New Haven to fete 250th

NEW HAVEN — Put on your best dancing shoes, save room for the pie-eating contest and get ready to learn some history at New Haven’s 250th birthday bash on Saturday July 16, 2011. Join friends, family, community members and local legislators on New Haven’s town green for a wide range of activities at this year’s town fair from 2 p.m. until the fire department barbecue at 5 p.m.
The festivities will kick off with the reading of the New Haven Town Proclamation by Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven.
“The proclamation is a House Concurrent Resolution commemorating the 250th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of New Haven,” said Smith. “Working with the town, we came up with a statement from the Vermont Legislature to recognize the town of New Haven, when it was formed, how it was formed and major activities that took place over the past 250 years.”
The resolution puts the town’s history into perspective and files it in the state’s archives for future reference.
After the proclamation, Middlebury’s Irish-American folk band O’hAnleigh will jump on the bandstand and strum until 3:30 p.m. All the while there will be a book sale, flea market, farmers’ market, various historical tours and other activities for people of all ages.
Wagon rides highlighting circa 1880 homes around the village center and on North Street will be available and so too will tours of Ralph Farnsworth’s Museum on North Street.
What’s in the museum?
“A complete collection of antique farm equipment, collectible machinery, really cool signs, pins and all kinds of other stuff,” said town events coordinator Suzy Roorda.
At 3 p.m., two- to eight-year-olds will be able to whack a piñata and at 3:30 p.m. the pie contest will be held. Broken into three classes — children, teen and adult — competitors must register by 3 p.m. the day of at either the fair or by calling 453-3654.
Just as contestants start wolfing down pies, the Ridge Runners Brass Band will begin belting out tunes from the bandstand, where they will play until 5 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m. begins the Dog Team Sticky Bun Contest. The original Dog Team cook Dale Fleming, who made the tavern’s famous sticky buns, will judge the contest as Addison County’s top bakers show off their best buns. Interested contestants should call 453-3654 and anyone looking to set up a vending booth at the event should call 453-5978.
If it rains, no problem — with funds raised from the New Haven Community Art Show on April 30, the town will have a massive tent set up. The tent was provided to the town as an anniversary present, said Roorda.
The festivities on the green will then simmer down as the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department holds a barbecue at their firehouse on Route 17 East, where they will serve Misty Knoll Farms chicken and other barbecued goods until they’re all sold out.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve been incorporated for 250 years,” said Smith. “That’s a pretty nice milestone. (The town fair) is one of the celebrations. The final celebration will be on November 5. There are a number of events associated with the anniversary and I think it’s great because it brings the community together.”
New Haven’s official birthday is Nov. 2, 2011.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected].

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