Doylestown celebrated its milestone 200th year of becoming the county seat of Bucks County beginning with its Memorial Day Parade on May 28th through Saturday, June 2nd ending with a spectacular firework display.
“This weeklong celebration was a tremendous success,” says Dee Ann Smith, Publicity Director of the Bicentennial Celebration.
Crowds numbered in the hundreds for limited seating attractions, to several thousands for the Airport Open House, the Antique Car Show, the Community Picnic and the Fireworks. So many people wanted to attend the Rutherford’s “Doylestown Then and Now” slide show and the Theodore Roosevelt Lecture that the hosts graciously presented the programs twice.
More than 320 people enjoyed funeral cake and tea after visiting the gravesites of more than 20 famous local people interred at the Doylestown Cemetery.
The lawn-filled crowd visiting the Hammerstein home (Oscar Hammerstein’s home where he wrote his famous lyrics for “Oklahoma,” as well as other Broadway musicals) sang along to his famous lyrics while munching on picnic lunches.
On May 31st, at the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, a fashion show was held as part of the Doylestown Bicentennial celebration week. The show was titled “200 Years of Fashion” and true to its name, there were costumes from every decade.
The opening featured the Doyle brothers who founded the town, and the finale featured a model posing as Doylestown’s most famous living celebrity, Pink. She wore a fantasy pink and white bridal gown befitting a rock star.
The tour of the James-Lorah House with Village Improvement Association (VIA) guides was a walk back through time as people could see the furnishings of the early 1900’s home of Sarah James, one of the VIA founders.
Lectures on Lt. Edwin Fretz, Dr. Geil, and the Lenape Indians were informative and well received.
The service honoring returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and the display of the Time Capsule drew both local and state dignitaries.
The Bucks County Civil War Library and Museum had a large number of visitors throughout the week as it stayed open for tours beyond its regular Saturday hours.
The weather cooperated just long enough for everyone to enjoy the festivities of the Pet Pageant.
The threat of rain throughout the week made organizers and presenters nervous, but people enjoyed the activities even through an occasional few sprinkles.
The Doylestown Fire Company held an Open House for people to see both antique and modern fire equipment and led the way to the Community Picnic at the Central Bucks YMCA with a fire engine parade that included fire engines from surrounding municipalities.
Following the celebration, organizers co-chairs Stu Abramson and Lynn Goldman thanked “…the sponsors, our many volunteers, especially those who headed the committees and made the plans come to life, and the community at large for their support. We encourage (everyone) to purchase our Commemorative Book as a keepsake of this milestone event and to consider joining the Doylestown Historical Society to help us carry on our good works….”
The Doylestown County Seat Bicentennial Commemorative Book is a compilation of Doylestown “then pictures” courtesy of the Rutherford, Strecker, Doylestown Historical Society and other collections, as well as, modern “now photos” by J. Fletcher Walls. The book is edited by Marilyn Arbor. It includes a DVD featuring interviews with those remembering the 1912 Centennial Celebration.
This book is available at the Doylestown Historical Society, 56 South Main Street, Doylestown, local bookstores, the Bucks County Civil War Library and Museum, Broad Street and Garden Alley, Doylestown and other local establishments.