AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Ossining Prepares for its Bicentennial Anniversary

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In a less than a year, two centuries worth of history will be commemorated when the Village of Ossining celebrates its bicentennial in 2013 and the planning for the 200-year anniversary is already months underway.

With the bicentennial theme selected to be “Honoring its Past, Embracing the Future”, the village has multiple events and items in preparation when the commemoration kicks off on April 3, 2013, the day after the official anniversary which was April 2, 1813.

“We’re excited about our past, but I tell you, we love what Ossining is right now and we want everyone else to share it with us,” George Camp, the bicentennial chairman said.

One idea that’s going to be a major event in the celebration is a sculpture show with approximately 15 to 20 large sculptures along Croton Avenue, down Main Street and down to the waterfront on both private and public property, said village manager Richard Leins, who was instrumental in bringing the show to Ossining.

The $50,000 project is a walking tour that will start in early May 2013, lasting through the summer and into the end of October, Leins said.

When Leins came across a couple of shows from curator Ann Jon in the Berkshires, he was impressed with the modern art and said it’d be a nice juxtapose to the rich history Ossining holds. After a couple of interviews with Jon, who is the executive director of Sculpture Now based in Becket, MA, a resolution was passed for Leins to sign her, which happened several months ago.

“It’s just going to be celebrating the spaces of Ossining and it’s going to incorporate the theme of the bicentennial which is respecting the past and embracing the future,” Leins said.

Another aspect in progress is the 2013 Commemorative Cookbook called “A Placeat the Table,” which is striving to collect recipes, stories and pictures from the village community that will be published in both English and Spanish.

The committee is accepting recipes from residents, restaurants, and a variety of organizations through September 3. Additionally, the committee also is looking for volunteers and donations of paper, printing, graphics and photos, as well as financial donations, which can be submitted at the Municipal Building.

Another book that’ll be put together is an historic journal that’ll focus on the experience of businesses in Ossining. Rather than a filling a book of formal advertising, Camp wants the nearly 150-page book filled with a business’ experience, regardless of how long it’s been around.

“The journal is a big part of it and it’ll be all Ossining history,” Camp said.

Among other events included during the anniversary year is a series of movie screenings sponsored by the Ossining Police Benevolent Association, a photo hunt for children where they have to find certain locations around the village and explain the importance of it, and the village’s annual fair that’ll have component of the bicentennial intertwined.

And while Camp said neighboring towns and villages around Westchester should help boostOssining’s local economy, he said the main purpose is to reintroduce the community to the history surrounding the village.

People forget how critical Ossining’s ports on the Hudson River used to be, or that Ossining had the first synagogue in Westchester. Camp does not want that history to be forgotten.

“We’re proud of our community and I just want everyone else to join in on the celebration,” Camp said.

By David Propper





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