Worcester Announces Tercentennial Programming

Mar 1, 2022

Bill Shaner

A June Celebration Will Feature Fireworks, Canal District Summer Stroll, 5K Road Race, Cultural Parade, and a Community Festival

City officials today announced a preliminary schedule of events for Tercentennial Weekend, which will celebrate the 300-year anniversary of the establishment of Worcester, Mass., on June 10, 11, and 12.

The municipality, named after Worcester, England, was first established as a town in on June 14, 1722, and later became a city on leap day, Feb. 29, 1848. During the past three centuries, Worcester has evolved from modest but instrumental revolutionary beginnings to a diverse and modern city, the second most populous in New England, rich in innovation, history, and culture.
Under the direction of Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., a committee of local business and community leaders has planned a calendar of events and observations throughout 2022 that celebrate Worcester’s past, present, and future. A highlight of these plans is Tercentennial Weekend, which includes three days of celebratory events and programming.
“There’s never been a more fitting time for a festivity the likes of which the Worcester Tercentennial Committee has been hard at work planning,” said Augustus said.

Mayor Petty added, “We look forward to celebrating with and among all our residents and showing the world why Worcester is both the Heart of New England and the birthplace of the Smiley Face.”

Among many community collaborations is a partnership with stART on the Street, which will leverage nearly two decades of experience hosting festivals to manage the artist component of the Tercentennial festival. stART on the Street has hosted arts, music, and cultural festivals in Worcester since 2002. Following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, stART on the Street will resume operations as a program of Creative Hub Worcester in 2022.

“To get back to planning stART events after these last two years feels like we’re finally getting back toward normal,” said stART on the Street Director Nikki Erskine. “We’re excited that our first event back in action will not just support local artists and small businesses, but will celebrate the city itself at the same time.”

Individuals, groups, and businesses can participate in Tercentennial festivities a variety of ways, including assisting with planning, organizing their own events and celebrations, volunteering, partnering, and sponsoring. More information on getting involved can be found at WorcesterTercentennial.com.

The Tercentennial Weekend lineup includes:

Friday, June 10

  • 5PM Tercentennial Weekend Kickoff featuring Canal District Stroll and Polar Park Fireworks

Saturday, June 11

  • 10AM  Tercentennial Road Race, downtown Worcester
  • 11AM Tercentennial Parade & Celebration, downtown Worcester

  • Noon – 5PM Tercentennial Festival on the Worcester common featuring artists, crafters, musical performances, food trucks, and more

Sunday, June 12

  • 4PM Tercentennial family Outing at the Worcester Bravehearts

*A very special piece, a Signature Tercentennial Event, to be announced soon. 

The city is pleased to offer free parking in municipal lots and garages downtown Worcester for patrons attending any Tercentennial events. In addition, the WRTA continues its fare-free program, making the events accessible to all. Public transportation is highly encouraged.

City leaders and partners will recognize the Worcester Tercentennial throughout the year including a return of the annual Independence Day Fireworks at East Park on June 30, presented by Fallon Health with a special Tercentennial twist; an exhibit at the Worcester Historical Museum called “Whose Worcester Was It”; and a commemorative book created in collaboration with New England Business Media/Worcester Business Journal to be released in the fall. 

Spearheading the Worcester Tercentennial efforts are co-chairs Kate McEvoy, vice president of Corporate Relations for Umass Memorial Health, and Kimberly Salmon, assistant vice president of Community Relations for The Hanover Insurance Group.

“One thing that is likely different about this anniversary celebration is the opportunity we have to tell the story of this geographic region from many points of view,” McEvoy said. “History is different depending on where you stand amongst it, and to be able to incorporate different perspectives in these projects is exciting.”

The Worcester Tercentennial is made possible by the city’s dynamic corporate community. Programming and activities throughout the year are being underwritten and sponsored by local businesses, foundations and friends. To find out more about sponsoring Worcester’s Tercentennial Celebration, visit www.worcestertercentennial.com.

Organizations and businesses are encouraged to download the toolkit and submit their events to the collective calendar that promotes the Tercentennial at www.worcestertercentennial.com.

Follow and engage on Facebook www.facebook.com/WorcesterTercentennial/, Instagram www.instagram.com/worcestertercentennial/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/WTercentennial.

For additional views into Tercentennial celebrations, local media personality Hank Stolz hosts a “Tercentennial Talks” podcast, featuring a wide range of guests and local talent. Episodes of this podcast are available at www.worcestertercentennial.com.


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