “They are giving up their Saturday’s when they could be at the beach,” said Donahue.
Next on the events calendar is Living Legends of Westerly Film Debut, which takes place at 7 p.m., Sept. 18 at Granite Theater. It is a 50-minute film that features 16 extraordinary men and women between 76-96 years old who have made important contributions to Westerly in terms of business, government education, philanthropy, and community service. The movie includes reflections about life in town, discusses the changes and challenges they have witnessed, their favorite traditions or activities, their advice for the next generation, and so on. “The Living Legends of Westerly are public figures, groundbreakers, heroes, business leaders, veterans and other notable senior citizens who have positively impacted others and collectively improved the quality of life in our town,” as said by westerly350.com.
Lastly, have the chance to witness history with the time capsule burial on Sept. 28 at Wilcox park at 10 a.m. The contents of the capsule will not be revealed for another 50 years. “Don’t miss your chance to be an eyewitness of the items being placed inside,” said westerly350.com. You can register for the time capsule burial now here.
For more information about Westerly’s 350th Anniversary Celebration visit westerly350.com or visit Westerly 350th Celebration’s Facebook page! If you are looking to be a little more involved in the celebration, volunteer to work the fair by contacting Diane Chiaradio Bowdy at firstname.lastname@example.org.