East Hampton Star Article
East Hampton Village Has Big
Plans for Centennial Celebration
A Fourth of July parade in East Hampton Village in 1921
By Star Staff
November 27, 2019
To mark the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of East Hampton Village, there will be a series of events in 2020, beginning in January with the unveiling of a new village seal and culminating with a centennial parade and other festivities on Sept. 26.
In August 2018, Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. appointed Barbara Borsack as chairwoman of the centennial celebration committee. At the time, Mr. Rickenbach recounted the history of the village’s formation. On Sept. 25, 1920, he said, residents had voted, by a margin of 166 to 57, to break away from East Hampton Town. “Needless to say, we have all reaped the benefits of this vote,” the mayor said.
The centennial committee includes Rose Brown, a member of the village board, and representatives from the East Hampton Clericus, the Hamptons International Film Festival, the East Hampton School District, the Ladies Village Improvement Society, the East Hampton Library, the Garden Club of East Hampton, and the Village Preservation Society, among others. Ms. Borsack has enlisted Bess Rattray, the editor of The Star’s East magazine, to organize the parade day events.
Over the past year, Ms. Borsack said, committee members have been coming up with ways to celebrate the occasion. Plans are still being firmed up, but as of now, she said, presentations on the history of the village and the town will be held, schools will incorporate lessons about the 1920s into their curriculums, and a time capsule will be buried. “It will be a yearlong community event,” she said.
To kick things off, a new village seal that acknowledges the centennial will be unveiled at the first board meeting of the new year. It was designed by Scott Bluedorn, a local mixed-media artist. “It’s very pretty,” said Ms. Borsack. “I’m excited to show it off.”
On Parade Day, Main Street will be closed to traffic, as it was in 1998 during the celebration of East Hampton Town’s 350th anniversary. “I remember thinking [the closure] was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Ms. Borsack. “Now I’m happy we’re going to have a second opportunity.”
“There’s something so thrilling about being able to walk down the middle of Main Street,” said Ms. Rattray. The parade, she said, will be held in the morning. There will be about 20 1920s-theme floats, and Hugh King, the village’s historic-site manager, will be perched on a reviewing stand, announcing the floats as they go by.
Ms. Brown thought up the theme for one of them: a replica of Village Hall with the members of the board on board. James McMullen, an architect and the chairman of the Design Review Board, has agreed to design it, she said, and Ray Harden, the co-owner of Krupinski Building and the vice chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, will construct it. “It’s amazing to have so many talented people donating their time and effort,” Ms. Brown said.
In addition to the floats, there will be musical performances by Dixieland bands, and the handbell choir from the East Hampton Presbyterian Church. A team from the Dance Hampton studio will perform a ’20s-era dance.
Food vendors will be stationed along Main Street. Ms. Brown said that Harbor Bistro, Dreesen’s, and Homeslice Pizza are a few who will be on hand. And village restaurants plan to offer $19.20 specials.
The L.V.I.S. will provide tea service and jazz, and movies from the Roaring Twenties starring actors such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin will be shown at Guild Hall. LTV, the public-access broadcaster, has been tasked with finding vintage footage of village people and places.
There will be tours of historical village houses and gardens, and, to get Main Street storeowners into the spirit of the occasion, Ms. Borsack and Ms. Brown plan to introduce a resolution that would permit them to decorate their businesses in red, white, and blue bunting on the day of the event (also on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day).
To cap off the day, there will be a baseball game at Herrick Park, which will include the singing of the national anthem, as well as performances by the East Hampton High School acappella group and other musicians.
Anyone interested in entering a float in the parade or volunteering in any other way have been asked to email EHVcentennial@easthamptonvillage.org.