City announces plans for 375th celebration in '11
Date: 11/9/2010Nov. 8, 2010
By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD -- The city in which the nation's first armory was established, where the first American gasoline-powered automobile was built and tested and where the country's most celebrated children's author was raised will celebrate a milestone all of 2011: its 375th anniversary.
Congressman Richard Neal, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Russell Denver and Spirit of Springfield President Judith Matt made the announcement at a press event on Nov. 4 in City Hall.
Neal noted that he was mayor of Springfield when the city celebrated its 350th anniversary and recalled how one of his fondest memories of the event was "watching Ted Geisel [Dr. Suess] visit his childhood home ... it reminded me of the talent that came from this city."
Neal is the honorary chair of the anniversary
Matt said the official kickoff for the year of celebration would begin on Dec. 21 with activities at Bright Nights at Forest Park. It will be followed by an student art show at Eastfield Mall in March 2011 with work defining the them of "Why I Love Springfield;" a performance on March 18, 2011 of the U.S. Naval Band; and a week-long series of musical events by the Springfield Symphony in May 2011.
The actual observation on the date the community was founded will be on May 12, 2011. A reenactment at the Springfield Armory will be conducted on May 14, 2011, as would a parade, a fireworks display and an ecumenical church service at St. Michael's Cathedral.
There are other events and activities planned including horse-drawn historic tours of the city and the dedication of a monument on the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
A Web site, www.springfield375.org
, will carry information on the anniversary and its activities.