100 Years Strong
Vestiges of 1910 will be reflected in the centennial parade on August 5 at 10 a.m., Bakker says. Each of the 175 towns that donated inscribed granite blocks, which line the monument’s interior, has been invited to send representatives to participate in a motorcade of antique autos. The parade will pass a reviewing stand where town officials, dignitaries, and trustees will be sitting, and head up High Pole Hill for formalities afterward. The inscribed stones are an attraction for visitors who make the climb up the 116 steps and 60 ramps to the observation tower. The tower also includes such artifacts as a geological remnant from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, donated by the California Mayflower Society.
This season, Provincetown will also look a bit like it did in 1910. Bakker says, “One of the things we’re launching is a bunting project. We’re hoping other businesses in town will get into what it was like in 1910. We’ll have an award for the best bunting.”
And the melodies and lyrics of a century ago will converge with the town’s modern artistic creativity at the centennial ceremony concert on August 4 and 5. The Outer Cape Chorale Chamber Singers, conducted by Jon Arterton and featuring John Thomas on piano, will sing the 1910 composition “A Trip to Provincetown,” “I Hear America Singing!” composed by Thomas with words by Walt Whitman, and an original piece by Thomas based on excerpts of speeches from the monument’s dedication ceremonies.
Committee 100 has spread out the wining and dining festivities, a departure from the grand ball of August 5, 1910. A Cornerstone Dinner was held in April at the Lobster Pot restaurant, with a five-course presentation prepared by Chef Tim McNulty. A Century Party at Truro Vineyards on May 19 showcases the limited release of two Century Wines, blended in honor of the monument’s anniversary and bearing labels designed by Truro artist, Rebecca Bruyn.
Inside the museum, this summer’s exhibit, “100 Views of the Monument,” provides historic and artistic perspectives of the monument with paintings, prints, and decorative objects from the past century. The Pilgrim exhibit in the Mayflower Room is updated with new exhibits and texts highlighting the Pilgrim experience.
With the celebration, Bakker hopes the attention focused on the monument 100 years ago is renewed. “The anniversary is definitely creating higher visibility for the institution. We’re hoping to double our membership,” he says. And for a town that prides it- self on its remoteness, the centennial festivities are wonderful ways to re- connect with the rest of the region— and the country.
Visit www.pilgrim-monument.org for more information about the 100th anniversary festivities.
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