Since it’s finally here, at least some of the voyage toward Wallingford’s 350th Jubilee celebration is worth recapping. After all, there were many months of uncertainty over when the town was actually going to be able to throw a party.
In the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, for example, the Jubilee joined a host of other significant events, all of which contribute to the quality of life and culture in these parts, in being set aside. In 2021 there was no St. Patrick’s Day parade in Meriden. There was no Daffodil Festival. Celebrate Wallingford was canceled. In March of that year, a year into the pandemic, Wallingford’s 350th Jubilee was postponed, again.
We thought so at the time, but now can say with certainty that it was the right decision. As evidence, we’ll point to the recent Jubilee Parade, which boasted 100 marching units that included floats, marchers and bands that went from Moses Y. Beach Elementary School to Lyman Hall High School. The parade, which had more than 2,000 marchers, lasted more than two and a half hours.
There’s more going on today, and more going on until Saturday.
The title had to be changed to accommodate the wait, but as the celebration neared it began to seem just right, a little different, a little special: Wallingford’s 350+2 Jubilee.
The town is celebrating its founding, in 1670. The year 2022 can now be added to its lore, the year the town was able to give itself a proper celebration.
“Wallingford shined really brightly today, which was no surprise to us,” offered Christine Mansfield, the Jubilee planning committee co-chair.
“It’s a wonderful, spontaneous expression of joy,” said Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.
“Who would have though two years ago that we’d be here today,” said Parade Grand Marshal Chris Ulbrich.
Indeed, two years ago celebrations were being replaced by cautious, protective activities accompanied by doubt and uncertainty. If people don’t have that in mind this week during Jubilee activities, well, that’s worth celebrating, too.