2019 is ramping up to be a celebration-filled year for Alexandria. The small town, located between the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers, is made up of primarily descendants of Scots, French, Swiss, and Dutch peoples.
It was in 2017, that Alexandria native Michelle Daprato felt the need for her community to honour and celebrate the town’s 200th anniversary. From there, a committee was born and these 16 dedicated volunteers have been busy organizing various events that will take place throughout the year.
“Alexandria is a melting pot of diverse heritage and rich culture and that’s what makes this community so special,” said Daprato. “There are a handful of festivities scheduled so far, but we hope to have other pop-up events as the year unfolds. It’s about bringing our community together,” said Daprato.
To kick off the occasion, is the Inauguration Ball on February 9 at the Glengarry Sports Palace in Alexandria. The era-themed night will include cocktails at 6 pm followed by a prime rib dinner and a dance with local musical talent, The Campbell Trio and The County Lads. To add to the flavor of the evening, attendees are encouraged to wear period-themed costumes.
On March 21, the “Pictorial History of Alexandria” book launch will take place at the Sandfield Centre complete with guest speakers and a wine and cheese event.
As part of the Canada Day celebrations, there will be a giant Family BBQ at the Glengarry Sports Palace on June 29.
Musical Celebration Musicale (MCM) is planning a CD release in honour of Dorothy Dumbrille, Alexandria author from the 1940’s. Furthermore, the MCM Festival is also hoping to resurrect the St. Andrews Day concerts featuring local talent, dancing, piping, and short plays.
“The tradition which started in 1924 lasted almost 50 years and deserves to be revisited on this very special anniversary,” said Gabrielle Campbell, President of the MCM.
“A 200-year anniversary should not go unnoticed, hence the planned events,” said Jamie MacDonald, North Glengarry Mayor and member of the organizing committee.
“So many of the families that gave rise to Alexandria in the 1800 and 1900’s have descendants living here today, and this will be a special year for them,” said the Mayor.
Glengarry County has some of the earliest settlements of our country. It was in 1786 that missionary priest Alexander MacDonell brought the first 500 Highland Scots to the area. Glengarrians named the town “Alexandria” as a tribute to Father MacDonell after he moved to Kingston years later. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that French Canadians from neighbouring Quebec towns were brought in to work in the mill and in the bush, making the town the unique, bilingual and thriving community that it is today.
Stay up to date with Alexandria 200 updates by following the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/glengarrybicentennial/
For more information please contact bicentennial committee member Michelle Daprato at [email protected] or 613.551.8224
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In 2016 she wrote her first book Dare to be Raw, which is her true story of triumph over tragedy.Willard's book is available at The Review or through her website.
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