Friday, April 19, 2013

Sesquicentennial in Greenwich: 1959

Sesquicentennial Banner - Greenwich, NY 1959
In 1959 the village of Greenwich, NY hosted an elaborate Sesquicentennial celebration, complete with two parades, & a pageant called "Whipple City Grows."

Front page of Whipple City Grows and ticket stub

The schedule of events is listed in the center of the program above.

Saturday, August 1, 1959 was Sesquicentennial Parade Day which included the parade from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. & the Queen's Ball at the high school from 9:00 to midnight.

Sunday, August 2, 1959 was Religious Dedication Day with all of the local churches hosting special services in the morning & an interfaith service at 8:00 p.m.

Monday, August 3, 1959 was Youth Day- filled with baseball, softball, swimming, & an "Outdoor Street Dance."

Tuesday, August 4, 1959 was Agricultural Day featuring a hay ride, square dance, old-time farm equipment & exhibits by the Farm Bureau, Soil Conservation, the Grange, 4-H, & others.

Wednesday, August 5, 1959 was Ladies' Day (sorry fellas). This included a luncheon, a reception, a dinner for Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson, a fashion show, & the crowning of the "Sesquicentennial Queen." 

Thursday, August 6, 1959 was Homecoming Day with open houses at the various churches & fraternal organizations like the Independent Order Of Fellows

Friday, August 7, 1959 was Industrial Day which included guided tours of local industries. Plus, the final judging of the "Brothers of the Brush" beard growing competition ended with a shaving contest!

Saturday, August 8, 1959 was Fireman's Day. The week of festivities concluded with the Washington County Fireman's Parade at 2:00 p.m. & the final of 4 performances of "Whipple City Grows"!

Sesquicentennial book and Washington County VFA Convention Program

Housing Committee badge
Some Housing Committee documents still survive. Then, as now, there was little accommodation for out-of-town guests. So, the committee members were in charge of finding housing for people coming to town for the week long celebration. Marion Harrington was the Housing Committee Chair.

Wooden nickels- one with the Sesquicentennial logo 1959
When we held the Town of Greenwich Bicentennial in 2003, & the Village of Greenwich Bicentennial in 2009, I looked into having wooden nickels done, but the funds just weren't there. I did have a wooden nickel collector call me though. The gentleman told me that he would buy a bunch of them if we decided to do it so he could trade & sell with other wooden nickel collectors! (Who knew...)

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