This week, banners to celebrate the State of Maine’s Bicentennial will start to appear throughout the City of Belfast. This celebration of the State’s 200th birthday, which also coincides with the 250th anniversary of the first settling of the community in 1770, will feature six locations with banners ranging in size from ten feet by sixteen feet to twenty feet by sixteen feet. Banners include a variety of pictures representing images celebrating and promoting Belfast’s past.
“It was a fun exercise to look through the archives of Penobscot Marine Museum’s and Belfast Historical Society’s vast collections of Belfast images with Megan Pinette of the Belfast Historical Society and Museum and Norma Whitman, Project Graphic Designer,” explained Kevin Johnson Photo Archivist, Penobscot Marine Museum. “We wanted images that celebrated Belfast’s architecture, industries, special places, and its citizens at work and at play. We think we found some good ones!”
These extremely visible banners will serve as a celebration of Maine and the City of Belfast. The banners provide an opportunity for viewers to reflect on the rich history of both the City of Belfast and the State of Maine. While many of the State’s in-person Bicentennial events are being canceled, this project remains largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These banners will remain up through Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2021.
The project was funded in part by a grant from the Maine Bicentennial Commission, along with funding provided by the City of Belfast. In total, Maine’s Bicentennial Commission disbursed a total of $667,429 to assist 170 successful applicants with their local bicentennial plans across the State.
“Belfast was pleased to have been selected by the Maine Bicentennial Commission because Belfast is excited to celebrate Maine’s 200th year,” stated City Councilor Michael Hurley. “We have had a tough 2020 and through it all we kept working on the Banner Project and on other efforts to maintain Belfast’s vibrancy. The Banner Project will carry us forward into 2021 and better days ahead.”
Local partners on the project included the Penobscot Marine Museum, the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, the Belfast Creative Coalition, the Belfast Historical Society and Museum, Whitecap Builders, and Our Town Belfast.
For more information about the project, please visit: ourtownbelfast.org/bicentennial/