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Village celebrates bicentennial

Bicentennial happenings

"This will be the party of the century," said Village Mayor John Romano. Plans include a formal ball in January, in which guests are asked to dress in period clothing. The event will feature a feast replete with foods enjoyed in days gone by, as well as a display of vintage autos and horse carriages.

In the spring, Front Street will be dubbed Bicentennial Way for the year, and the first village meeting will be re-enacted. A time capsule sealed in 1957 will be cracked open, and another physical record of 2007 will be prepared for an opening in 2057.

Members of the Friends of the Village of Ballston Spa Public Library are prepping oral histories of residents and leaders who founded the village and lived to see it flourish. As a tribute from area youth, students in the district will pen poems and essays about their impressions of the village.

"We're looking forward to reading their stories," said Mancini. "There's nothing like seeing historical happenings through the eyes of kids."

Also in the works are a block party on Bicentennial Way and a parade planned to be hours long.

"Even today we're known for our community parades," said Romano. "But this will be the big one."

A hairy issue

Perhaps the most unusual and visible show of bicentennial cheer will be the facial hair cropping up on the men in the village pledging to join the "Brothers of the Brush."

In keeping with the fashion of 200 years ago, men are asked to refrain from shaving from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, and yes, Romano will be joining the club.

"I had a moustache in the days of my youth, so it will be interesting to see what happens," said Romano. "I promised the guys I would be the fearless leader of the brush."

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