Celebrate Pittsfield's 250th birthday


[Pittsfield, Mass.] Beginning at noon on Friday, this weekend is chock-a-block with events—from concerts, dances, and a film to cake, speeches, ceremonies, and flags—all to mark the beginning of the festivities planned for Pittsfield’s yearlong 250th birthday celebration. It was on April 26, 1761, that Pittsfield was incorporated and formally named to honor British prime minister William Pitt.
The anniversary weekend begins Friday at noon with an Arbor Day celebration in Park Square, followed by the opening ceremony at City Hall, and continues through a series of free activities and entertainments at venues around the city.   
Friday, April 29
Noon: A traditional Arbor Day Celebration at Park Square, where an elm tree will be rededicated as a symbol of the historic elm that stood for centuries at the heart of Pittsfield.  
At 4 p.m.: The Opening Ceremony at City Hall, 70 Allen St., hosted by Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto, will include remarks by dignitaries and music by the Eagles Band, the Berkshire Hillsmen and the city’s high school choruses. An Honor Guard will present the colors and the new Pittsfield flag will be unveiled. Residents are invited to attend in period costume of any time from 1761 to the present day.
At 5 p.m.: A free community performance entitled “Pittsfield Past, Present and Future,” at the United Methodist Church on Fenn Street, will feature a variety of community groups, including the Eagles Band, Price Memorial Church Choir, Pittsfield Children’s Chorus, the Town Players, Miss Behavin’, Terpsichore Dancers, Senior Singers, Gaia Roots Drummers, the Gospel Gang, Miss Cookie Crumble and many others commemorating the City through song and verse, accompanied by a slide show of images of Pittsfield throughout its history. Free and open to all.
At 7:30 p.m.: The celebration continues with free dance parties. The dances will feature country music with the local band Corey Zink and County Line at South Congregational Church, 110 South St., beginning at 7:30 p.m.; classic rock with DJ John Sottile at the Masonic Temple, 166 South St., also at 7:30 p.m.; and Dance Band, part of the United Cerebral Palsy benefit at the Crowne Plaza, 1 West St., open to the public and free, from 9-11 p.m. A number of Pittsfield restaurants will offer Opening Celebration discounts and specials.
Saturday, April 30
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The Berkshire Museum, , will hold a free all-day, 250th birthday family celebration, complete with a cake cutting, performances by David Grover at 1 and 3, face painting and special activities. The Berkshire Museum’s Pittsfield 250 exhibit of artwork and artifacts depicting the history of the city is on view through May 8 in the Crane Room.
Noon to 6 p.m.: Two additional Pittsfield 250 exhibits will open in storefronts at 441 North St. and 158 Tyler St. Featuring 250 years of Pittsfield memorabilia and photographs, these exhibits are presented under the auspices of the Berkshire Historical Society and Berkshire Carousel .
7:00 p.m.: Barrington Stage Company, , will present a screening of Glory, the Civil War film about Massachusetts African-American 54th Regiment, for which Pittsfield’s Samuel Harrison served as chaplain. The screening is free and open to the public.
Sunday, May 1
10 a.m. to noon: Hancock Shaker Village, 1843 W. Housatonic St., invites the community to a free birthday party for Pittsfield and the baby animals.
2 p.m.: The Colonial Theatre, , will host a free afternoon of chamber music featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra Tanglewood Music Center Fellows. The concert is free and open to the entire community, but reservations are recommended; call .
For more information, visit the Pittsfield 250 website at www.pittsfield250.com or call .
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