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Salisbury to mark 250th with scavenger hunt, parade

SALISBURY — Salisbury residents will have several opportunities to mark their town’s 250th birthday this summer, through such activities as an essay writing contest, a historical scavenger hunt and a parade.
The festivities kick off this Wednesday when he Salisbury Conservation Commission “An Historical Perspective on Land Use and Wildlife in Salisbury” at the Salisbury Community School at 7 p.m.
Using historic photographs of Salisbury from UVM’s Landscape Change Program, Jens Hilke, conservation biologist with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, will discuss how the landscapes of Salisbury, Vermont and New England have experienced change over the past 250 years, with resulting changes in wildlife habitats.
The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
Organizers of Salisbury’s 250th celebrations, including Mary Anne Sullivan, hope to set the stage for even more summer activities with a “Write On!” essay contest designed for youths and adults. Residents can enter in one of four categories — grades 4, 5 and 6; grades 7 and 8; grades 9-12; and adults.
Entrants are being asked to write up to 500 words on one of the following themes: A person or event of Salisbury historical significance, the natural world of Salisbury, or Salisbury family history. The judges will include David Moats, Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer for the Rutland Herald; former journalist and researcher Barbara Andres; and Sullivan, who taught writing, literature and film at the University of Albany.
Essay entries are due by June 15 and may submitted at the Salisbury Library or the town offices, given to a Salisbury teacher, or mailed to the Salisbury 250 Committee, P.O. Box 33, Salisbury, VT 05769.
All entrants will receive an official “250 Write On” certificate suitable for framing. First prize in each student category is $50 plus a $25 bookstore gift certificate. The second-place award is $25 plus a $25 bookstore gift certificate, and third place gets a $25 bookstore gift certificate. The adult first-place winner will receive a framed historical map of Salisbury and a book of Salisbury history.
Also ongoing is a “Super Raffle” that will include a $1,000 first prize and other cash awards. Some of the proceeds will be used to pay for Salisbury’s 250 celebration. Super raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each at Devoids’ Maple Meadow egg farm, the landfill on Saturday morning, the town office or through the mail at P.O. Box 33, Salisbury, VT 05769
The drawing will be July 31, and ticket holders need not be present to win.
While the town of Salisbury did not raise extra money to mark the 250th anniversary of the granting of its charter, Sullivan is optimistic that the raffle, the sale of commemorative T-shirts and other fund-raisers will cover the costs. Many donated their redeemable bottles and cans to the cause and one selectboard member donated her entire yearly stipend of $600 to the effort.
“We have received donations from past and present residents and from local businesses,” Sullivan said. “We have had a great response.”
The T-shirts were designed by resident Anna Hardt and are being sold at such locations as Kampersville and the town offices. The shirts bear the number “250” in a circle on the front and a line drawing of Salisbury Village on the back, according to Sullivan.
Also ongoing has been a “Story Corps” project through which residents Glenn Andres and Heidi Willis have been recording stories and recollections from some of the town’s most senior citizens. Those recordings will be kept for the town archives and sold, in CD form, during Salisbury’s “official 250” weekend, July 30-31.
Prior to that big weekend, however, Salisbury residents will be able to attend “Salisbury Revealed” on Saturday, July 16. On that day, Maple Meadow Farm, the state fish hatchery, town hall, Shard Villa, some local churches and cemeteries and other local places of interest will be on display for visitors to see. The first 50 visitors to each open house will receive a free “250” souvenir.
Also that day, there will also be a blacksmith demonstration at the old blacksmith shop next to the Salisbury village post office.
“Salisbury Revealed” will also feature a “Town-Wide Historical Scavenger Hunt.” Sullivan said teams will be given passports into which they will assemble various clues that will send them to local historical sites. Teams that gather the most clues will be placed into a drawing for a yet-to-be-determined prize, according to Sullivan.
All of these activities lead up to the signature “Meadows, Mountains and Memories” official Salisbury 250 weekend of July 30-31.
July 30 events will include a parade, oodles of picnic-style food and a contra dance night at the Salisbury Community School. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Memorial Park and proceed down Maple Street, through the village. The dance is scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Capping the evening will be a specially made “Salisbury 250” birthday cake and ice cream. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 30 there will also be historical exhibits, recreation opportunities and arts/crafts demonstrations and sales in the village. A brewing demonstration is also planned.
On July 31, residents can attend an old-fashioned church service and sermon at the Salisbury Congregational Church in the village. Residents are then invited to Branbury State Park (free admission for locals) to watch a boat parade at 3 p.m. on Lake Dunmore, followed by a townwide picnic at 4 p.m.
People seeking more news about “Salisbury 250” should check the pages of the Addison Independent and log on to townofsalisbury.org. There will also be information postings at the landfill, town office, post office, Kampersville, Waterhouses and in the Salamander newsletter.
“We are trying to make this a relaxing, exciting, and educational experience for all, especially Salisbury residents,” Sullivan said. “I am a seventh-generation Salisbury resident, so this milestone is particularly meaningful to our family, but we hope those who have only been here for seven months will enjoy the festivities just as much.”
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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