By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – This year, the town of Westborough will celebrate its 300th anniversary. And to commemorate this special milestone, a number of events are planned, such as a parade and gala. But first, residents gathered to attend a “Wine and Cheese Kickoff” at the 1717 Shoppe located in the Westborough Shopping Plaza.
The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 7 but the nasty weather convinced the organizers, the Westborough 300th Anniversary Committee, that it would be best to move it to the following day. Scores of residents came out to celebrate at the store, which has been established to sell Westborough memorabilia and consigned items. Guests were invited to enjoy a special glass of “1717” champagne, wine or soda and nibble on delectable crudités, cheeses and more.
Led by committee co-chairs Reene Hatherley and Deb Schradieck, local and state dignitaries participated in an official ribbon-cutting for the store. Westborough Board of Selectmen Chair Ian Johnson and members Leigh Emery, George Barrette, Denny Drewry and Bruce Tretter were present as were the town’s three state representatives Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston), Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) and Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), along with State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton).
Hatherley thanked those who had volunteered for nearly two years thus far as the town prepares for a year full of celebrations. The committee’s goal, she added, was to raise $200,000 so that they could host such things as a “grand” parade, formal gala, family fun day and fireworks.
At the kickoff the state legislators presented the committee with a citation honoring them for their efforts and wishing them well as the year continues.
Gregoire, noting that Northborough (of which she represents several districts) had just finished its 250th anniversary celebration.
“Lucky me! I’m ready for another year of parties!” she added.
Several local businesses donated items for the kickoff, including an anniversary cake (The Bistro), cheese and crackers (Roche Bros.) and an appetizer (Civic Kitchen & Drink). Julio’s Liquors donated wine, the 1717 champagne and beer, and provided a commemorative wine glass with the 300th logo on one side, and Julio’s logo on the other.
The 1717 Shoppe is part of the effort to raise funds to support events throughout the anniversary year. It is being overseen by Nancy Perkins, the store’s chair, longtime retailer, and fourth-generation Westborough resident. Perkins is managing approximately 20 volunteers who are running the shop. Space for the store was donated by the Colangelo family, who own the Westborough Shopping Center.
The store has a number of Westborough collectable items as well as consigned items such as jewelry, home décor, Christmas and hand-knit items, homemade soap, chocolate, candles, and penny candies. There is also a reading section featuring books by Westborough authors.
For more information about the Westborough 300th celebration, visit www.westborough300.com. There are two Facebook pages – www.facebook.com/groups/Westborough300th and www.facebook.com/the1717shoppe.