Founders Day began in 2009, as a way of bringing attention to Auburn’s rich historical legacy. The 2009 festival focused on William Seward, and Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin was the guest of honor. Last year’s festival celebrated the work of Theodore Case, Auburn’s native son who made talking movies possible. The 2011 Founders Days was going to celebrate the work of Harriet Tubman, but the committee decided to wait until 2013, the 100th anniversary of her death, to focus on Tubman.
This year’s Founders Day, scheduled for Saturday, August 13, will celebrate History on Wheels. Auburn’s Antique Car Club will be the focus- more than 50 other car clubs have been invited to participate. Hundreds of vintage cars will line the streets of downtown, while live bands, food vendors, artisan crafters and children’s activities entertain visitors.
The Founders Day committee is looking for ideas on which individuals or institutions to celebrate in future years. “Founders Day is in its infancy,” said this year’s co-chair Eileen McHugh, “and we intend for it to get bigger and better every year. Someday, Founders Day can be for Auburn what Harborfest is for Oswego. We’re planning now for the next several years. And we want suggestions from the community.”
Whom do you think should be celebrated on Founders Day? The committee has settled on Harriet Tubman for 2013, but needs a theme for 2012 and beyond. Send your idea, along with a brief statement of why that person or organization should be celebrated, to the Founders Day Committee at Downtown Auburn BID. Phone in your suggestion at 252-7874, drop it off in person at 128 Genesee St., or email firstname.lastname@example.org.