The New Britain Historical Society is planning the first Heritage Day New Britain on May 10. Each year it will fall on the weekend closest to May 9 as May 9, 1754 is the day Colonial Congress approved the designation of the New Britain Ecclesiastical Society.
“It will be like a Main Street USA and Sesquicentennial rolled into one,” said Amy Kirby, New Britain Historical Society Director. “With a heavy focus on history, every community group, culture, basically anything to do with New Britain will be invited to take part, so long as they feature something about their history at their space.”
For example, the Central Connecticut State University History Club is going to do the history of CCSU throughout the years. Booths with photographs from such groups as churches, the hospital, YMCA would be appropriate.
Student interns from CCSU have been involved in every step of the planning process with Kirby.
“The students are really dedicated,” said Kirby. “This all came about in the beginning of this semester.”
Kirby first presented the idea to Mayor Erin Stewart who told Kirby to move forward with the plan.
A Facebook page will be dedicated to the event. Information will also be on the New Britain Historical Society’s Facebook as well as their website at www.newbritainhistoricalsociety.org.
A group of 6 students spoke at Wednesday’s council meeting on their part of the project.
Some fundraising events will take place such as a Pancake Breakfast.
“Anything that is raised to ensure this happens is not going to the historical society. It will be going to this event so we can pull it off,” said Kirby. “How great it can be depends on how much money is raised.”
There will be a children’s area where kids can do historical events like drawing where they live on a map.
“It is geared at being in New Britain and living in New Britain,” said Kirby. “We would like groups to participate at no fee.”
But, it all depends on how much is raised.
The event is being planned for rain or shine. If the weather is good it will be held on Main and West Main St. near Central Park. Rain will bring it indoors to Anvil Place, City Hall and various surrounding buildings.
“I want people to walk around this event and be inspired by their community,” said Kirby. “I believe somewhere along the way people became depressed about New Britain because there was no one there to remind them of where they came from and how they got to where we are at. When that happened people became depressed and didn’t care. If we go back and slowly start instilling those memories again, I think there will be a phenomenal change in the way people think about New Britain.”