3 days to celebrate Middleburgh's 300th


By David Avitabile

The residents of Middleburgh will mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of the town with a three-day celebration starting Friday evening.
The festivities will begin with an antiques and quilt show on Friday morning and end with a memorial service at the lower cemetery on Sunday afternoon.
Along the way, there will be highlights such as a parade, baseball and softball games, concerts and fireworks on Saturday and a church service and picnic on Sunday.
Most of the activities over the three days will be held on the front lawn of the high school or elsewhere on the high school grounds, either in the gym or on the athletic fields.
The highlights Friday include opening ceremonies at 7:30pm on the high school lawn followed by a community band concert and an ice cream social.
A parade, games and fireworks will highlight Saturday’s events.
The parade will run from the old Grand Union parking lot to the elementary school, the opposite of the Fall Festival parade. The parade starts at 11am.
The parade, which will include two marching bands, will be “family oriented,” said Steve LaMont, the co-chairman of the 300th anniversary celebration committee, which began meeting in the fall of 2008.
The parade will include various local businesses, clubs, organizations, fire departments, farms, old cars, churches, politicians, youth organizations and other dignitaries and should be a big draw, said Mr. LaMont and fellow co-chairman Charley Spickerman.
“People just love a parade,” Mr. LaMont said.
Many people are preparing local floats for the parade, Mr. Spickerman said.
“There’s a lot of community enthusiasm and people wanting to participate,” he said.
Like the fall festival parade, Saturday’s parade should bring a lot of people into the village, Mr. Spickerman said.
“There are many people looking forward to it,” he added.
The old time baseball game featuring the Roxbury Nine and another team should be another big draw, Mr. LaMont said.
“Baseball was a big thing around here,” as many areas had town teams, he said. “To see an original type game would be interesting.”
The old time baseball game is scheduled for 1:30pm behind the high school.
The quilt show in the school gym should also attract a lot of people, he added.
There will be lots to do Saturday with other events such as a stamp cancellation, a Middleburgh-Schoharie softball game at the elementary school, several concerts on the band stage in front of the high school, and youth activities by the tennis courts.
“Just some neat stuff going on,” Mr. LaMont said.
Fireworks, one of the highlights of past celebrations, will be behind the high school at about 9pm.
The community picnic following the ecumenical church service on Sunday is being eagerly anticipated, Mr. Spickerman said.
The picnic which will be held on the high school lawn, is being organized by the Alumni Association.
“The word seems to be out there on that,” Mr. Spickerman said.
The picnic should attract current and past residents, he said.
It is important to commemorate the first founding of Middleburgh, said Mr. Spickerman, who is the town historian.
“It shows continuity to the last 300 years, the present and past” he said, back to the first settlement.
“It’s a kind of continuation of what’s happened over the last 100 years with celebrations every 25 years.”
He said that in 1912, the celebration was seven days and called “Old Home Week.”
The celebrations have not been as long since but usually last three to four days.
“The community changes over time,” he said.