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Schenectady County turns 200

With all of the events celebrating its heritage, it'll be hard for Schenectady County residents and members of surrounding communities to miss out on the action as it celebrates its 200th anniversary.

There is a whole lot going on. Obviously, this year, 2009, is our anniversary of Schenectady County splitting off from Albany County, said Wendy Voelker, special events coordinator for Schenectady County. "The actual date is March 7, and we're going to be having a gala celebration at the Glen Sander's Mansion, so plans are going for that."

Voelker said that they've also partnered with organizations all across the county for special bicentennial events.

"Every community is getting involved, so things that normally happen anyway, like the Holiday Parade, is going to be the Bicentennial Holiday Parade," she said.

Other events, such as Schenectady's restaurant week, will have a bicentennial theme. All meals at participating restaurants during restaurant week will cost $20.09.

"We're trying to make Schenectady County's history exciting and accessible to all Schenectady County residents," said Voelker. "We want to sneak some history in on them--things they may not have known."

Voelker said the county will have a Web site devoted to its bicentennial, featuring a photo gallery of recent and historic photos, and a space for visitors to share their stories about Schenectady County. They will also be able to send their own photos in to be added to the gallery, and listen to podcasts about the county's history.

"It's just so much fun to be able to download some history and look at it at your leisure," said Voelker.

Voelker said the site, www.Schenectady2009.com, is slated for launch in the upcoming weeks.

The Schenectady County Historical Society has also played a large role in planning events for this special year.

"We have a lot going on this whole year actually, celebrating the bicentennial," said Kathryn Weller, a curator with the Schenectady County Historical Society. "We usually have monthly programs talking about Schenectady's history or the history of this region, but this year we've really brought it up a notch for Schenectady's bicentennial," she said.

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