AUGUSTA, Maine — In what was supposed to be a milestone year filled with memorable celebrations, 2020 has become just that, but for unexpected reasons. The Maine Bicentennial commemorative events have officially been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We remain very grateful for the continued support of our sponsors and partners as we all navigate the uncertainties of this time,” Sen. Bill Diamond, chairman of the Maine Bicentennial Commission, said.
Tentative dates, pending any pandemic restrictions in place at that time, are:
- Maine Statehood Day Ceremony: Sunday, March 14, 2021, Augusta
- State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Presented by Poland Spring: Saturday, May 15, 2021, Cities of Auburn and Lewiston
- Sailing Ships events: Summer 2021 (various dates), ports along the Maine coast
- Maine200 Innovation Expo Presented by Central Maine Power: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, Portland
- Maine 200 Time Capsule sealing ceremony, Fall 2021, Location TBD
So next year, Mainers will be celebrating its 200th and 201st birthdays at the same time.
“While we are disappointed that we are unable to commemorate Maine’s bicentennial this year as planned, we are also excited about coming together in 2021 to celebrate not only 201 years of statehood, but our renewed sense of community and perseverance as we emerge from this trial,” Diamond said. “We look forward to celebrating and reflecting on the State of Maine when we can all do so safely and joyfully next year.”
Maine at 200: How statehood was linked to slavery:
The commission is reviewing applications for the final round of the Maine Bicentennial Community Grant Program and will soon announce the recipients.
The commission has awarded a total of $574,545 in grants through this program so far, allowing communities and organizations across the State to plan events and programs that recognize Maine’s bicentennial. The commission has extended the period for grant recipients to realize their plans through 2021, as part of the postponed commemoration.