2012-06-07 / Front Page

Putnam's 200th Celebration a Rousing Success

Thousands watch parade, fireworks, more
Eric Gross

The fireworks Saturday night over Lake Gleneida. Photo/Eric GrossThe fireworks Saturday night over Lake Gleneida. Photo/Eric GrossPutnam's long anticipated Bicentennial weekend was a blast.

Thousands crowded into downtown Carmel on Saturday for a gala 200th birthday celebration that featured a business expo, classic car show, firefighters’ parade, unearthing of the county’s time capsule and a magnificent fireworks display.

The county's first executive, David Bruen, called it “pure joy and a great honor to be part of such a wonderful celebration. People in Putnam have always been very special.”

Putnam’s current chief elected official, MaryEllen Odell, beamed with pride: “In my wildest dreams I never imagined such a celebration. A once in a lifetime experience is taking place before our eyes. History has come to life.”

Former Governor George Pataki paraded along Gleneida Avenue, joining scores of political leaders, firefighters, veterans groups and boy and girl scouts.

The Garrison resident admitted the day was an “extremely emotional one” for him personally.

Pataki told the Courier and PCNR: “To see the disabled veterans pass along with the Gold Star Mothers, one quickly understands that a great county like Putnam in this wonderful country depends on those who placed their lives on the line to protect us. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be a part of the greatest county on earth as Putnam celebrates its 200th birthday.”

During her address on the steps of the historic Putnam Courthouse prior to the unearthing of the county’s time capsule, Odell explained that the celebration allowed Putnam County to be on the “front lines to defend our country’s core values. We are all proud to be Americans and are willing to fight for those freedoms that our veterans have all too often had to do.”

Odell called Putnam the “quiet jewel of New York. It is ours to protect. 2012 is not only the 200th anniversary of Putnam’s beginning but the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam conflict.”

A cheer rang out when Kent resident Richard Williams, with the assistance of two Eagle Scouts, unearthed the county’s time capsule that Williams and his late father buried in 1962.

The evening was culminated by a colorful fireworks display over Lake Gleneida.

Celebration of the Bicentennial continued on Sunday in Cold Spring.

Other bicentennial events include a historic cemetery tour in Patterson on June 16 and a cannon demonstration later that day at Thunder Ridge.

On July 7, the Constitution Island Bicentennial Celebration is planned as well a viewing of West Point fireworks.


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‘No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.’ ~Hal Borland