Summer of Celebration officially begins
The rain stopped just in time Friday morning for the opening celebrations for “Redcoats and Residents” at Town Green, which commemorates the 200th anniversary of the attack on Wareham by British warship HMS Nimrod.
Church bells rang out at approximately 11 a.m., signifying the anniversary of the exact moment British soldiers came to shore, and Summer of Celebration Committee vice-president Nancy Miller addressed the crowd of about 50 or so that gathered at the weekend’s opening event.
“We have been working to make this summer a summer to honor and remember,” said Miller of the Summer of Celebration, which includes a series of events including this weekend’s as well as the 275th anniversary of the incorporation of Wareham on July 10, among others.
Miller said that in general, the people of the town of Wareham were not welcoming to the idea of war, though they became involved with the War of 1812 when the Nimrod attacked.
WCTV Technical Director Steve Ruiz read an abbreviated portion of an anti-war sermon from a religious leader in town around 1812 that Miller had found when conducting research for the Summer of Celebration.
“Wareham was not very happy with the idea of war,” said Miller.
Miller also said that as part of the celebration, they’d be planting trees on Town Green in the spring, including two chestnut trees and one elm, and those present were encouraged to write a wish on a piece of paper to be placed with the roots of the trees.
“Your wishes will be carried to the creator,” said Miller.
Representatives from the Wareham Minutemen and Militia Company were also on hand, as well as the Showstoppers, a group of young singers from the area, who led the crowd in several patriotic songs, including a lovely rendition of National Anthem sung by Miss New Bedford 2014 Jillian Zucco, who’s involved with the Showstoppers.
“We’re going to have a great weekend—two days of the most amazing recreations of historical events,” said Miller. “This is going to be incredible.”
Selectman Alan Slavin was also on hand amongst several other town officials, and he commended the work of a group of about 30 volunteers involved with the Summer of Celebration for everything they’ve done for the town of Wareham.
“The town was not really in a position financially (to sponsor all the events scheduled to take place),” but these people are donating a huge amount of their own finances and their own time,” said Slavin. “It’s a huge benefit for the town. They’ve been meeting once a week for a long time.”