The Ellsworth 250 Committee. Seated, front row: Thelma Beal, Alan Fitch, Fred Ehrlenbach, Domenic Efter,Marc Blanchette. Standing l to r: Mark Remick, Richard Tupper, Crystal Richards, Terry Carlisle, Gary Fortier, Natalie Knox, Jack Frost. — at Ellsworth City Hall, council chambers.
CITY OF ELLSWORTH
ELLSWORTH — It began, members recall, with a question.
“Is the city doing anything for its 250th anniversary?” Members of what is now the city’s 250th Celebration Planning Committee asked that question of different people in 2011 and 2012. Those questions led to a meeting at the Ellsworth Public Library in March of 2012.
“We invited everyone we’d heard talking about it to come in,” said Terry Carlisle, general manager of The Ellsworth American and a committee member.
The committee was organized at that meeting and has been gathering twice monthly since then to plan, schedule, coordinate and plan some more.
In addition to Carlisle, committee members include Thelma Beal, Marc Blanchette, Dominic Efter, Allen Fitch, Jack Frost, Natalie Knox, Crystal Richards, Joshua Torrance and Richard Tupper.
Mark Remick and Fred Ehrlenbach serve as cochairmen of the committee.
Remick said there are “several high-energy, really focused individuals” on the committee but credited Beal with really leading the charge.
“She has really been the driving force,” Remick said. Beal, for her part, was quick to note it has been a team effort. She credited other individuals for their contributions, too, such as Fitch’s “incredible memory” of historical information.
Committee members said the culture has changed since 1963, when the bicentennial celebration was the event of the year.
“It was bigger than the Blue Hill Fair, I imagine,” Carlisle said. Knowing people today have more choices of things to do than they did in 1963, the committee has incorporated some of the newer activities in town (Zumba, for example) into the 250th bash.
There are a few oldies but goodies that have been brought back from the 1963 celebration, though, such as the “Brothers of the Brush” beard-growing competition. “It just seemed too fun to let it go by,” Carlisle said.
While it has sometimes been a challenge to plan multiple events months in advance, Beal said committee members have “had a lot of fun along the way” in planning the weeklong celebration. Asked what they hope participants get out of the 250th celebration, committee members said enjoyment and a sense of pride in the community.
“We want to remind the townies, ‘You’re lucky to be here and to be from here,’” said Carlisle, herself an Ellsworth native. “And let the people who are new to the area know it’s a great community