Happy 375th Birthday, Greenwich!
It was an event hundreds of years in the making – the Town of Greenwich’s 375th Anniversary Parade.
“I was born here. My family goes way way back in Greenwich. I’m going to die here and be buried here. This is my town,” said Gary Palmer, a descendant of Henry Palmer, one of the 17th century founding families.
Residents filled the sidewalks of Greenwich Avenue as over 300 marchers, including descendants of the town’s founding families, celebrated the town and its history.
“You have the whole sphere of what makes a community vibrant and I think that is the real beauty of today and celebrating the history. You can’t loose sight of the history,” said First Selectman Peter Tesei. “Having the founding descendants here with us is truly a special component of today.”
Mary Ellen LeBien is proud of her families history.
“I am a 11th generation lineal descendant of Elizabeth Feake who purchase Greenwich Point from the Native Americans and her husband, Robert Feake, who with Daniel Patrick the land that we celebrate today.”
Many of the descendants of the founding families remember when their parents and even grandparents took part in past parades.
“I am very grateful to be here because I was at the 300th Anniversary celebration,” said Russell Reynolds. “There was a huge pageant at Greenwich High School and it was beautiful and I remember as a small child my father taking part in that celebration.”
“This is very cool. I remember sitting on the sidelines when my father was in this parade decades ago so this is really special,” said Aubrey Mead Jr.
“Well this is really really exciting,” said Linda Palmer. “They have done a lot to remember all of these heroes that existed back then who didn’t have often rifles! They fought with pitchforks and they went out there and tried to defend their community and we don’t think about that anymore.”
The festivities concluded with the unveiling of an American flag the size of a basketball court on Havemeyer Field.
“What is the Town of Greenwich but all of the people who reside here, who contribute to its enriched quality of life and also celebrate the legacy that has been left to us that we need to carry forward day in and day out,” said First Selectman Tesei. “It really is a celebration of the people of Greenwich, its history, where we are today and the promising future we look forward to tomorrow.”