The Mountain Times

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“Ludlow Celebrates 250th Birthday”

This is a big weekend in Ludlow.

It was exactly 250 years ago that Benning Wentworth, the Royal Governor of New Hampshire, approved the charter that created the Town of Ludlow.  The precise date was September 16, 1761.

In keeping with the historic significance of this semiquincentennial celebration, the Ludlow 250 Committee has organized a two day program to honor and celebrate this momentous occasion.  Starting on Friday, September 16 at 6 PM at the Gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park, George Thomson, honorary emcee for the events, will introduce a large number of honored guests who will describe some of the historical events in Ludlow's history.  There will even be a very large birthday card, assembled by the folks at Okemo, in which everyone can sign their names and thoughts.  To ensure that the mode is festive and merry, music will be provide both before and following the formal activities of that evening by the "Sugar River Band".  In the event of rain, the festivities will be held in the town hall auditorium.

On the following day, Saturday, September 17 at 11 AM, there will be a parade down Main Street to the Gazebo.  The parade will feature the Black River High School Band, the Ludlow Police and Fire Departments, a special section for area youngsters who have decorated their bikes for the occasion, cyclist (on those huge one wheel jobs), floats from various area organizations, and, as a special treat, the Set Warner Mt. Independence Fife & Drum Corp.

Following the parade, Ludlow will experience a birthday cake the size of which has probably never been seen before.  Irene Maston of the Andrie Rose Inn, winner of many national cake-making awards, will prepare a three tiered cake, topped, we understand, with a replica of the gazebo that will be large enough to feed over three hundred people.  While eating the cake, the Seth Warner fife & drum corp will entertain.

At 1 PM, courtesy of the Vermont Humanities Council, Linda Radtke will provide a concert on "Vermont History through Song".

All of the Ludlow 250 activities will end with the annual Ludlow area Rotary Club's Duck Race at 2 PM.

On both evenings, at 6 and 8 PM, the annual Josh Cole Memorial Soccer Tournament will take place at Dorsey Park.

All of the above is a not-so-gentle reminder to TS Irene that Ludlow is tough enough to endure its deluge and still find time to remember and honor its history and heritage.

As for the recovery efforts from the punishment bestowed by Irene, the Ludlow area is demonstrating its will to recover and return to business as usual.

The major businesses in the Shaw mall have reopened.  Shaws, itself, is now operating out of a 3000 square foot tent.  Peoples United Bank has installed a fully operational trailer facility to continue serving the bank needs of Ludlow, and Rite Aid had reopened its prescription services.  Elsewhere, downtown Ludlow is seeing a gradual return to business as those stores impacted by Irene's waters clear away the mud and debris.

The major roads in Ludlow plus those servicing Mt Holly, Plymouth, and Cavendish from Ludlow have been reopened.  Plymouth is still returning some of its key roads to use.  Cavendish's Rte 131 to Weathersfield is still closed due to the horrendous gap in the road from the flood.   Other roads that suffered damage are being repaired as resources and manpower permit.

To help with this, Black River Good Neighbors has raised a sizable amount of recovery funds through donations from all across the country.  Okemo has conducted a concert that raised $10,000 for this fund, Rite Aid has donated a large supply of cleaning materials, and some monies have come from an unexpected source:  lemonade stands in Colorado and North Carolina.

All in all, people in the area are coming to grips with the results of Irene and are showing resiliency in overcoming the problems created by the flooding.

In other news, the Ludlow Democratic Party will hold its caucus to elect officers and determine strategies in the coming year on Tuesday, September 20 at 7 PM in Ludlow town Hall.

Even though it's not scheduled until November 4, the Hart Players have been rehearsing their comedy skits written by Stan and Jane Hart.  This past Sunday the cast gathered at the auditorium in Ludlow to run through their first takes on the skits.  Called "Old Enough to Know Better", the skits will be presented by FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium).

FOLA is also preparing for its October 20 healthcare forum which will be moderated by Stewart Ledbetter, senior political commentator for WPTZ/WNNE.  The forum will feature a panel of statewide representatives who reflect the differing views of the recent legislation passed in Montpelier.  The forum is free and open to the public.  For information, call 228-7239.

Black River Good Neighbors is preparing for its fall rummage sale at Fletcher Farm.  The sale will take place from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25.

(If you have any information that you would like to see in this column, simply email the information to ralphpace@tds.net .)

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