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Royalton wants community to pitch in for bicentennial celebration

ROYALTON – Have a good recipe handed down through the generations? How about an interesting story about the good old days? Or, for artistic folks, how about an idea for a special town logo to advertise the Town of Royalton’s upcoming bicentennial in 2017?

Members of the Town of Royalton Historical Society’s Bicentennial committee are looking for help with each of these ideas right now, as this rural community prepares to celebrate its founding next year in a variety of ways.

Among the many ideas the committee has planned is the creation of a community cookbook, with recipes culled from area residents. It’s looking for ancestral recipes, in particular.

“I have my great-grandmother’s cookbook, for example,” said Jennifer Bieber, who is supervisor of the Town of Royalton as well as president of the historical society.

“We’re looking for older recipes – ones that are tried and true and passed down. We hope to have this published and available for sale by our celebration kickoff dinner in April 2017.”

Entries for any of the committee’s many projects may be submitted to the bicentennial committee at Royalton Town Hall, 5316 Royalton Center Road, Middleport, NY 14105 or emailed to: Royalton2017@aol.com.

Town Historian Jesse Bieber, the supervisor’s husband, heads the society’s bicentennial committee.

Supervisor Bieber said April 5, 2017, will be the 200th anniversary of the first Town Hall meeting in Royalton and the committee is tentatively scheduling its kickoff dinner for that date.

In addition, the committee will be selling a commemorative 2017 calendar later this year, listing bicentennial events. It invites all local businesses, organizations and churches to list their upcoming events and historic facts for free. The deadline is May 6.

“Jesse has hundreds of old photos on the historical society’s Facebook page, memories of Royalton, Gasport and Middleport, and he created a slideshow for us and we picked the pictures for the calendar from that,” said Bieber. “We’ve put a lot of neat pictures together.”

Bieber said the committee intends to have the calendar ready for sale by this summer or early fall, noting, “It would make a great Christmas gift.”

The committee also is searching for a special bicentennial logo. Applicants may be from anywhere in Niagara County and the deadline is April 8.

The image must “honor the community’s history and capture its pride and strength,” according to organizers, and include the words: “Town of Royalton,” “bicentennial” and “1817-2017.” Entries may be in black and white or color, on an 8½-inch-by-11-inch sheet of white paper. The winner receives $100, the runner-up gets $50 and two honorable mentions will be chosen for $25 prizes.

“We haven’t had any entries yet and we want to use this logo to publicize our bicentennial events, like for our letterhead, for example,” she explained. “It also would be used on such commemorative items as mugs, shirts, wine glasses or whatever else might be suggested.”

More details of the logo contest are available by visiting: www.TownofRoyalton.org, under local events.

Organizers also encourage residents with fond memories to share their stories.

“We’ve been talking about recording them or videotaping them and also getting them down in writing,” she said. “We have some residents who have been here a very long time and we’d like to get them to talk about the history of the town or other things they can remember. They can be personal stories, school stories or war stories, too, for example. ”

The committee hopes to “piggyback off some of the already existing events in town this year and next year,” Bieber noted. This would include the town’s annual Fourth of July celebration, Community Day, and Gasport Beautification Movie Night, among others.

Bieber said committee members are eager to be invited to set up a table and share their plans with the community at any of these events this year.

The historical society also is looking for sponsorships and donations for its many projects, she said. For information, call Bieber at 735-7335 or email Royalton2017@aol.com.