With the pandemic ebbing, there’s a lot of party planning happening in Andover — anniversary party planning, that is.
May 6 marks the 375th anniversary of the town’s founding.
The town’s 375th Committee came together earlier this year to plan a year-long celebration that kicks off this week as the town marks its founding. The pandemic put plans on hold last year, and many event dates are not set. However, “We are hoping to start the formal events in August and if we keep easing off of restrictions, which looks likely,” said Paul MacKay, chair of the 375th Committee.
The theme: “Andover Thrives at 375.”
“It’s neat and appropriate as we emerge from the COVID crisis and people are getting back together. It embodies community spirit and our returning,” MacKay said.
The events kick off this week as 375 signs are placed in residents’ yards across the town, signifying the anniversary, MacKay said.
“We want to built on that community spirit and enthusiasm,” he said.
Later this year will be multiple large events and many smaller events held through next May. The 11-person committee has been working to include local organizations, businesses and schools in the festivities so that the entire town is celebrating the anniversary, he said.
“Andover cherishes its history but it’s been a leader in so much in the course of time,” MacKay said. “So what ‘Andover Thrives at 375’ means is we will continue to thrive for another 375 years. It’s been a tough year-and-a-half since the pandemic struck, but we will beat anything that comes our way. It’s the spirit of the people in this town.”
In August there will be a “Field of Dreams” night where the movie is shown and the town honors its Little League and sports history, MacKay said. Then in September, there will be the Andover Thrives Community Day filled with family activities and food.
On New Year’s Eve, there will be a First Night event to “ring out the old era and bring in the new,” MacKay said.
Then a grand finale event with a parade and a light show will be held next May as the year of celebration comes to a close, he said.
The committee will be asking for volunteers and sponsors for events throughout the year to ensure a packed calendar.
“We will be detailing more of the events as time passes, as we get a little further on we will be able to nail down dates and be more specific about the events,” MacKay said.