"Safe, memorable and a commemorative time" for the commmunity is goal, organizers say
PROVINCETOWN — With a primary concern that what they promised could actually be delivered, the two leaders of the Provincetown 400 Task Force are revealing more and more of the plans for later this year, especially the public events.
“We’re trying to be really aware of getting the word out there,” Lori Meads, president and CEO of Seamen’s Bank, said in a recent interview. “I know a lot of people have been asking. What’s happening? What’s happening? We didn’t want to put something out there unless we were delivering it.”
Meads is leading the task force with K. David Weidner, executive director of the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, which owns the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.
The official commemoration of the Pilgrims’ landing in 1620 on the spit of land known now as Provincetown will start on April 24 but the arrival of the Mayflower II in early September for a five-day visit is essentially the core of the events. The annual cultural day for indigenous people is planned in October. Fireworks on Nov. 11, with a town-wide party at the monument with the lighting and fireworks, will end the year’s events.
“After that, that concludes Provincetown 400,” Weidner said. “It’s tight. It’s produceable. Our big thing is to continue to get things ready for the Mayflower II.”
With a total budget in the range of $225,000, the task force will pay $60,000 for the Mayflower II and about another $60,000 in extras such as security, housing and food for the crew and actors. Following a three-year, multi-million dollar restoration, Plimoth Plantation’s full-size historic reproduction of the original Mayflower, known as the Mayflower II, is set to return home to Plymouth Harbor on May 21, according to a Plimoth Plantation spokeswoman.
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But there are other concerns, too, Weidner and Meads said.
They are expecting up to 3,000 Mayflower descendants for a private lunch on Sept. 13, at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. They needed to avoid any notable events on Sept. 11 — such as the arrival of the Mayflower II, which will instead show up on Sept. 10 — due to security risks that might echo with 9/11. They had to plan the movement of the Mayflower II around the Sept. 12, Swim for Life, also in Provincetown Harbor.
The money charged for events such as the Sept. 12 gala, at $350 per person, all goes toward the expenses of putting on the year’s events, Weidner said. “Could this all be free?” Meads said. “That would be fabulous but we feel it’s important, and hopefully people understand.”
Several events are free, Meads and Weidner said.
“I want this to be a safe, memorable and a commemorative time that our community can be proud of for the generations,” Weidner said.