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Ways you can celebrate Tolland’s 300th Anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 19

Everyone’s invited to attend Tolland’s big birthday party: the 300th Anniversary parade and festive townwide picnic on Sept. 19. Here are some ways you can take part:

Watch the parade from one of the picturesque spots on the town green or in front of St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church near the new Tolland Founders Monument. The parade steps off at 1 P.M., rain or shine, from Tolland Intermediate School and traverses the green before ending at the new Tolland Founders Monument at Dunn Hill and Old Stafford roads.

Applaud your neighbors, local officials, civic groups, the 1st Governor’s Horse Guard, the Manchester Regional Police and Fire Pipe Band, the Sphinx Shrine Funsters, and many other units as they take part in the parade. Town Historian Barbara Cook is the parade marshal, and the parade theme is “The Settlers Still Rock!” Banner Water is the generous lead sponsor of the parade.

Ride the free shuttle buses to the green and back from Tolland High School, Crandall Park, or the Route 195 state commuter lot. The buses will run throughout the day and are your easiest way to get around. Handicapped parking is available after 11:30 A.M. in front of the Hicks-Stearns Museum or at St. Matthew Church.

Shop at the Arts of Tolland Craft Show in the Arts Center from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Dance to a great line-up of German, jazz, bluegrass, and country music at Celebrate Tolland/300th Anniversary Picnic between 3 P.M. and 8 P.M. at Tolland Middle School. Eric and Lois Santini and their family are the main sponsors of the picnic.

Play old-fashioned games at the picnic throughout the day, and your kids can bounce to their heart’s content in the free bounce houses.

Indulge in great foods at modest prices at the picnic. The choices range from fried dough to brisket, from veggie wraps to sausage and pepper grinders and pizza to apples to ice cream. The food vendors are Papa T’s, the Exchange Club of Rockville, American Creamery, Little Mark’s Big Barbecue, the Tolland Lions Club, Monet’s Table Restaurant & Catering, Jeff’s Kettle Corn, and the Country Butcher.

Get nostalgic by watching two vintage baseball games, beginning at 4 P.M.

Visit more than 50 vendors’ booths to learn about local businesses, artisans, town agencies, and civic groups at the picnic, which this year has been combined with the annual Celebrate Tolland festival.

Celebrate with the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee and the Tolland Historical Society at 7:30 P.M. when both groups hold a closing ceremony to end the celebration that began May 12, 2015.

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