Wantage to celebrate its 250th birthday with big party Saturday

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:45

    WANTAGE - Wantage Township was organized into its own Township on May 30, 1754. Wantage has changed a lot in 250 years. At the April, 1811 meeting, there were three main points of business for Wantage Township: where to hold the next election, the problem of stray cattle and sheep, and establishing a $35 bounty on the heads of the wolves in the area. In 2004, Wantage Township residents do not need to worry about wolves, stray livestock are much less common, and there is no need to debate where to vote or have a celebration. Wantage Township will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its founding on May 22 at the Wantage School, starting at noon. In keeping with the Wantage Township Motto, the celebration will showcase the aspects of History, Community, Family, and Tradition in Wantage. Speakers will relay historical first-hand stories of their early years in Wantage Township. The experiences of early farming with horse and plow, attending a one room school house, the infamous Saturday night bath, the history of banking in Wantage Township, the life of founding father Elias Van Bunschooten, and the possibility of ghosts in Wantage school will all be addressed by local storytellers. The passage of oral history, in the form of stories, from one generation to the next is a tradition in rural communities. Exhibitions of civic groups, historical societies, youth organizations and the Wantage Volunteer Fire Department will showcase the many different advantages of living in the Township adding a festive flair to the celebration. Students in the Wantage area have been working hard on posters, photography, and creating a replica of the famous Wantage Totem Pole. The replicated Wantage Totem Pole will be on display en process. Festivities start at noon on Saturday and continue until 5 p.m. After opening ceremonies, conducted by Mayor Bill DeBoer, the winners of the Wantage Township Poster, Photography, Essay, and Oldest Citizen Contest will be announced with prizes awarded. Refreshments are being donated by the Sussex A&P, The Country Mugger, Clove Brook Deli, Holland American Bakery, and the Wantage Fire Department. Shuttle bus service will be provided from the Lawrence School parking lot to the Wantage School festivities by the Board Of Education. The Wantage Township 250th Anniversary Celebration is open to all Wantage Township and Sussex Borough residents.