Milton 350th Committee Thanks Community
The group expresses gratitude for the support it received during Milton's anniversary celebration.
Community is defined as “a group living in close proximity that often shares cultural and historical heritage.” The town of Milton’s celebration of 350 years of community was an enormous success that strengthened the ties that bind us together.
Although the events beginning June 8 had been advertised for months, the excitement really started to build when the Department of Public Works painted the 350th logo and red, white and blue lines outlining the parade route earlier in the week. Many folks were spotted taking pictures of the logo and posting to Facebook in anticipation of the big event weekend.
The kickoff on Friday found Milton families spreading out all over the high school campus, enjoying the cookout and band concerts, and finding good viewing spots. Honorary Chair George Hurd, fireworks chair from 1962, entertained the crowd with memories from the last big celebration. There were cookouts in neighborhoods all around Gile Road. The spectacular fireworks set to music were accompanied by some thrilling flashes of lightning that will be remembered as the highlight of the show.
Saturday’s reunion events reunited former Milton High students spanning more than 65 years of graduating classes with a homecoming coffee in the Copeland Field House chaired by Janet Christensen. Former Wildcats and Whiz Kidz were overheard saying “Did you set out your chair for the parade before you came?”
The big parade finally arrived and what a parade it was! Ed and Brian Kelley worked hard behind the scenes to make it all look easy. Parade float participant Ian Cooke of the Neponset River Watershed Association said, “This was the first time anyone can remember of our organization being in a parade and it was a lot of fun! It was a great way to get our members involved in the preparations and it was wonderful to see so many old friends and so much enthusiasm from spectators along the route.” From Mummers to monster trucks, there were so many great participants that it was hard to pick when asked “what was your favorite part?” Whether you were marching in the parade or sitting in a lawn chair watching, the highlights had to be the smiling kids waving, sometimes dancing, blowing bubbles and all around having a blast.
If you weren’t too tired from smiling, hopefully you made it back up to the high school after the parade for a family fun day with old-fashioned games hosted by Fitness Unlimited, singing by Susan Reed and stories by Big Joe. All that exercise, smiling and parading definitely makes people hungry, and a supercharged concession team led by Gary Kelly and Stephanie McFadden grilled hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers all weekend to feed all the hungry stomachs. They were assisted by our own School
Superintendent, Mary Gormley; superstar foodie Jackie Morgan; and dozens of volunteers from the Milton High Boosters, all six PTOs, and FAME.
Saturday’s events ended with a drum and bugle corps concert featuring “bandtastic” performances by six different bands that had performed earlier in the parade. Several hundred spectators at Brooks Field filled the stadium to watch.
To round out the weekend of events, the town turned out again to support a gathering so large there was barely any grass left to park your picnic lunch at the Baron Hugo Gazebo in front of Town Hall. There was musical entertainment, a magic show and hayrides but the showstopper had to be the 200-pound birthday cake baked by the Blue Hills Regional Technical School.
The picnic was followed by a community choir concert at the First Parish Church featuring the Boston Pops Gospel Choir. Singers represented congregations from all over town. All of Sunday’s events were chaired by Emma Jean Moulton. Several pieces commissioned for the concert will serve as a musical legacy of the 350th anniversary.
Community may be what brought us together for an unbelievable birthday celebration. Many volunteers and all town departments worked together to make everything run smoothly. But none of the events would have taken place without the generous private funding of community leaders like the Copeland Family Foundation, Blue Hills Bank, Fruit Center Marketplace, Curry College, Beth Israel Deaconess – Milton, Milton Academy, Fuller Village, Neville Art Enterprises and many other individual donors that gave so generously to fund the activities so far this year.
Planning and executing a year of activities for our town is no small task and we’re not done yet. The committee of Chair Lynda-Lee Sheridan, Janet Christensen, Hyacinth Crichlow, Dorothy Cutler, Pat Desmond, Brian Doherty, Kevin Donahue, Kathy Fagan, Brian Kelley, Mary McLaughlin, Emma Jean Moulton, Beth Neville, Wallace Sisson and Joanne Trifone has many people to thank. We thank all town departments, especially the Milton Police Department, who helped to make this weekend safe and successful. We thank the elected officials who participated in the events. We thank our sponsors and donors who gave us the funds to pay for everything. We thank anyone who served food, created a float, sponsored a band, set up, cleaned up, or even came out to watch. We humbly thank everyone in our community who pitched in so far to make the 350th Anniversary celebration one for the memory books.
Go to milton350th.com for more on upcoming events.
(Jennifer Tegan wrote this message on behalf of the 350th Anniversary Committee.)