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‘Preserving Our Historic Heritage’

PEPPERELL — “Preserving Our Historic Heritage” is the watch-phrase given to Saturday’s gala event by the volunteers of the Pepperell Covered Bridge Committee.

It’s been a year in the making, the grand-opening celebration of the new covered bridge in Pepperell.

The morning ceremony starts Saturday, Sept. 4 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Covered Bridge on Groton Street. From 8 a.m until noon the roads will be closed at the intersections of Groton and Main streets, Railroad Street and Lowell Road, Tucker and Mill streets, and Groton and Mill streets.

Parking is available on Main Street at the Rail Trail, Pepperell Braiding Co. at 22 Lowell St. and along one side of public roads in the area.

Morning events

The morning of the celebration will include an opening ceremony with guest speakers, ribbon cutting and dedications, followed by marching, drills and honorary gun salutes by the 6th Middlesex Regiment.

Next, watch a re-enactment of a historic event that occurred at the bridge over the river crossing in April 1775, at the start of the Revolutionary War: The re-enactment of “Prudence Wright and the Women Who Guarded the Bridge.”

The scene will be re-created at the site of the covered bridge and include professional regional and out-of-state re-enactors and local women. Women from Pepperell and surrounding towns are welcome to be part of the re-enactment. Click here for more information.

The Nashoba Valley Chorale will lift our spirits in patriotic song as the morning activities end with a parade of antique cars and tractors crossing through the covered bridge.

Antique Car and

Tractor Parade

Catch a bit of nostalgia, as antique cars and tractors pass through the Pepperell Covered Bridge including classic automobiles and tractors from the early 1900s, representing local car clubs and collectors in the community.

For more information, visit www.pepperellcoveredbridge.org.

Then… in the area around the bridge, the public can enjoy:

Outdoor Art Show

Meet local artists and view local arts and crafts at the outdoor show at the Covered Bridge Country Store. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Covered Bridge Committee, so stop by and help raise funds to benefit the covered bridge.

For more information, visit www.pepperellcoveredbridge.org.

Main Street Businesses

While you’re in the area, be sure to stroll up Main Street to see what the local businesses nearby have to offer.

Afternoon events

An afternoon of fun, food, entertainment, art and music is planned a short walk away at the town field where we will kick off the afternoon with:

18th Century

Demonstration

We’ll be conducting an 18th Century weapons demonstration using saber and pistol by a British and Colonial officer on horseback.

Business Marketplace

Visit the farmers market and a marketplace of local businesses. Meet and greet businesses in a comfortable, social setting. Find out what’s available locally and say hello to some of the businesses you know.

For more information, visit www.pepperellcoveredbridge.org.

Community Center Activities

Memorabilia Auction

Get an up-close view of the items that are being auctioned off on the committee’s website. Bid at the community center and watch the auction online as the auction comes to a close. While at the community center, visit the handprint fundraiser project downstairs by the Friends of Pepperell (for information, click here) or view the Prudence Wright and Covered Bridge display on the main floor.

Fresh food

Local farmers and food vendors will offer a selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh options for lunch and snacks from some of the best food establishments in the area.

Live entertainment

Bring a blanket, relax, meet the community and put your dancing shoes on. Local bands and musicians will entertain us around the band stand with a variety of music as an accompaniment to this special occasion. Provided by Pepperell Music Center.

18th Century games

Join us for some old-fashioned games and have fun the 18th-century way! Look for the game booth at the town field and try to win at games like sack races and hopscotch. Try playing chuck-farthing and see if you can get the most buttons in the cup, or see how much money and prizes you can find buried in our haystack! Since our haystack will contain farm allergens, we want to make the parents and children aware to exercise caution if anyone has allergy sensitivities.

Pony rides

Pet and ride the horses at one of our favorite local horse farms, River’s Edge Farm.

Student art contest

View artwork from the next generation of artists from Pepperell. All the winners of our art contest and several of the best drawings we receive of the covered bridge will be on display. See the original works of art from the children many of us will know and recognize.

Patriotic craft workshop

Kids can have fun making patriotic crafts and adults could learn a few creative ideas, too. Materials will be supplied and caring, experienced helpers will guide the instruction offered by Family Tree Daycare of Pepperell.

Face-painting

Put on a funny, crazy, colorful face or show your patriotic spirit with a unique face painting design provided by volunteers from the Christian Academy at Grace Baptist Church in Pepperell.

Kids Bounce House

A great source of entertainment for the children. Watch the kid’s excitement as they bounce their way to fun. Provided by B&V Inflatables of Pepperell.

Late afternoon and evening events

Block party

We’ll end our day of celebration with a block party at the town field where we’ll listen to popular music, dance and run contests. At 5 p.m., find out if you’ve won in the memorabilia internet auction or any of our raffles or contests. At 6, come play Pepperell Trivia with us and you could win one of several prizes including your own personalized engraved brick in the Memory Walk. Dance or just relax to the DJ services provided by Jay Hosmer. Visit with friends, make new friends or simply enjoy the music and outdoors anytime up until 8 p.m.

For more information, visit www.pepperellcoveredbridge.org.

The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 5. The grand-opening event will mark the transition from an era in Pepperell’s historical past to the future of a new community that will use, enjoy and guard the Pepperell Covered Bridge. — Covered Bridge Committee