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Amidst monumental murals depicting key events from Darien’s history, the town will kick off its Bicentennial year with a glittering celebration to formally launch the town’s 200th birthday year celebrations.

The Bicentennial Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday, January 10 in the Town Hall Auditorium, 2 Renshaw Road. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m. (Snow date: January 11 at 2 p.m.) The event will include special guest presentations, including performances with Darien High School’s Tudor Singers, and a keynote address by Darien’s Scott Pelley, award-winning correspondent with 60 Minutes and author of Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of our Times.

The Opening Ceremony is free and open to the public. No registration is required, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following the Opening Ceremony, there will be a ticketed Bicentennial Reception hosted at the Darien Arts Center, co-sponsored by the Darien Historical Society. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets cost is $45 if purchased in advance and $50 if purchased at the door. TICKETS

When doors open at Town Hall at 6:30 p.m., a slideshow presentation will feature old photographs from the collection of the Darien Historical Society and the Tudor Singers will perform special selections. Members of Boy Scout Troop 53 will open the formal program at 7 p.m. with the presentation of the colors. Al Miller, chairman of the town’s 2020 Bicentennial Committee, will deliver opening remarks and First Selectman Stevenson will present a welcoming address.

The highlight of the evening will be a presentation by Pelley, best known for his work on 60 Minutes and as anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News. Pelley will discuss his inspiring new memoir Truth Worth Telling, a book that brings readers to the front lines of history by chronicling the stories of those who have lived through recent historic events. During the Opening Ceremony, Pelley will share his thoughts on free speech and freedom of the press, and how poignant and unforgettable stories of today become the history of tomorrow.

Following the Opening Ceremony, there will be a book sale and signing arranged by Barrett Bookstore, and 2020 merchandise (hats and t-shirts) will be available to purchase. All items cost $20 each and feature the official 2020 logo. Items may be purchased with either cash or check, and proceeds benefit the town’s 2020 celebrations. To sponsor or donate, please mail check to Town of Darien, and include “2020 Bicentennial” in the memo line of the check. Checks may be mailed to Darien Town Hall, 2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT 06820 and include ATT: 2020 Bicentennial on the envelope. Information on Bicentennial events and projects is available at www.darienct.gov/2020.To participate, volunteer or donate visit www.darienct.gov/2020 or email info.darien2020@gmail.com