New Rochelle is getting ready to celebrate its 325th anniversary with a year of events, starting on New Year’s Eve flag-raising at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 515 North Ave.
Events are set throughout the year, including a Norman Rockwell exhibit, a kite day and a Mayor’s Cup sail race, and a “fatt calfe” ceremony commemorating an obligation the city still holds more than three centuries later.
The tradition stems from when the French Huguenots bought 6,000 acres of what is now New Rochelle from the Pell family in 1688. For that, they had to pay $4,000 and provide “one fatt calfe” (that is, a fattened calf), every June, “yearly and every year forever, if demanded” by the Pell family.
Forever is a mighty long time. So far, it’s lasted three and a quarter centuries. The family doesn’t request it every year. But when it does, it’s up to New Rochelle officials to run out and find a calf to turn over.
Find information about the 325th anniversary celebrations here.
And here’s the entire announcement of the flag-raising:
325th Anniverary Celebration to Kick off with
City Hall Flag-Raising, BID Family Day
Banner Special extended until December 31
The City of New Rochelle will mark the beginning of its 325th Anniversary year in 2013 with a ceremonial flag-raising on Monday, December 31 at 10AM at New Rochelle City Hall. The event will feature elected officials, musical selections, honor and color guards and community partners. The flag raising will kick off a year-long celebration of the City’s founding by the Huguenots in 1688 and the “tides” of immigration which have contributed to our rise as a dynamic and vital suburban city.
The event is followed by the Third Annual “Ring in the New Year at Noon” celebration from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM at New Roc City, 33 Le Count Place in downtown New Rochelle. This festive morning event provides families with a Times Square-simulated atmosphere with a balloon drop at noon celebrating the New Year and the City’s anniversary. In addition to traditional New Year’s activities, kids will enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, kiddy rides, magicians, clowns, dancing, a martial arts demonstration, games and more. Ring in the New Year at Noon is presented by New Roc City in association with the New Rochelle Business Improvement District and their BID Family Day event series.
In recognition of the City’s 325th Anniversary, colorful banners have been installed on lampposts down North Avenue and on Main Street. These banners, sponsored by companies, organizations, neighborhoods and individuals, will continue to be available well into 2013 for a donation of $325; however, the special introductory rate of $250 or 5 for $1,000 has been extended until December 31. Additionally, Anniversary Sponsorship opportunities are still available for businesses, organizations and individuals to support the exciting programs and initiatives planned for 2013. Sponsorships are available on a variety of levels. Banner and sponsorship forms are available online from the city’s website, www.newrochelleny.com/325 , by calling 654-2159 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Upcoming events and activities will include a historic “Timeline” exhibit in the spring and a series of ceremonial events in early June when the mayoral delegation from La Rochelle, France will arrive. For more information visit the official City calendar at www.newrochelleny.com/325 or Facebook at newrochelle325.