From the Amherst Bulletin:
An anniversary 250 years in the making: Amherst celebrates founding with huge paradeThe weather was almost a more prominent feature of most coverage and chatter than was the parade itself, especially because the preceding day had been unusually beautiful and sunny. Still, the parade held the attention of viewers and reporters. HIghlights in some accounts: Parade marshals the venerable Steve Puffer (noted repository of North Amherst historical memory) and Stan Ziomek (longtime town official and patron saint of baseball and other youth sports) tossing Tootsie Rolls to the crowds (someday, anthropologists and historians will analyze each of these choices and actions in microscopic detail, you know), the ever-popular UMass Marching Band, members of South Church belting out the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," the "Zamboni" (or was it? at the University of Wisconsin—another land grant university, historically related to UMass, and with a far better hockey team—there was never any doubt that we had a real, certified Zamboni, and not a knockoff) from the UMass rink, and the re-enactors of the 9th Masschusetts Artillery firing off a few rounds with real black powder.
By BOB FLAHERTY
Published on October 02, 2009
Rain or shine, came the words of organizers at 9 a.m. Sunday. The shine part never showed. But the Amherst populace did, throngs of 'em. The rain was coming down pretty steadily at 10, 11, 12, and was still going at 1:17 p.m. when Amherst's 250th Anniversary Parade stepped off from Amherst College. The parade didn't finish up until after 3 at the University of Massachusetts. (read the rest)
• Best slogan (fine points of grammar or usage aside): Valley Light Opera
"'Fifty percent less calories than those other operas!' cried a member of Valley Light Opera, whose collegues were in dress rehearsal for 'The Mikado'."• Irony of the day: the invitation to and fascination with the Budweiser Clydesdales—this, in a town that prides itself on its defiantly anti-corporate attitude. Additional irony: The mighty equines could not "march" in the end because the rain would have damaged their elaborate gear, and so, they passed by in their trailer. Sort of like the difference between a Budweiser and a real beer, too. Speaking of real beer, Amherst Brewing Company not only stepped up and became a major sponsor of the 250th, but also produced a special brew for the occasion. There's a big whopping metaphor for something lurking in all these ironies.
As a capstone on the year's celebration, the parade was a perfect moment in time to reflect on how far the town has come since its colonial period: where schools were once an afterthought, two colleges, a public university and a widely respected public school system now stand; where Native Americans were once persecuted, an accepting and diverse community thrives; and where a colonial territory once defaulted to an overseas king, one of the most democratic forms of government - Amherst's representative Town Meeting - holds sway.
So much has happened in the last 250 years, in the town, the nation and the world. One thing that has remained consistent is the care Amherst residents show for one another, as well as their sense of stewardship of the planet and the community they call home. (read the rest)