MONROE, CT — In 2023, the town of Monroe will celebrate its Bicentennial Anniversary. Two hundred years of history has taken this small town from an agricultural community to the modern, bustling town it is today. Residents now enjoy many businesses and amenities, while preserving Monroe’s small, New England town character.
Monroe was named for James Monroe, the United States’ fifth and beloved president.
When Monroe was approved by the Connecticut Legislature in 1823, the town had approximately 1,000 people. Today, the town boasts over 18,000 residents, award-winning schools and parks, a great variety of retail establishments to serve its residents, and a modern industrial business park.
A full slate of community events are planned to celebrate Monroe’s historic birthday.
“I’m so thankful to our Bicentennial Committee, with the support of our town departments, in organizing these events,” First Selectman Ken Kellogg said. “We’ve grown considerably from the agriculturally-focused community of 1823 and now enjoy a robust local economy ranging from small businesses to industry leaders.”
“But we still value this town’s farming heritage and small-town New England charm,” he said. “Our community is proud to be the home of award-winning public schools and parks. I hope that many of our families will attend these various events to honor our past by celebrating our 200th Anniversary.”
On Tuesday, May 23, the Monroe Town Hall Time Capsule from the 150th anniversary will be opened to reveal items of years gone by. Following that opening, the 200th anniversary Time Capsule with items of today will be closed and placed on the Town Green for an opening in 2073.
On Saturday, May 27, a Bicentennial Picnic in the Park will be held at Wolfe Park. It will be a day filled with games, a moon bounce, tug-of-war, corn hole, face painting, sack races and more.
Food services and beverages will be available throughout the day including community organizations participating. Families are encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets. Ice cream and kettle corn food trucks will be available.
The Bicentennial Store will be open with memorabilia including the beautiful, collectable Bicentennial Ornament. This great day will be culminated with a concert performed by KSF, “a tribute to Kansas, Styx and Foreigner”, sponsored by the Monroe Parks & Recreation Department.
The Bicentennial/Memorial Day Parade with a themed float contest, will step off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, at the traditional location of Monroe Turnpike Route 111 and Elm Street. More details to follow on the parade.
“This year’s Memorial Day Parade will be extraordinarily special as we celebrate our town’s bicentennial,” said Vida Stone, a Bicentennial Committee member. “While our veterans are always in the forefront on Memorial Day weekend, this year’s parade will be themed for our 200th year, while still honoring our heroes, past and present. Join in to watch or march! We have a dedicated committee putting together other events throughout 2023 and we invite anyone wishing to get involved to contact us.”
“What a wonderful time for the community to come together to celebrate Monroe,” said Dee Dee Martin, a fellow committee member.
Immediately following the parade the Memorial Day Veterans Ceremony will take place at the war memorial at the Town Hall Green. (In inclement weather, the parade will be cancelled and the Veteran Memorial Ceremony will be moved into the Town Council Chambers.)
At 6:30 p.m. there will be a concert in Wolfe Park featuring a performance by ABBA Mia, sponsored by Monroe Parks & Recreation.
On Friday, August 4, get ready to enjoy an evening at Wolfe Park with food trucks beginning at 5 p.m. and a concert performed by Ticket to Ride – The Tribute at 7 p.m. sponsored by Monroe Parks & Recreation.
Following the concert we will have a Bicentennial Fireworks display with a finale to culminate the day (Rain Date will be Saturday, August 5).
Stay tuned! There will many other events to be announced throughout the Town during Monroe’s Bicentennial year of 2023!
“I am thrilled to be a part of celebrating our wonderful town’s 200th anniversary,” said Amy Primorac, a committee member. “One of the things that sets Monroe apart from other towns in this area is our tight knit community. I look forward to a summer of coming together to honor this great town of ours and our rich history.”
Enthusiasm for 2023
Bicentennial members expressed enthusiasm for the year ahead.
“What an exciting time to be celebrating Monroe’s 200th anniversary,” Dona-Lyn Wales said. “It is time to honor the previous generations of people for their hard work and giving spirit that made Monroe what it is today, from our beautiful parks and open spaces to our excellent schools and thriving businesses. Come out everyone and enjoy the celebration events!”
“Two hundred years of history has taken this small town from an agricultural community to modern, bustling town we are today,” said Lee Hossler. “In February of 2022 the town approved a Bicentennial Committee to create events for our great celebration. We have been working feverishly to create a great Birthday year for Monroe and all our residents.”
“What a great way to celebrate our town and its history,” said Paul Moyse. “Monroe has grown a great deal in the years that we have been here. We are happy that we have the opportunity to celebrate this town and its incredible spirit of community. We welcome everyone to come out and celebrate the bicentennial summer and more throughout 2023.”
“Monroe has been our hometown for more than 25 years and we find something each week to appreciate it,” said Kelly Plunkett. “I am honored to have been appointed to be part of this amazing team to celebrate our town and engage residents of all ages in the celebration.”
”Hello Monroe residents! Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or you’re a recent addition to our community, I sincerely welcome you all to join us for Monroe’s Bicentennial Celebration,” said Kevin Daly, historian of the Monroe Historical Society. “Our Bicentennial Committee has a great number of fun and important activities in store for the event, and you’re in the right town at the right time.”
“Be sure to check our Facebook page often for details,” he said. “Come one, come all and celebrate the 200th anniversary of our wonderful town!”