Thayer Library's birthday party is Sept. 30.
A townwide birthday party for the library will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., and the celebration includes music; children's activities - including a marionette show, bouncy tent, and a petting zoo; a commemorative birthday cake from Lancaster's "Cake Lady," Dianne Rockwell; Civil War quilters; prizes; locally-connected products; and a rocket send-off. All events are free.
After welcoming remarks at 1:30 p.m. from Frank MacGrory, trustee and chairman of the 150th committee, and Emily Rose, chairman of the Board of Trustees, representatives of the library will dedicate an elm tree planted to commemorate the event. The tree, Ulmus americana Princeton, is resistant to the Dutch Elm disease, and has been donated by Select Horticulture of Lancaster. A memorial marker near the base of the tree will commemorate the planting.
Volunteers will launch a hobby rocket, including a payload note from the library staff, hoping to know where it's found once it lands.
The afternoon continues with cake-cutting (ice cream and cake for all) and exhibits of interest to readers, gardeners, history buffs and families. Two barbershop chorales - the Unitonians of Worcester and the Chair City Pipers of Gardner - will perform on the green.
Rosalita's Puppets, made and handled by Charlotte Anne Dore, will perform "The Sea Story." Dore's marionettes have performed at King Richard's Faire, First Night Boston and many other events.
Quilters will demonstrate their craft as well as provide quilting activities for adults and children. They will be making a quilt with reproduction Civil War fabrics to raffle; proceeds will support the conservation of fabric items in the library's Special Collections, such as its samplers.
The Lancaster Garden Club will offer two free workshops, one for children (making a fairy garden) at 2:30 p.m., and another, fall bulb planting, at 4 p.m. The club will operate a gardening table during the event.
Since January, special exhibits from the library's rare books collection, and talks from several experts in literature and area history have been held at the library. Still ahead is the restoration of the Chandler Reward of Merit, this year being awarded to best-selling fantasy and science fiction writer R.A. Salvatore, of Leominster. That event is scheduled for Oct. 4. Then, on Nov. 4, members of the library's four writing groups will read from their own work at a "Lancaster Writers Read" event. More speaker programs are also slated for the fall.
Planning for this birthday year has involved two years and a cross-section of Lancaster individuals and organizations representing the town's history, the library, the arts, civic volunteers and others. Committee members, chaired by library Trustee Frank MacGrory, include: Emily Rose, exhibits; Steve Piazza, fundraising; Joan Richards, programs; Ann Frantz, public relations; Marilyn Page, secretary; and Tom Kennedy, Joan Allard, Catherine Chaisson, Donald Chaisson, Kevin Doyle, Bob Baylis, Dave Rockwell, Stephanne Fiori, Bob Kadlec, Heather Lennon, Adrianne Ordung, JoAgnes Santangelo, Karen Silverthorn, Carol Speiser, Leslie Perrin Wilson and Frank Graham on exhibits, John Schumacher-Hardy, and Library Director Joseph Mule. Assistance has also come from the library staff and volunteers, who will participate Sept. 30.
Many individuals and businesses have donated products, services or funds to the library for this year's celebration. They include: Massachusetts Cultural Council, Thayer Memorial Library Foundation, Friends of Thayer Memorial Library, Liberty Hill, Clinton Exchange Club, D'Ambrosio Eye Care, Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores, Clinton Savings Bank, Dunn and Co., Nationwide Auto Recycling, Select Horticulture, Emerson Painting, JC Madigan Truck Equipment, Built-Rite Tool and Die, MarketKing Printing and Graphics, Avidia Bank, Reliance Engineering, the Bolton Fair, Orchard Hills Athletic Club, Bob's Turkey Farm, Main Street Auto, Pampered Paws, Dianne "The Cake Lady" Rockwell, Michael's Bridge Diner, Murph's Hot Dog Truck, Lancaster Gardens, Corrective Chiropractic, Starr Investment Services Inc., Bob Baylis, Drumlin Designs, Thayer Textile Brigade, Lancaster Golf Center, Rite-Aid and Frank T. MacGrory.
CUTLINE: Rosalita's Puppets will perform during the Thayer Memorial Library's birthday party Sunday.