Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Essex Happenings November 22. 2011

ESSEX HAPPENINGS….November 21, 2011

TRAILS & SAILS 10th Anniversary People's Choice & Passport Prize

Winners Announced...
THANK YOU to all event hosts, participants, volunteers and sponsors for making the 10th anniversary of TRAILS & SAILS: Two Weekend of Walks & Water such a success!

TRAILS & SAILS 2011: "People's Choice Awards"
Essex Heritage is grateful to the hundreds of organizations, event leaders and businesses that opened their doors and created experiences that continue to thrill and delight residents and visitors alike. Every year, Essex Heritage presents a "People's Choice Award" to TRAILS & SAILS event hosts based on participant feedback. Of the 190+ TRAILS & SAILS events offered this year, participants voted for the top ten events of 2011. See all ten events here!

Passport Prize Winners!
Essex Heritage is also grateful to the many organizations and individuals that generously contributed gifts for the TRAILS & SAILS 10th anniversary passport prizes. Many of you celebrated with us by using the Passport to TRAILS & SAILS, collecting stamps as you attended 10 or more events. Essex Heritage is pleased to announce the winners of the anniversary raffle. Drum roll please...

Danvers Names New Library Director

There has always has been a long-term continuity factor in the Town of Danvers that is important to the towns success. That structure keeps good hard-working people in place and contributes in the success of the management team in that community. After a long and successful twenty-one year career as the Director of the Peabody, Institute Library, Douglas Rendell retired late last month. Essex Heritage placed an exhibit in the Danvers Library, that promoted the mission of Essex Heritage for a couple years and they were most cooperative as together we helped promote the work of the Commission in the region. Doug has been replaced by Alan Thibeault who brings a long history of experience to his new position that includes a decade of public service as a Captain in the U. S. Army. We wish Alan good luck as he takes on this new position and at the same time, we wish Doug all the best in his retirement.

Danvers FIN COM Meeting

Earlier this week, I attended my first Danvers Finance Committee in over one year. It was nice to be back at a local meeting where I can participate in helping to oversee the financial activities of a community that pays particular attention to efficient management programs. The first meeting back was not heavy in detail and it was short in duration as two service programs on after school programs and fire prevention were addressed. It was a great way to “work” my way back into that structure after being away for a lengthy period.

Salem Courthouse to Open on 11/21

A week or so ago, I was invited to attend a preview showing of the soon to be opened Michael J. Ruane Court facility in Salem, but was not able to clear my schedule to attend. I have heard, the complex on Federal Street in Salem is all that the Salem community has been anticipating for several decades. The facility that was named in honor of the long term former state legislator who championed the completion of this facility for many years will long stand as a tribute to Mike’s strong commitment to the City of Salem. The facility will add much needed updated and much needed court rooms to an older facility that was greatly in need of an upgrade. The new facilities will open for legal activities in late November 2011, and will be welcomed by the community and the region.

Gala to Open Methuen Festival of Trees

One of the most popular holiday events offered in this region is the annual Festival of Trees that will be held again this year for the eighteenth consecutive year in the City of Methuen. The event starts on November 19th and concludes with the annual auction of the 225 trees that will be on December 4, 2011. This event and the funds raised at the Festival has always been an important initiative in the Merrimack Valley and has been embraced by Essex Heritage as the funds raised provides grants to preserve and restore historic properties throughout the Merrimack Valley. In the many years that this wonderful event has been held, thousands of grants have been awarded and dozens of important historic properties have been preserved and protected. This year for the third time, the festival will begin with the Taste of the Festival, where offerings from over two-dozen area restaurants can be sampled. The event will be hosted by Mike and Dan Andaman of the TV Show, the Phantom Gourmet on November 18, 2011 from 6 until 10 that evening. That event and the auction will be held at 13 Branch Street in Methuen, MA. In addition to the food, the 225 trees will also be previewed. To obtain more information on the gala or the auction and the beneficiaries of the festival visit www.methuenestimvaloftrees.com.

Mass Bay Tercentenary Signs

A couple of postings ago in this BLOG, I included information about a sign program that was created on the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Mass Bay colony. The posting at that time included background information on the program and indicated that many of the original signs have disappeared or have been taken down for one reason or another. I have continued to complete research on this issue, and the have tried to gather enough facts that at some time, I might be able to make a recommendation on how Essex Heritage might play a role in some future adaptation of the program. The signs were created and erected 80 years ago to help celebrate the first 300 years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At the time of the creation of this program, 83 of these signs were erected in Essex County. There were signs in twenty-three the thirty-four communities in this region but over time, forty-three of the signs are no longer in place. It would certainly be nice to find a way to get these signs updated and have the missing signs replaced where appropriate. My research has brought me into contact with several people both connected with Essex Heritage and other associated organizations. Bill Steelman and Annie Harris from ENHC have both provided valuable insight on this issue, as has Richard Trask the Town Archivist from the Town of Danvers. Dick indicated that even if funding were available a couple of the signs should not be replaced as the asset that the sign identified is no longer in place. All of these resources have been helpful and when the rest of the information, I have sought comes in, we will try to gather all of the material into a cohesive recommendation. We have also contacted a Massachusetts State Legislator from Palmer MA, who has filled legislation for state funding to help support this program. That information has recently been received and Representative Todd Smola has filed Massachusetts house bill NO. 00950 to try to identify funding to help support repairs or replacements for the signs. When all of the information has been gathered we will convey that material and information about Representative Smola’s bill to the Essex County delegation to make them aware of that effort. As mentioned earlier this program was put in place to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Bay Colony, and the 400th anniversary of the founding will be coming up just 19 years from now in 2030.

Holiday Events in December 2011

I want to today to offer a very brief preview of three events that are planned for Danvers in the very early days of December 2011. As we get closer to the dates of these three holiday events, I expect to devote more space in this presentation to provide the details connected with the events, but for now, I want to offer brief previews. The first event that will be held is the:

Danvers Garden Club Greens Sale

On December 4, 2011, the Danvers Garden Club will conduct its annual greens sale at the barn at Endicott Park. On that day, from 9:00 until 2:00 the club will sell, wreaths, baskets, kissing balls, Boxwood trees, and has a bake table for all. The Garden Club event benefit helps with the beautification efforts across the town and the support of local nursing homes.

Wreaths Across America

On December 10, 2011, the National organization in conjunction with the Town’s Veterans agent, Peter Mirandi will place memorial wreathes on the graves of veterans in the Town. It is likely that there may be a need for volunteers to help with this initiative and if so, I will provide information on how you could help.

St. Richard’s Church Holiday Concert

On December 11, 2011, the Catholic Church on Forest Street, in conjunction with the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra will present a free ecumenical concert in the church at 3:00 pm. The event will be free but to gain admission a gift of non-perishable food is encouraged to be brought to the concert. All of the work of the many volunteers from the parish, local boy scouts, students from St John’s Prep and many others and the gifts provided will be delivered to support the mission of the People to People Food Pantry in Danvers. This organization has been supporting local folks in need as well as a large group of homeless families who are currently housed in motels in Danvers.

Congratulations to Three Local High School Programs

We are pleased to note the success of the Peabody Girls Soccer program that recently captured the State title. At the same time, the Masconomet boys finished as runners up for the state title. We also want to wish the splendid marching band from Danvers all the best as they head to Hawaii to participate in Pearl Harbor commemorations early next month.

Happy Thanksgiving to All

On behalf of all of the organizations that I report on from time to time in this ongoing presentation and my personal family who will gather at our home to enjoy the holiday meal prepared by Marge, we all wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday. Please take the time to enjoy family gatherings, traditional High School Football rivalries, but always keep in mind, that we are celebrating all that we in this country have to be thankful for every day.

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