Celebrating the Town's Rich History
Lynda-Lee Sheridan and the 350th Anniversary Committee plan a busy year.
Lynda-Lee Sheridan is the chair of the Milton 350th Anniversary Committee. She spoke with columnist Julie Fay about creating a town-wide, year-long celebration to remember Milton’s past, celebrate the present and look forward to the future.
Tell me about the work of the 350th Anniversary Committee.
We started last year, in January or February. We have monthly meetings, both for the whole committee and the various subcommittees. It’s a fabulous group of volunteers, and our goal is to celebrate all aspects of the town.
Memorabilia was one of the first things to get up and running (as a fundraiser) – we’ve created mugs, t-shirts and a glass roundel, which has the town seal on antique glass. Beth Neville, an artist and committee member, has made pencil drawings of places in the community, which have been made into a commemorative plate. It’s really spectacular. There’s also a calendar (with illustrations) by Milton artists, which is a beautiful work of art. It has some of the town-wide events, too.
The calendar is $10 and is available at the Fruit Center and in the offices of the Milton Public Schools; other memorabilia can be ordered through the Committee’s website at www.milton350thcommittee.org.
What are some of the events planned?
The Big Event Committee is planning the actual anniversary weekend of June 8-10. There will be fireworks on the 8th, by the same company that does the Esplanade fireworks (on the 4th of July in Boston). On Saturday, there’s an amazing parade planned, with so many bands from all over. At the end site – maybe at Kelley Field, but that’s not finalized yet – there will be drum and bugle corps presentations, activities for kids, bouncy houses, etc.
There’s also going to be an all-class Milton High Reunion that weekend, as well as an interdenominational service at First Parish on Sunday. First Parish was not only the first church in town, but was also our first town hall. There will be a concert in the afternoon, with community choirs from local churches, and then a picnic on the town green. That was done for the 300th anniversary back in the 60s, and we’re trying to replicate that.
Do you remember the 300th anniversary?
No. I was three years old (laughs.)
How does the 350th Anniversary Committee make the world a better place?
We have such a rich and welcoming community, and the anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate it. There’s something for everybody. There’s going to be an exhibit of Milton artists at the Library, with an opening reception on January 21, featuring the work of 24 artists. (The reception will also honor the exhibition of photographs by Clifton Fasch, a 20th century Milton photographer who captured the 300th anniversary celebration on film.) There will also be a creative art activity for young children on that day, and music by the Greg Massaro Jazz Duo.
What are some other events?
We have four-course fundraising dinner being held at the Milton Marketplace Cafe on January 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. The chef will be Chris Douglass of Ashmont Grill and Tavolo, and Dan Michaud (of Ruby Wines) is doing the wine pairings. The Fruit Center is sponsoring the dinner, and matching funds raised, too. (Tickets $100 dinner only; $150 dinner with champagne and hors d’oeuvres; contact Michael Dwyer at the Fruit Center for reservations; 617-696-5274.)
On January 29, the Cunningham Foundation is opening Cunningham Park for ice skating and bowling from 2 to 5 p.m. All of these events are free of charge, and most of them are made possible through donations. Later in the year, we plan to have a horse show, to celebrate that aspect of the town. We will also host an agricultural month at the farmers’ market, in collaboration with the Wakefield Estate.
You must be selling a lot of calendars to fund all these events.
We’ve received many donations, and the Copeland Foundation made a $150,000 donation for the celebration. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about the support they’ve given to the community continually over time. Now we can do things we never dreamed possible. Their generosity is amazing.
Why are you involved on the Committee?
I came on board as the school committee representative (Sheridan was first elected to the school committee in 2006.) I was really excited to join, because I grew up here. I’m a lifer! It’s not just where I live; it’s my community. It’s the people and the opportunities to learn and grow and experience new things together.
Anything else people should know?
We need volunteers! There’s a signup link on our website. We need people to get involved.
Follow the Milton 350th Anniversary Committee on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Milton350thAnniversary
Visit the Committee website: