WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

LEVERETT — An 8-foot tall metal and wood birthday cake travels from party to party, town to town, as municipalities celebrate an anniversary. That cake now sits in Leverett. The long wait is over. Leverett’s 250th birthday party begins March 2 with maple syrup and pancakes.

The fundraiser for the Fire Department will be followed on Tuesday, March 5, by the launch of a pictorial postmark commemorating the town’s birthday, with stampings done from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the post office. Stampings will also be made from noon to 1 p.m. daily until Saturday, March 9 when the post office will postmark uncanceled stamps from 10-11 a.m.

March 5 is the town’s official birthday, but Saturday is the big day for events. Beginning at 1 p.m., the Town Hall will host music by Craig Hollingsworth and Cynthia Thomas, a presentation on Leverett history by Dave Palmer, a scavenger hunt, games and crafts. On the Lam, a popular local band, will play at 3 p.m.

Across the street from Town Hall, at the Congregational Church, the Leverett Community Chorus and Congregational Church Choir will perform at 2 p.m. Artifacts from the town’s history will be on display at the Field Museum, with pieces from the collection also displayed in the Barnes Gallery of Leverett Crafts and Arts.

The town center area will fill up with residents and children at play — but the stars of the show are the members of the celebration committee that organized the events. Hoffer, designer of the commemorative postmark and a retired graphic artist, found the committee did all the set up and organizational work for her piece of the celebration.

“It’s clear to me from the way I was supported in the little piece that I did, this group that set up all these events, all these social activities, all these decorations, all these signs, the big birthday cake, they’ve really put a lot of time and energy into it,” Hoffer said. “I really do hope lots of townspeople will participate.”

Hoffer wasn’t aware of the effort necessary to secure permissions from the U.S. Postal Service. The postmark was an outgrowth of the logo she composed for the current celebration, which was based on the logo for the 1974 celebration of the town’s bicentennial. The logo from 50 years ago featured a tree and the new logo retains the motif.

The town also continued a musical tradition, the theme song, from the bicentennial. Maureen Ippolito, chairperson of the 250th Anniversary Committee, said that Leverett resident Stephen Dydo is adding verses to the song, “Oh, Leverett,” which was written by Dorothy Stockwell for the 1974 celebration.

“Right now, we’ve planned through July,” Ippolito said. “There’s a car show in May. There’s a couple talks in April. The really big event is the parade and the barbeque July 6. There might be some kind of dance or musical event in the fall, but that’s a work in progress.”

Ippolito said the anniversary committee has been meeting for three years to plan the events. The committee has about 20 people who met once a month, with more meetings for members of subcommittees. All those meetings and planning sessions were to ensure a smooth and problem free celebration.

One problem the committee may not solve? The location of the time capsule.

“This has been the big joke. Where is the 1974 time capsule?” Ippolito said. “That’s the question nobody can get the answer to. The school made one, but we don’t know if we’re supposed to find it and open it in 2024. We know nothing about it … It’s been the running joke. Where’s the time capsule?”

Ippolito said state Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) will say a few words at the Saturday event at the post office. The commemorative postmark can be stamped on any piece of paper with an uncanceled first class stamp. Past residents who now live elsewhere may mail a stamped paper to the post office, with a self addressed and stamped envelope, and the post office will send them the keepsake.

A schedule of events can be found on Facebook on the page for the committee, Leverett250thanniversary. Questions can also be sent to celebrateLeverett250@gmail.com.

dpruyne@thereminder.com | + posts