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Middletown marks 125th anniversary with weeklong celebration
Middletown is balancing its past against its present and its future as it marks its 125th anniversary this week.
The celebration kicked off Saturday with a black-tie Summer Breeze Ball and the opening of the “Railroads of Middletown” exhibit, which will remain on display from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through this Saturday at the former TD Bank building at 2 South St.
“We were an old railroad town and industrial town,” Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano told Newsday Westchester this afternoon. “We’ve redefined ourselves by playing on our diversity, and we’re celebrating that diversity.”
With a population that's 40 percent Hispanic, the community has embraced "the new spirit from people who wanted to rebuild neighborhoods and open businesses," DeStefano said.
On tap for the rest of the weeklong celebration:
Today: A one-hour World War II lecture, “Middletown in the Great War: The Men of Company I” at SUNY Orange’s Orange Hall Gallery (115 South St.) at 7 p.m.
Wednesday: The 7 p.m. unveiling of a historical marker at 41-45 Dolson Ave., where Cal Rodgers -- the first man to make a transcontinental flight -- crashed his Vin Fiz plane and survived; and a 7:30 p.m. Latin concert next to Garcia Market (148 North St.).
Thursday: Middletown students in grades four through 12 will perform a concert at the Paramount Theater at 7 p.m. (17 South St.).
Friday: The opening of a time capsule from a 1910 cornerstone of Middletown’s City Hall (16 James St.) at 6 p.m.; Jimmy Sturr Stars and Stripes Concert at Festival Square at 7 p.m.; the Murali Coryell Trio Blues Group performance at the park next to Something Sweet (17 North St.) at 7:30 p.m.; and the Middletown Anniversary Birthday Cake Bash at Festival Square at 8 p.m.
Saturday: A walking tour of Hillside Cemetery from 9 a.m. to noon; a 1.25-mile Historic Hustle race beginning on Highland Avenue and ending in Franklin Square at 2:45 p.m.; a 3 p.m. rain-or-shine parade that starts at the Middletown Armory on Highland Avenue and ends at Thrall Park; and a 7 p.m. celebration of music, food and fireworks at Fancher Davidge Park (130 Lake Ave.). The rain date for the 7 p.m. event is Sunday.
Sunday: A reception for the Middletown Art Group at Orange Hall Gallery from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information about these anniversary events, visit www.middletown-ny.com, or contact City Clerk John Naumchik at 845-346-4168 or email@example.com.