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Troy Bicentennial Celebration Begins

Mayor Patrick Madden and the Troy Cultural Alliance kicked off the start of the city’s bicentennial celebration today.

200 years have passed since Troy’s official incorporation on April 12, 1816.    "We were a village prior to that, and so this day today we will kick off a series of events that will occur over the course of a year to celebrate that 200th anniversary."

Mayor Madden says the city has partnered with the newly formed Troy Cultural Alliance to connect the city’s diverse cultural organizations, promote the city as a regional destination, and coordinate events designed to celebrate the bicentennial.  "So it's a very exciting time for me to be mayor. Not that I had anything to do with the last 200 years. But it's great to be in office when this sort of energy and interest arises around Troy and the history of Troy."

City Council President Carmella Mantello:  "We're going to celebrate the incorporation of our city. We're not just gonna look upon the past and the history, but we're gonna look at the future."

Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of The Arts Center of the Capital Region, says neighborhoods are key to Troy and to its future... "And we will have a whole program where neighborhood associations can reach the mayor's office and ask for a little bit of funding to do things right in your own backyard. We don't know quite when that process will unveil, but we invite you today to think about what you want to do that's important to you, and as you think about that we'll get that process together and make sure that you can celebrate with your neighbors this wonderful year. In the meantime we also have programs that are going to be wonderful for the whole city. It kicks off this weekend with the unveiling of the Pawling statue, the arts center will run a little program called ‘Collar City cool’ where you can put LED lights in your handmade collar, making it more modern. We'll go into weekends. During the Flag Day parade you can do a geocaching that we hope will get you all over the areas of Troy on a little fact-finding tour, and then we'll have different weekends in September and October and November also as we celebrate the Breathing Lights program that will be coming our way."

Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian Kathy Sheehan says the city has reinvented itself over and again in these last 200 years. "We have come back from three major fires. We've come back from urban renewal. And we get to do it again. We just constantly get to reinvent ourselves and I think that's the wonderful thing about the feeling and the sense that happens in Troy."

A full list of official Bicentennial Celebration events can be seen below. More events will be announced in the coming months. 

The Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River Street, Troy, 518-273-0552, artscenteronline.org
Collar City Cool - April 17, 2016, 1:30-3:30 FREE
Collars are once again being made by in Troy--this time by artists of all ages at the Arts Center!
Use fabrics, felts, papers and cardboards and LED lights to make a modern-day collar for yourself, kids or even a favorite pet! Pre-registration at www.artscenteronline.org
Troy Voices: Then and Now - September 23-25, 2016
Performance Debut and Reception - Friday, September 23, 6PM, FREE, Arts Center of the Capital Region 
Performance and Introduction to the Archives and Collections - Sunday, September 25, 1PM, FREE, the Rensselaer County Historic Society
The Arts Center of the Capital Region and the Rensselaer County Historical Society collaborate on this thoughtful investigation into the characters who built Troy. The Rensselaer County Historic Society will open its archives to eight writers, theater artists or performance artists (selected through an open call) to learn about the historic figures who made Troy what it is today.  These artists will then use that inspiration to write monologues and weave together the history and people of Troy into new voices.  The resulting works will culminated in staged performances at the Arts Center and at the Historic Society.
Legends of Troy - Saturday, September 24, 12 PM-5 PM FREE
 From the legend of Diamond Rock to the tragic tale of Elsie Vaughn and the Mohawk warrior Dekanisora, Troy history is charged with stories bigger than life! Join us for day-long creative workshops that rediscover and celebrate legends of Troy.
Making Troy - Sunday, November 6, 2016, 12-5 PM
The Arts Center of the Capital Region, the Rensselaer County Historic Society and the Center of Gravity collaborate for a day-long, hands-on creative experience building Troy’s past, present and future.  Enjoy all three sites for day long workshops on metal casting, planning Troy’s future, building water wheels and making historic letterpress documents. Troy was, and always will be a city of makers. Come enjoy making Troy once again.

Unveiling of the Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Statue in Pawling Park
• When: 2pm – 4pm, Friday, April 15th
• Where: Pawling Park, 560 Congress Street, Troy
• What: The Unveiling & Dedication Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Statue
The statue celebrates the Bicentennial of Troy's incorporation as a city and the memory of a man who served as Troy's first mayor, Rensselaer County's first Sheriff and a Colonel in the American Revolution, serving as Aide-de-Camp on the staff of General George Washington. The date, April 15th, also marks the 200th year to the day when Col. Pawling was appointed the first Mayor of Troy.
The public is welcome to attend the unveiling for free, but seating is limited. The event will begin at 2pm. The event's program will have several speakers, including Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo, and Brig. Gen. Raymond Shields of the New York State National Guard.
April 15th will also include a Wreath & Flag Raising Ceremony at Col. Pawling's gravesite in Old Mt. Ida Cemetery from 11am – 12pm and the Illumination of the Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Statue at 8pm.

Rensselaer County Historical Society
57 Second St.   Open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday thru Saturday
(518) 272-7232, rchsonline.org
Visions of Troy: 200 Years a City, 1816-2016 - Now through December 17, 2016.
“Visions of Troy: 200 Years A City” kicked-off the bicentennial celebration of Troy’s establishment as a city in 1816. The exhibit captures Troy’s history in 50-year increments with the years 1816, 1866, 1916, 1966 and 2016 as touch points. Troy has been in the heart of U.S. history from giving the country Samuel Wilson as the model for Uncle Sam through the Industrial Revolution, when it was one of the nation’s richest communities, to the present.
The exhibit also features the restored and lit iconic neon signs from the former South End Tavern!
Watch for news of changing exhibits each quarter in our Robison Family Meeting Room gallery!
May and June History Walks
History walks are held Saturdays in May, June, September and October. Led by RCHS staff, each tour has a different theme. Tours leave promptly at 10:30 am from the Farmer’s Market Information Booth. $5 per person, free for RCHS members. No Reservation required. Please join us!
The Air Was Full Of Smoke And Cinders: Troy’s Great Fire of 1862 - Saturday, May 7, 2016
On May 10, 1862, fire erupted on a bridge crossing the Hudson River and within hours, more than 500 buildings in the city were destroyed. Walk back into history as you retrace the progress of the “Great Fire” and see the disaster’s impact.
Explore Centennial Troy - Saturday, May 14, 2016
Explore the last century of Troy’s history, through the lens of the built environment that is Troy today. We will explore Troy’s downtown historic district using historic photos that capture the city at key moments throughout its history. This tour is in conjunction with the Bicentennial exhibit Visions of Troy: 200 Years A City: 1816-2016. On view now at RCHS through December 19th, 2016.
Washington Park - Saturday, May 21, 2016
Explore one of Troy’s most iconic neighborhoods, Washington Park. NOTE: This tour only will meet at the corner of Second and Washington Street in Troy at 10:30 a.m.

Events for Troy’s Flag Day Parade, Sunday, June 12:
Finding Troy - Sunday, June 12, 10 AM-5 PM at the Arts Center of the Capital Region
Before, during or after Troy’s fabulous Flag Day Parade join in on a city wide geocaching experience.  Designed to show you more about Troy than you think you know, the search will make learning about Troy’s buildings, landmarks, streets and parks fun for the whole family.  Brought to you by the Troy Cultural Alliance!
Troy’s 59th Flag Day Parade! - June 12, 2016
1 p.m. Start, arrive early for best viewing spots!
Parade Route along 4th Street
The Troy Cultural Alliance enables collaboration, nurtures creativity and provides a powerful voice to showcase the community impact of arts and culture.  The Alliance leverages the unique qualities of our member organizations to boost the Troy brand as the creative hub of the Capital Region.  More info at http://www.troyculture.org/

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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