OSSINING, N.Y. – Nearly 100 years ago to the night, John Wunderlich’s grandfather spoke at the Village of Ossining’s centennial celebration. So it was only fitting that John deliver a speech Tuesday night at the Ossining Public Library to kick off a months-long Bicentennial Celebration.
More than 150 members of the community celebrated the 200th anniversary of the village’s incorporation Tuesday evening, the first of dozens events set for the next several months to honor the village’s heritage. Several events, including Victorian home tours, movie nights in the park, fireworks, concerts and a village fair, will pave the way for a six-month exhibition of large outdoor sculptures along the waterfront in May.
Wunderlich, president of the Ossining Historical Society, said Tuesday night’s celebration was about reflecting back on the 200-year history of the village.
“My grandfather, Courtney Brandreth, stood in this village to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ossining so how wonderful is it that I get a chance to continue that tonight,” Wunderlich said, noting that his great-grandfather Benjamin Brandreth established Brandreth Pill Factory in Ossining. “I’m honored to continue that family tradition. It has really been a great pleasure to put this show together.”
Wunderlich said he wanted the kickoff event to make a lasting impact in Westchester.
“I thought, that if we could get some people out here and celebrate this birthday, then we could keep that momentum going for the rest of the year and we could really have something special,” he said. “If there’s anything that I can do, I can throw a party. So it’s wonderful to see more than 100 people here celebrating this great birthday.”
Village of Ossining Mayor William Hanauer agreed, adding that he was excited for the upcoming celebrations throughout the village.
“This is the perfect opening salvo because it sets the tone of the history of the village,” Hanauer said Tuesday. “This is a village that respects and loves its history and its architecture.”
Many on the bicentennial committee, including Chairman George Camp, have worked to coordinate the months-long celebration for nearly two years. Camp said he was proud to see so many people celebrating Tuesday night.
“We all know what a treasure we have in our community,” Camp said. “Our hope for the celebration this year is for everyone to come together of every race, color and creed to celebrate and let the rest of Westchester and the world know what a great community we have.”
For more information and for a list of upcoming events, residents are asked to visit the Village of Ossining’s Bicentennial Celebration website.