2015-06-26 / Front Page

Shine a light

Cape 250th includes historic lighthouse event
By Duke Harrington
Staff Writer

Cape Elizabeth’s historic Portland Head Light cuts a swatch through early morning clouds in this June 22 photo snapped by South Portland resident Russ Lunt. (Courtesy photo) Cape Elizabeth’s historic Portland Head Light cuts a swatch through early morning clouds in this June 22 photo snapped by South Portland resident Russ Lunt. (Courtesy photo) CAPE ELIZABETH — Tickets are still available for “A Night at the Light,” a special gala concert featuring the return of the Portland Symphony Orchestra to Fort Williams Park to honor the 250th anniversary of Cape Elizabeth.

The outdoor concert, timed to coincide with the annual Beach to Beacon 10K road race, is the capstone to the town’s yearlong sestercentennial celebration, leading up to the official anniversary of the town’s incorporation Nov. 1.

According to Barbara Powers, chairman of the town’s 250th Anniversary Committee, “There has been very robust involvement from our business community,” in supporting the event through sponsorships ranging from $500 to $1,500.

“That has really put us over the top,” she said, noting that those donations, along with sponsorship from TD Bank and the sale of special $250 VIP tickets, has netted the committee more than half of the $140,000 needed to stage the event. From those proceeds, $20,000 will support the new children’s garden project, part of the Fort Williams arboretum of 15 garden plots planned for the park, for which volunteers began construction in 2011.

A town appropriation of $15,000 allowed the committee to offer many anniversary activities for free. Those events have included the premiere at town hall of “Cape Elizabeth: Time’s Flowing Tide,” a short documentary on the history of the town produced by residents Peter and Thomas Campbell. More than 150 people attended that event at four screenings May 1. The video is now available on YouTube.

The following two weeks saw about 70 residents take advantage of bus tours to historic Cape Elizabeth sites led by members of the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society, while the town’s annual Memorial Day parade featured “legacy families” with more than 100 years of residency in the town.

The town’s annual Family Fun Day June 13 also featured an anniversary theme, featuring old-fashioned crafts and games, as well as birthday cake made by incoming kindergarten students, the future high school graduating class of 2027.

June 20 saw an ice cream social on the docket at Turkey Hill Farm, while this weekend, the Strawberry Festival staged annually by the Cape Farm Alliance also will take on an anniversary theme.

Upcoming events include the annual Paint for Preservation fundraiser for the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust. This year, that show, which features local artists fanning out across town to paint scenes sold to benefit the land trust, will include an auction for a painting of the Spurwink River, site of the town’s first settlement. Created by Holly Ready, that painting is already finished and hanging on display in the CELT offices at 330 Ocean House Road. Silent bids may be made ahead of the July 12 auction date. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the “Night at the Light” concert.

That 90-minute concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, on the green near Portland Head Light. In addition to what remains of 3,000 general admission tickets for the show — more than half have already been sold and Powers is confident the event will be a sell-out — there are still a limited number of tickets available to become a member of the “250 Circle.” Those ticket holders will enjoy VIP parking and a “soiree” on Battery Knoll before the concert, to include hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Members of the 250 Circle also will be given a boxed dinner to enjoy during the concert along with a reserved seat at the front of the green near the stage.

Anniversary events to come after the concert include:

 Saturday, Aug. 15 — a nosegay party at Norm Jordan’s

farm, located at the corner of Ocean House and Fowler Roads, will allow participants to pick small bouquets from the garden and learn about the meanings of the selected flowers dating back to medieval times and the creation of nosegay traditions.

 Monday, Sept. 28 — A prix-fixe meal for 70 (reservations required) at The Good Table restaurant, featuring produce from various Cape Elizabeth farms.

 Sunday, Oct. 4 — A pancake breakfast staged by the Lions Club at the Bowery Beach Schoolhouse. Also on this day, the anniversary committee will team with CELT and the historical society to provide tours of historic and geological sites around town.

 Sunday, Nov. 1 — On the actual date of Cape Elizabeth’s incorporation in 1765 the Inn by the Sea will host a ticketed cocktail party.

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