COPENHAGEN — The little Lewis County village named as a protest against a British attack in the early 1800s is throwing itself a 150th anniversary celebration Aug. 22 to 24 to mark its incorporation as a village.
When Nathan Munger and his son, Nathan Munger Jr., erected their first mill, a saw mill, on a Deer River bank in 1801, the village that grew around them became known as Munger’s Mills in what was already the town of Denmark.
As the story goes, most of the residents of Munger’s Mills were Federalists in support of British rule, but after news reached Munger’s Mills later in 1801 about the British bombardment of Copenhagen, Denmark, Republicans at a village meeting agreed to take on the name of Copenhagen to shame local Federalists for their support of the British.
The festivities to celebrate the village’s 1869 incorporation will kick off with an opening ceremony followed by an ice cream social on Aug. 22 while on Aug. 23, there will be a family-style picnic at the River of Life Church from 5 to 8 p.m., Rollo will be played inside the Fire Hall beginning at 6 p.m. and a dance to the music of Amarillo will parking lot.
On Aug. 24, a number of activities will begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day including a Craft Fair featuring over 50 vendors along village streets, an antique car show at the racetrack behind the Fire Hall and Rollo at the Fire Hall.
Local bands like Ocean’s Below with Joe Foy, the Fiddler’s Plus Band and Patty Stanford will be playing at or near the gazebo band stand from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Touted as a “once in a lifetime” addition to the celebration, will be a re-enactment of Copenhagen’s own J.H. Raymond’s Coronet Band from 1869, playing on rare instruments like those used by the band as well as their original bass drum.
The re-enactment group, organized by musician and antique instrument collector Eric Totman, Stockton, Calif., and featuring members of the Syracuse-based Excelsior Coronet Band, is slated to play throughout the day at both the bandstand and on the original horse-drawn bandwagon currently displayed along Route 12 on the south side of the village.
The bandwagon players will also be a key feature in the parade that, according to parade chairperson JoAnn Groff, will be the biggest the village has ever seen.
“Our parades are usually five minutes long with five, maybe 10, units marching, but we already have 50 units scheduled, including many local farms and businesses,” Mrs. Groff said, including the 10th Mountain Division Band.
At 11 a.m., an old-fashioned Pie Social will be held at the Grace Episcopal Church, Cataract Street and the fire hall will start serving barbecued chicken at noon.
Throughout the day, history walks and talks, a Kids’ Zone featuring games, a bouncy house and a petting zoo, and food trucks will be on the scene.
Pony rides for the kids will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., while demonstrations including wood carving and karate will also begin at 1 p.m. along with a corn hole tournament.
The celebration will be capped by the first fireworks display in the village since 1976, to be held over the water beginning at about 9 p.m. on Aug. 24, followed by a dance open to the public at the Cottage Inn with music by Split Decision, according to Village Clerk Sue Parker. For a complete schedule of events and more information, contact the village clerk’s office at 315-688-4229 or go to http://wdt.me/7EAoWC.