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Wayne County celebrates 200 years: Watch the kickoff ceremony this morning!

On April 11, 1823, Wayne County was officially established as the 54th county in New York State by an Act of the state legislature.


To honor this historic milestone, a special Founders Day celebration will take place, beginning at 10:50 a.m. with a local bell choir performance on Church Street in Lyons, the county seat. At 10:58 a.m., bells will ring throughout the county for two minutes, symbolizing a community call to gather. The public is welcome to attend, and the morning ceremony will be live-streamed on the Wayne County NY YouTube channel.

The main event will showcase the Marion American Legion Color Guard, Wayne County Sheriff’s Honor Guard, a gun salute, musical performances by local students, a commemorative U.S. postal cancellation cachet, and the reading of the official County proclamation. Federal and state dignitaries will also present official citations and proclamations to County leaders, followed by the unveiling and dedication of a historic marker at the iconic 1854 courthouse steps.

After the celebration, a private lunch reception will be held at the Lyons Community Center (9 Manhattan St.) until 1:30 p.m., at which point the public is invited to join in the festivities once more. The afternoon program at the Community Center will feature a special presentation by New York State Historian, Devin Lander.


Lander expressed his honor to participate in Wayne County’s 200th birthday celebrations, acknowledging the region’s rich history and the importance of commemorations like these in understanding the past, present, and future.

The afternoon program will also include a brief dedication of the Wayne County Bicentennial Book, Voices of Wayne County, in memory of Larry Ann Evans, a prominent historian, writer, and Director of the Wayne County Museum who passed away in December 2020. Additionally, the event will feature more musical performances from local students, displays from all 15 towns and their villages, recognition of Bicentennial sponsors, and the sale of commemorative items, such as the book, t-shirts, posters, and more.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) congratulated Wayne County on this momentous occasion, highlighting its significant contributions to the nation’s history, including its status as the top apple-producing county in New York State.


State Senator Pamela Helming praised the county’s rich cultural history and development into a tourist destination, celebrating its position as the number one producer of apples and expressing her pride in representing Wayne County in the New York State Senate.

County Administrator Rick House shared his excitement and honor in participating in the bicentennial celebration, emphasizing the beauty of Wayne County and its unique mix of agriculture, small business, and picturesque parks, making it an ideal place to live and raise families.