Before Monroe’s Bicentennial, there was the Sesquicentennial

Members of the Sesquicentennial Committee of 1973 attending Tuesday’s event are, from left, Robert “Bob” Tranzillo and Joan Anderson.

A photo album inside the vault of the Town Clerk’s Office at Monroe Town Hall has pictures from Monroe’s Sesquicentennial 50 years ago. The 1973 festivities included a huge parade, a wood chopping contest, a Wedding Pageant, Beerfest and fireworks to name a few events. Keystone cops issued tickets for such offenses as men not having mustaches and some residents ended up in a wooden stockade on the town green, providing a fun photo opportunity.

“Men had to have a beard or a mustache,” Robert “Bob” Tranzillo recalled with a chuckle.

Tranzillo and Joan Anderson, who served on the Sesquicentennial Committee together, attended the recent opening of a time capsule from 1973, a Bicentennial Committee event at Monroe Town Hall.

Tranzillo was treasurer and the parade chairman for the Sesquicentennial, which had its own parade.

“We had the Old Guard from Virginia and I don’t know how many bands,” he said. “We had the mayor of Monroe, New York. We had a wood chopping contest.”

“We had a wedding pageant with women in old wedding gowns,” said Anderson, who was secretary of the Sesquicentennial Committee.

Tranzillo had worn a colonial outfit. “We could wear a colonial outfit or costumes from 1823,” he said.

This year Monroe had several events to celebrate the town’s 200th birthday, most recently the Bicentennial Picnic and Monroe Music Festival at Wolfe Park, the M&T Bank Mile Down the Pike road race and the Bicentennial/Memorial Day Parade last weekend.

For a complete listing of events throughout the year, visit the Monroe Bicentennial website.

The following are photos from 1973’s Sesquicentennial:

1 Comment

  1. My wife and I just moved to Monroe in March of 1973. I was encouraged by my new neighbors to grow a mustache. It was fun times and far different than our previous location in NYC. And over 50 years ago, the move was and has continued to be one of our best decisions.

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