Momentum building in Portland

BROCTON – Two of the three major events taking place this year in the Town of Portland are full steam ahead and building in momentum as spring and summer approach.

Portland Bicentennial Committee Chair Dave Travis attended the recent Portland Town Council meeting to update the board on progress of the town’s 200th birthday celebration and seek their participation.

“Our kickoff dinner date has been set for April 13 (the original incorporation date of the town in 1813.) Tickets are available at the Town Hall, the Village of Brocton Hall, the Ahira Hall Memorial Library or from any committee member,” Travis said.

“We’d like to ask for your (the town council’s) participation as we have planned to do a re-enactment of the first official town board meeting,” he added.

Other things slated to make up the bicentennial celebration are a youth essay contest being coordinated with Brocton Central School faculty, and a talent show for all ages.

The large-scale celebration is scheduled for the same weekend as Brocton Central School’s Alumni Reunion weekend and the Brocton/Portland Community Festival, July 12-14, allowing for many out-of-towners to take part in the activities of the weekend.

The annual fireworks display, which is a community festival fan-favorite, is scheduled for Saturday evening, and a Sunday parade will end the weekend’s events.

The Bicentennial Celebration will continue on through the official dedication of the re-furbished four-corner arch in the Village of Brocton and details of that event will follow as the construction allows.

Town Councilman, Jerry Boltz, who is the Chairman for the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee, reported to the council and those attending the council meeting on the work in progress.

“We’re starting to solicit and accept donations toward the fund for the honorary statue that will depict Brad Anderson and Marmaduke. We’re currently working with Brocton Central School and the staff of the Brocton Review for some press coverage and special events that will be part of the honor to Brad,” stated Boltz.

The committee recently secured permission from Universal Uclick, the governing national syndicate which carries the Marmaduke comic panel in over 500 daily newspapers worldwide to advertise for the sole purpose of raising funds for the monument.

With that important hurdle out of the way, the committee will begin to roll out their marketing initiatives to raise money for the statue to be completed and placed in its designated space on the Town of Portland property on Main Street.

“We’re also in the process of having the selected artist begin work on the ‘marquette’ (which is a small scale version of what the monument will look like to be used for advertising purposes) and contracts are being signed for that. We’re pleased to announce that we’re also working with elementary and high school art faculty at BCS on some upcoming art projects centered around Marmaduke. Not only is Brad Anderson a well-known local artist, but his character Marmaduke is world-renowned. Although this is a big undertaking, Brad is known nationally and worldwide and we’re confident that we will make this a worthwhile and successful project to properly honor Mr. Anderson and his accomplishments,” concluded Boltz.

Anyone interested in joining the committees for the Portland Bicentennial Celebration or the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee may contact the Town of Portland Clerk’s office for more information.