Livingston is gearing up to celebrate its big 200th birthday in style with some new technology and a new look.
Members of the township Bicentennial Committee recently set up a new website to highlight different parts of the community and all the festivities for the 2013 anniversary.
A Livingston High School student created a logo for the celebration and the design officially unveiled to the public on Monday at the municipal government reorganization meeting - just in time for the new year.
Livingston isn't the only municipality in Essex County gearing up to honor such an important milestone. Bloomfield is turning 200 this year and the community will party with concerts, parades, a time capsule opening and planting a special tree.
West Orange is turning 250 in 2012 and the community will celebrate with history lectures, a week-long celebration featuring a film and food and music festival, and even a special package deal where visitors can visit the Thomas Edison National Park, dine at The Manor and watch a play about Edison and Nicholas Tesla performed by the Luna Stage Theater Company.
In Livingston, preparations for the revelry are underway.
Livingston High School senior Demetri Noel-Jeune, 17, created the winning bicentennial graphic, which features the silhouette of a large tree.
"I was trying to think of something to represent the township residents and able to show generations and growth that was my whole direction for the logo," said Noel-Jeune, who wants to be a professional graphic artist in the future.
Livingston Bicentennial Committee Chairman Scott Maynard said the group enlisted the high school teacher David Richard's visual and graphic arts class to help with the logo. The students got some guidance from township resident Arthur Meranus, a retired ad executive and artist.
Noel-Jeune's piece was selected out of 15 works by a separate committee comprised of Mark Stern, the high school principal, Michele Meade, the township manager, Hugh Mahon, a retired art teacher, and Nancy Dinar, editor of the West Essex Tribute, Maynard said.
Mayor Stephen Santola said he thought it was ingenious to use the high school students for the project and he praised the logo.
Noel-Jeune said he was excited that his artwork was chosen to represent the township and he looks forward to the exposure.
In addition to the logo, the bicentennial website will also help the township usher in the upcoming anniversary. The site features a countdown, links to Facebook and Twitter and short pieces on the history of Livingston's early days and the high school.
Maynard said the committee's plan to have many activities for the bicentennial next year - such as a Founders Day and a gala - and the website will expand over the coming months.
Maynard said the bicentennial committee and its various subcommittee is still looking for more volunteers to join in and that can also include former residents as well.
"We're going to grow with this process, and we'll ask you to grow with us," Maynard said.
Anyone who is interested in learning more or volunteering to help with Livingston's 200th anniversary can contact LivingstonNJ200@gmail.com