Plans are taking shape for the conclusion of Shepherdstown's 250th anniversary celebration, which will take place the weekend of Nov. 9-11.
Four new events have been added. First, there will be a community potluck party at the Community Club on Friday evening, Nov. 9. It will feature a potluck supper from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and music and dancing from 9 p.m. on with Sacred Groove, a Grateful Dead Tribute band. Everyone is welcome and admission will be free.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Shepherdstown Ministerial Association will dedicate a plaque to the town's founder, Thomas Shepherd, at 10 a.m. at the Shepherd family graveyard on New Street. Everyone is invited to attend this ceremony. An open house at the old Thomas Shepherd Grist Mill on High Street from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. follows. Admission will be free.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, Nicholas Rumsey of Richmond, Va., a member of the family of steamboat pioneer James Rumsey, will host a program for children and parents at the Entler Hotel at 1 p.m. He will demonstrate model steam engines he has built and explain how steam works. Again, admission will be free.
The weekend's main events will take place later Sunday afternoon. They will include a 3 p.m. Coming Home parade, a 4 p.m. closing ceremony in front of McMurran Hall and evening receptions that will be open to all at various locations in the town.
The parade will be focused on descendants and representatives of the town's historic families, led by fifes and drums from the Shepherdstown Middle School Band. So far, 45 different families have signed on to participate in the parade, including descendants of the Bedinger, Buckles, Chapline, Cookus, Entler, Morgan, Osbourne, Rumsey, Sheetz and Shepherd families.
Some are traveling long distances to be part of this event. An Osbourne is coming from New York City. Rumsey family members are coming from Richmond, Va., and Nazareth, Pa. Sheetzes are coming from California, Texas and Ohio. Shepherds are coming from Massachusetts; North Carolina; Virginia; and London, England.
Many of the parade's participants will be wearing period clothing of some sort and parade-watchers are encouraged to do the same if they wish.
As the parade ends, parade-watchers will be asked to join the procession to McMurran Hall, where the closing ceremony will take place.
The closing ceremony will include remarks by invited guests, the presentation of special items that have been developed by groups and individuals to commemorate the town's anniversary and the recognition of others who have undertaken other commemorative projects of lasting value. Music will be provided by a chorus from the Shepherdstown Elementary School.
The ceremony's invited guests will include legislators, members of the County Commission, Town Council members, former Shepherdstown mayors, Shepherd University officials and Shepherd family representatives.
The special commemorative items that will be presented will include a quilt constructed by members of the Tuesday Craft Group, which includes the signatures of some 500 residents; a volume of Shepherdstown stories by Dr. James Price, Shepherdstown's Historian Laureate; a time capsule prepared by Shepherdstown Elementary School students; a volume of photographs of Shepherdstown residents by Hali Taylor; and a volume of poetry by the Bookend Poets and the Shaharazade Sunday Night Poets.
The Shepherdstown Ministerial Association will also announce a special donation to charities on behalf of the town's anniversary.
Those recognized for undertaking commemorative projects of lasting value will include the Historic Shepherdstown Commission; the Pack Horse Ford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; the Adam Stephen Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution; the Shepherdstown Street Fest; and two individuals: Diana Suttenfield and Tobey Pierce.
The receptions will begin right after the closing ceremony. They will be held at community organizations and churches.
All but one of them will be scheduled for 5-7 p.m. and organized around a common theme: the Shepherdstown Coming Home Soup Fest. Each Soup Fest location will offer a unique soup or soups of its choosing, along with breads or other suitable accompaniments.
The locations hosting 5-7 p.m. Soup Fest receptions will be as follows: Historic Shepherdstown; the Shepherdstown Community Club; the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department; Christ Reformed, United Church of Christ; New Street United Methodist Church; Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church; St. Agnes Catholic Church; St. John's Baptist Church; St. Peter's Lutheran Church; and Trinity Episcopal Church.
A shuttle will be available to provide transportation to these various Soup Fest sites, so that people can visit as many of them as they wish. Residents and visitors will be encouraged to visit Shepherdstown's 250th anniversary website to vote on the best soup, and the winning organization will be recognized publicly afterward.
In addition, the town's historic train station, The Station at Shepherdstown in the east end, will offer an After the Soups event featuring music and refreshments starting at 7 p.m.
For more information about any of these events contact Peter Smith at email@example.com or 304-876-1139.