In Bay State history 1713 was a big year. The Old State House was built and the Treaty of Portsmouth was signed, ending long-burning hostilities between the Eastern Abenakis and the British province of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire.
What most history books may omit, however, is the establishment of two farming villages, Lexington and Weston, which celebrate their tercentennials this year and are gearing up for big celebrations.
Lexington’s LexCelebrate!, a two-day festival modeled after First Night, is set for March 16-17. Volunteers have worked for the past year to make the event successful, in part because, as co-chair Jessie Steigerwald said, “Everyone coming wants to figure out the pulse of the community and tap into that.”
The theme of LexCelebrate! is one of roots and branches: uncovering the past (the roots of the community), while showcasing the present (the branches). “If you walk up and down the streets downtown, it’s lovely and charming, but you don’t actually get to see what the community is like,” Steigerwald said. “If people decided they actually want to see what Lexington is like, coming to this event will allow them to get a sense of what the community is like because all the different branches are happening there.”
Events, which are free and will take place at the high school, include everything from local author panels to family-friendly sports and old-fashioned games in the field house.
Also present will be the Mass. Memories Road Show, described by branch coordinator Polly Kienle as “oral history speed dating.” Anyone with a connection to Lexington can bring in a photo, which will be scanned and added to the database. A technology panel, multicultural dance, and a food court round out the offerings.
Lexington’s annual Patriots Day celebrations, April 14-15, promise to be bigger than ever. The parade will be held on Sunday this year and will include the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, while celebrations will take place as usual at dawn on Patriots Day.
The closing weekend of the celebration, May 25-26, includes an old-time baseball game and clinic, a clock dedication on Depot Square, a discovery day, and a concert. For more information, visit www.lexington300.org.
Weston, which was part of Watertown until it was incorporated in 1713, has spread its Weston 300 Celebration across the entire year. “Our hopes are that Weston 300 will bring the community together to celebrate its culture, diversity, and its remarkable history, spanning from what was a rural farmland to a culturally diverse and prized lifestyle suburban community,” said Dusty Rhodes, committee chairman.
Offerings include special Weston Historical Society exhibits, a Campion Center open house and concert in May, a Tour de Weston bike race, a Weston 300 Memory Road Show in September, and a Monster-Dash road race in October.
But June 1 is the grand celebration, when the high school will host a field day. Geared for families, entertainment will include face painting, clowns, a petting zoo, and a Weston 300 Olympics featuring a 5K road race. The evening will finish with a concert and fireworks.
A Founders Day Fall Festival Oct. 5 will feature a parade called “From Farm Town to Suburb,” which will chronicle the town’s history, followed by hayrides, an apple pie bake-off, pumpkin carving, and scarecrow making. For more information, visit www.weston.govoffice.com.
Caitlin Hurley can be reached at cait