New Rochelle will be entering its 325th year of existence when the clock strikes midnight Tuesday, and the festivities have already begun.
The 325th Anniversary Committee sponsored the flag-raising ceremony at City Hall Monday morning to kick off a year of celebrations.
All eyes in attendance were fixed on the stars and stripes as local Girls Scout Troop No. 2981 raised the American flag, and Boy Scout Troop No. 325 raised the city flag.
Guests included the New Rochelle Police Department Honor Guard, the New Rochelle Fire Department Color Guard, legislators such as State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, Mayor Noam Bramson, City Manager Charles Strome III and other members of the New Rochelle City Council as well as New Rochelle residents
“This is truly a tribute to the city,” said Strome. “It’s New Year’s Eve, it’s about 2 degrees and everybody is here. We have members of the fire department, the police department [and] parks department people are here.”
The event featured music by the children from the Songcatchers from St. Gabriel’s Church under the direction of Sister Beth Dowd, pianist and New Rochelle resident Diane Guernesey and the Brian Carter Trio.
The flag-raising ceremony was planned and carried out by the 325th Anniversary Committee, which is a group of 13 volunteers from the community, under the leadership of former Councilwoman Marianne Sussman.
The committee began planning the 2013 events early in 2012, said Sussman, and they have developed over the course of the year.
(The events with their dates and times are listed here.)
A portion of the costs of these events will be covered by the city, said Sussman. The money will go toward bringing in celebrities for concerts, various tournaments, printing costs and items such as a hot air balloon to welcome the mayor of LaRochelle, France, to the city, she said.
She did not give an exact number, saying the cost will be determined “as it develops.”
Sussman said sponsorships and contributions will also cover costs. Contributors will be given tickets to events and their name will appear on a street banner, such as the one in front of City Hall on North Avenue, she said.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring an event or giving a contribution, the 325th Anniversary Committee can be reached at 914-654-2159 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.