Everyone’s invited to celebrate the Town of Tolland’s 300th Anniversary on Sept. 19 with a large, regional parade and a festive townwide picnic.
The parade steps off at 1 P.M. from Tolland Intermediate School and traverses the historic Tolland green for 8/10 of a mile, ending at the new Tolland Founders Monument at the corner of Dunn Hill and Old Stafford roads.
The parade will feature the 1st Governor’s Horse Guard, the Manchester Regional Police and Fire Pipe Band, the Nathan Hale Fife and Drums Corps, Tolland’s oldest residents, the Tolland Historical Society, civic groups, sports teams, Scout troops, antique vehicles, and many surprises. It is sponsored by Banner Water, a Tolland company that supports many great causes in town.
Town Historian Barbara Cook is the parade marshal. The parade’s theme is “The Settlers Still Rock,” a slogan suggested by Tolland High School graduate Carolyn Sireci in 2012. Legend holds that early settlers of Tolland sought shelter under a large outcropping on Gehring Road, and Settlers Rock graces the town seal.
Businesses, civic groups, and neighborhoods are competing for $1,500 in prizes in the Tolland 300th float contest.
Handicapped parking will be available on the carriage road in front of the Arts Center and at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church from 11:30 A.M. on. Since parking will be limited for the parade, parade-goers are encouraged to take shuttle buses from the state commuter lot at exit 68 on Route 195, from Crandall Park, and from Tolland High School. The buses will run throughout the day.
The roads around the green will be closed right before the parade until about 2:30 P.M.
After the parade, area residents are encouraged to come to the Celebrate Tolland festival/Tolland 300th picnic from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M. at Tolland Middle School.
Made possible with a donation from the family of Eric and Lois Santini of Tolland and other donors, the picnic will feature German, jazz, bluegrass, and country music; old-fashioned games for children and adults; many vendors; great food; and two vintage baseball games.
Consider holding a family reunion and spend the day in Tolland! Picnic-goers are encouraged to park at Tolland High School and take the shuttle buses to and from Celebrate Tolland. Bring your own chairs and blankets to picnic and enjoy the food and music.
The Tolland Lions Club is donating a large tent to provide a food pavilion. A wide variety of food will be available to purchase from the Lions Club, American Creamery of Tolland, Little Mark’s Big Barbecue of Vernon, Monet’s Table Restaurant & Catering of Tolland, the Rockville Exchange Club, Papa T’s Restaurant of Tolland, and The Country Butcher of Tolland.
The food will range from fried dough to ice cream, pulled pork, brisket, hamburgers, hot dogs, Jeff’s Kettle Corn, vegetarian wraps, and vegetable soups to sausage and pepper grinders. Come hungry!
For more information on this spectacular day of events, visit Tolland300.org or like the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee on Facebook.