Story by Jennifer O’Connor
The Village of Warwick is gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary with a grand celebration that will include many exciting and entertaining events from Wed., Aug. 2 to Sat., Aug. 5. All of the events will be listed in a special pullout section in the Aug. 2 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Dispatch, which is available on newsstands in local supermarkets and stores throughout the Town as well as the Dispatch building, located at 2 Oakland Ave. in the Village of Warwick.
Truly special and unique is that Stephen Cross, the Mayor of Warwick, England, and his wife, Christine, the former Mayoress, will be coming to the Village to participate in the celebration. They will be introduced at the opening ceremonies on Wed., Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. during a ribbon cutting at the Railroad Green, located on Railroad Ave. in Warwick.
“It will be nice to share our community with someone who is also a dignitary or elected official from our sister Village, namesake or English cousin. There has always been a camaraderie on some level between Warwick, England and Warwick, NY, dating back to the early 1900s when they celebrated their 2,000 birthday. It’s great that it’s come full circle with them coming to visit us,” said Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard.
Out of the 14 Warwick’s throughout the world that Warwick, England invited to attend their 2,000 birthday in 1906, the Village of Warwick was the only one that sent a representative – its president, Ferdinand Sanford, who went with a small entourage.
“The Warwick, England Mayor’s visit is a great opportunity to think outside of our bubble that we sometimes get in to. It’s a nice reminder that we did come from somewhere else at one point, and that we have a connection to England,” said Mary Collura, Creative Director of the Sesquicentennial Committee.
Mayor Newhard added that although it’s wonderful to have visitors from England, what is also great about the Sesquicentennial weekend is that there are going to be reunions occurring for many people such as the Odd Fellows, the Warwick H.S. Class of 1967, and the Queens Village Queens.
“There are going to be people that have not been back to their hometown in 25 years or more. They are going to be reintroduced to their community,” said Mayor Newhard. “I am very excited about that because I believe it has become better and more beautiful, and I am excited to show it off.”
1967 Time Capsule to be Dug-up & Letters to be Distributed
Equally exciting is that people are also coming to the Village to obtain letters addressed to them from their parents that were put inside the time capsule in 1967. The time capsule, which is buried in Veterans Memorial Park, located off of Forester Ave. in Warwick, will be dug up on Wed., Aug. 2. The letters will be distributed at 10 a.m. on Sat., Aug. 5 at the American Legion Hall, located at 71 Forester Ave. in Warwick.
Mayor Newhard said there was not a master list. Therefore, he isn’t aware as to what exactly is inside the time capsule. He only knows of the letters because some people have contacted him saying that their parents told them they placed the letters inside the capsule. Newhard was recently made aware that the time capsule, which looks like a torpedo, was buried length-wise in the ground.
Write a Letter for the New Time Capsule
A new time capsule, donated by the Warwick Valley Rotary, will be buried in the same spot on Sat., Aug. 5. All Town of Warwick residents are invited to write a letter that will be put inside the new time capsule, which will be opened in 2067. Residents are encouraged to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Letters can be a declaration to the future or addressed to a family member and may include a photo or drawing. Letters and photos should be placed in a #10 envelope, which measures 4 1/8″ by 9 1/2″.
Sealed envelopes can be dropped off at the following locations in Warwick: Village Hall, 77 Main St.; Frazzleberries, 24 Main St.; Newhards, 39 Main St.; Etched in Time, 58 Main St.; Caffe A La Mode, 1 Oakland Ave.; Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, 31 Main St.; the Albert Wisner Public Library, 1 McFarland Dr., and Track 7 Postal Center, 3 Forester Ave.
Vintage Bunting Contest
All businesses and residents are also encouraged to adorn their windows and doors with a bunting and display their patriotism in a vintage bunting contest, sponsored by the Village of Warwick Sesquicentennial Committee. Prizes will be awarded for the best overall display, best window display, and best exterior bunting.
Watermelon, Jello Mold & Sideburn, Beard & Mustache Contests
The Sesquicentennial Committee is hosting other contests as well. A Jello mold contest is set for Thurs., Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. in Stanley-Deming Park, located on the corner of South St. and Park Way in Warwick. Prizes will be awarded for the most patriotic, most creative and best vintage inspired. There will also be a watermelon eating contest in Stanley-Deming Park, sponsored by the Warwick Valley Knights of Columbus. A contest for the best mustache, beard, sideburns and overall facial hair will be held on Fri., Aug. 4 on the Railroad Green with judging at 6 p.m.
Parade, Fireworks & BBQ
The celebration will culminate on Sat., Aug. 5 with a parade at 4 p.m. on Main St. in the Village of Warwick, followed by a free community BBQ and fireworks – both will be held in Veterans Memorial Park. The fireworks are being sponsored by platinum sponsor, Jones Chemical. Other major sponsors for the parade and events include: St. Anthony Community Hospital and Bob Schluter of Warwick Tomatoes – both at the silver level.
Prior to this grand celebration there will be concerts on the Railroad Green and in Stanley-Deming Park as well as games for children – all of which will be listed in the Aug. 2 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.
What makes you a Warwickian?
All of these upcoming events, along with the events that the Sesquicentennial Committee has held since the beginning of the year – from Apple Eve to the Valentine’s Day Dance for senior citizens to a concert in celebration of Black History Month to Founders’ Day – they all highlight the different people that live in Warwick.
Recently when the Mayor did a radio show on local radio station WTBQ he spoke about “What makes you a Warwickian?”
“It’s truly about being part of a community – whether you have been here for centuries or have been here for five minutes. When you love a place and want to be in a place that’s the most critical and important thing,” said Newhard. “And that is what we learned over the past year. It’s been through the volunteerism, but it’s also about being a part of an event and seeing a child’s face light up or seeing a senior citizen’s face light up and enjoying themselves and the place where they live.”
Newhard added, “What it represents is how important it is to have these fun, creative local activities. They are really meaningful to the people that live here. We should never lose sight of doing those things.”