The Berkshire Eagle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
LENOX — The biggest, best parade since the 1967 bicentennial commemoration of the town’s founding.
That was the clear signal during a recent sneak preview for the Select Board of the celebration, “Lenox Through the Years.” The event is the highlight of the 250th anniversary year marking the first Proprietors Meeting that established the community from what had been the village of Yokuntown, named by the earliest settlers after a local Indian chief.
So far, the 250th Anniversary Committee chaired by Olga Weiss and a team of co-organizers has set up nearly 40 events, leading up to the parade on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m. Rain date is Oct. 8.
Five marching bands, at least six floats, 10 horse-drawn carriages, the Worcester Mounted Police, a color guard and 11 antique fire trucks will lead the parade.
“A gaggle of politicians will be walking,” Weiss told the selectmen, “plus children marching with parents and six convertible cars carrying honorary grand marshals.” Members of 4-H clubs will be clearing the parade route after the horses pass through.
The parade, marching from Triangle Park on Main Street, will end at Shakespeare and Co., 70 Kemble St., where two bands will perform before and after a series of speakers “who will only have a maximum of five minutes to say anything,” Weiss pointed out.
Other attractions there include acrobats, pipers, three food vendors, 10 antique cars, games for children, professional stilt-walkers and jugglers.
“I think it’s going to be a really wonderful day,” said Weiss.
The parade’s grand marshal will be state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli while his father, John J. Pignatelli, 93, a former selectman for 32 years and Berkshire County Commissioner for 20 years, will be an honorary marshal.
Lenox Dale native Thomas Bosworth also has been named an honorary marshal. Bosworth served as physical ed teacher in the Lenox schools for 30 years, followed by a 14-year stint as director of the town’s Community Center, where he lived with his family for 14 years.
Other honorary marshals include Hugh C. Cowhig, the Town Counsel from 1972-2004 and Town Moderator from 2005-2015; George “Gige” Darey, long-time resident, 35-year chairman of the state Fish and Wildlife Board, and a former Select Board member; Susan McNinch, a former Select Board member whose parents George and Ruth Bisacca opened Eastover Resort in 1947 and Joe Nolan, lifelong resident, former selectman and a former senior manager of the U.S. Postal Service.
Many downtown streets will be closed during the festivities, including Main Street from the Town Garage to the Monument; the downtown stretch of Walker Street, Kemble Street to Shakespeare & Company’s main entrance; Cliffwood Street from Yokun Avenue to Main Street; Greenwood Street; St. Ann Avenue; Housatonic Street from Main to Church Street and Franklin Street.
Chairman of the Parade Committee is Charles Flint; other members include Selectman Dave Roche, Fire Chief Dan Clifford, John McNinch, owner of the Olde Heritage Tavern, Police Chief Steve O’Brien and Lee-Lenox Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Ketchen.
Applications for parade participants can be downloaded from www.lenox250th.org/Application.pdf. The deadline for entries is Sept. 23.
Three anniversary-related events are slated this month:
— “Walk the Sites of Lenox Town Estates,” led by “Lenox at 250” author Lucy Kennedy on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., a stroll on Clifford St. and Yokun Ave. to tour Groton Place, Ethelwynde, Stoneover, Belvoir Terrace and others. The free tour, meeting at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, 45 West St., is limited to the first 20 people.
— “Discovering Historic Kennedy Park,” led by Lenox Historical Society member Jan Chague on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m., meeting at the West Dugway Road parking lot off Route 7 & 20. Participants in the free Housatonic Heritage Walk are asked to bring water and snacks for the five-mile hike lasting about three hours.
— “Church on the Hill Cemetery Walk,” Saturday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m., also led by Lucy Kennedy and limited to the first 20 people. The walk includes a discussion of “the evolution of attitudes toward death as well as some of the famous and not-so famous people who remain permanently in Lenox,” Kennedy stated.
The anniversary year celebrations will close with a Jamboree at the Lenox Community Center on Nov. 5, an Interfaith Gathering on Nov. 12 and a Christmas concert by the Cantilena Choir at Trinity Episcopal Church on Dec. 3, including the premiere of a Lenox Suite by composer Moshe S. Knoll, dedicated to the town.
More information: www.lenox250th.org, www.lenoxhistory.org.
Contact correspondent Clarence Fanto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-637-2551.