Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Maynard 150 Years Old

David modeling a collector's
sweatshirt. Click to enlarge.
It's slogan time!!!

For towns, 150 is the new 100. Kidding aside, among our neighbors, Maynard, created in 1871, is definitely the new kid in towns. Our immediate neighbors date to 1635 (Concord), 1639 (Sudbury), 1683 (Stow) and 1735 (Acton). Only Hudson and Maynard are close in age, as Hudson, also a mill town carved out of farm towns, was created in 1866. For the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts, looking at all 351 cities and towns, fewer than 20 were incorporated later than Maynard.

Maynard has plans to celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary starting in April of 2020. To this end, the town has created a Sesquicentennial Steering Committee (Ack! All those double-letter words), which is charge – among other tasks – to come up with a slogan. There is a Sesquicentennial Slogan Contest underway, submittals deadline July 31. Entries to be submitted at Per the webpage, “The winner’s slogan will be used in all of our marketing materials for the anniversary and may even become part of the anniversary celebration logo. Become part of our history.”

Guidance: “Slogans should be short and sweet and will ideally make the reader know that Maynard is proud to be celebrating 150 years as a town.” So, for all of you who live in Maynard, love Maynard, work in Maynard, reside in Maynard or have an abode in Maynard, now is the time to sharpen your pencils, crank up your creative juices and submit ideas for a slogan.

Maynard, MA Time Capsule, created at centennial (1971)
to be opened at sesquicentennial (2020). At Town Hall.
Why start in April 2020 you ask, given the town’s birth date was April 19, 1871? April 2020 is the start of the 150th year. The celebrations will commence with a ceremonial opening of a time capsule created during the centennial year of 1971, marked on the front “OPEN APRIL 19, 2020.” No one remembers what is inside. More celebratory events are being planned to take place up to and likely a bit after the actual 150th anniversary of that birth, April 19, 2021. 

“ONLY IN MAYNARD” should not be submitted. It is trademarked, and more to the point, has origins suggesting that only in our town can things be so humorously incompetent or fouled up. The way I’ve heard the origin story is, “Only in Maynard can your girlfriend and your fiancĂ©e show up at the same bar on the same night.” There have been attempts to recast the intent as ‘Only in Maynard,’ implying that the town is a special place where very special people do distinctive and exceptionally special things, especially in the arts. True or not, it comes across as bragging about ourselves, which evinces a neediness to be liked. If anything, Maynard is more of a chip-on-the-shoulder, take-it-or-leave sort of town.

In addition to help with the slogan, the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee is seeking help from residents and businesses to help make our celebration is a success. It needs people to help with planning a parade, a concert, publicity, and fundraising. It needs help brainstorming other celebratory ideas, such as a road race, a Rail Trail bicycle event, a day that kayaks and canoes would be allowed on the mill pond (!), history lectures and guided tours of historic sites, plus anything else you can think of. Sign up at Sign up. Sign up. Really. Maynard wants you!

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