With Lexington’s 300th anniversary nearing, the town’s celebration is about to kick into high gear.
An entire weekend of events called “LexCelebrate” will be held Saturday and Sunday , including a community dance, author talks, a mock Town Meeting, and a visit by the Mass. Memories Road Show.
The main event will be “Dance Around the World,” a free gathering at Lexington High School Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. that will celebrate different cultural backgrounds.
“It’s a chance to bring lots of different groups together as one, so I think it is emblematic of what the whole weekend is about,” said Jesse Steigerwald, who cochairs the 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee’s events team.
The celebration will be a couple of weeks ahead of Lexington’s true tercentennial. Lexington was incorporated as a town on March 31, 1713, but this year Easter falls on March 31 and planners didn’t want to schedule too many conflicting celebrations.
Lexington will mark the tercentennial anniversary on March 31 shortly after 5 p.m. by ringing bells throughout the town for five minutes. The Old Belfry bell tower will lead the ringing and will be joined by religious organizations and residents ringing bells.
This weekend’s celebration kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Lexington High School with a proclamation in honor of the town’s anniversary. Then the Mass. Memories Road Show will open at 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. in the high school commons.
Steigerwald said the road show is similar to the popular television program “Antiques Roadshow” except residents bring their most treasured pictures instead of antiques. The photos are scanned in and recorded as part of town and state history. The traveling road show is organized by the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Other events will be held at various locations Saturday, including local author talks at the high school, a mock Town Meeting that will be held by local eighth-grade students in the Cary Memorial Building, and recreation events including Ping-Pong and a demonstration by the “Yo-Yo Performers” in the Lexington High School field house.
A crowd of 800 to 900 people is expected to attend the free dance at the school Saturday night, and preparations have been underway for a couple of years, said dance organizer Geetha Padaki.
A performance will kick off the event with traditional Indian, Chinese, Scottish, Israeli, Latino and Greek dances, followed by a “fusion dance” with all of the performers, Padaki said.
On Sunday, the events will start with a panel discussion, “Farming Then and Now,” which will discuss agriculture in Lexington and elsewhere. The discussion, organized by the Lexington Community Farm Coalition, will begin at 1 p.m. in the high school’s auditorium. The panel will include Donald Wilson, co-owner of Wilson Farm in Lexington, and August “Gus” Schumacher Jr., a former state commissioner of food and agriculture and a former undersecretary for the US Department of Agriculture.
At 3:30 p.m., a discussion about women in Lexington’s civic life will be held in the science lecture hall.
A full list of the events can be found online at www.lexington300.org.