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City of Presque Isle to host official kickoff celebration for Maine Bicentennial

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Tuesday, July 30, Presque Isle will become the first city in Maine to commemorate the state’s 200th anniversary with special events that will include a visit from Gov. Janet Mills.

Presque Isle is one of four Maine cities that Governor Mills will visit, including Bangor, Augusta and Portland, to raise the Bicentennial flag, dedicate three white pine trees — the state tree — and announce Bicentennial events planned for 2020 around the state. The event will take place at 8:30 a.m. on July 30, at the Sargent Family Community Center.

Kim Smith, resource development and public information officer, said that Gov. Mills will be in Presque Isle for around an hour in order to attend the three other Bicentennial events that day. Although the July 30 visits are only intended as kickoffs for the Bicentennial, all communities in Maine will plan individual festivities for 2020.

“This is history in the making. You only celebrate a centennial once every 100 years,” Smith said. “It will be an honor to host the governor.”

City officials have been working closely with the Maine State Bicentennial Commission to plan the kickoff. In addition, Smith noted that Presque Isle is planning events to host in 2020 to celebrate Maine’s Bicentennial, including some that will take place during the Statehood Weekend on March 14 and 15, Tall Ship Week on July 16-19, and Grand Finale Week Oct. 9-12.

The city’s Bicentennial Committee plans to incorporate activities that will appeal to all ages, incorporate well-known state food and showcase Aroostook County’s role in the state’s history.

“There wouldn’t be tall ships without the tall timber that came from right here in Aroostook County,” Smith said. “That is one aspect that we’ll examine in 2020.”

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