Westminster celebrates its 250th anniversary - or sestercentennial - this year, and will mark the occasion with events to celebrate and look back at the history of the city.

Missie Wilcox, marketing consultant for the city, announced the planned events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Westminster's founding in 1764 to the Westminster Common Council Monday.

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Events will highlight the history, geography, architecture and art of the city and "showcase all the parts of what's great about living in historic Westminster," Wilcox said.

The celebration will officially begin with an Arbor Day event April 28 where a sapling taken from the oldest living tree in Westminster will be planted on the grounds of City Hall, according to a press release from the city.

The tree is a white oak, and it was present prior to the founding of Westminster, according to the release.

The city will also have "As It Was" walking tours in the fall, which will allow people to stand on painted footprint guides and hold up transparencies to the city's landscape to see an image of Westminster at some point in history, according to Wilcox.

"We have a lot of great photographs from the 1800s," she said.

Also in the fall, City Hall will host an open house and block party with live music and museum exhibits, according to the release.

Westminster will also create and bury a time capsule later this year on the grounds of City Hall, according to the release. Director of Public Works Jeff Glass said there is a time capsule in existence. Though he is not sure when it was buried or when it is supposed to be unsealed, Glass said he would look into the matter and report back to the council.

Throughout the year, the city will hold a "Celebrate 250" contest inviting individuals and groups to enter creative assemblies of 250 "things," according to Wilcox. For example, the library could put together a display featuring 250 books, she said.

Westminster will also showcase the oldest families and businesses throughout the year, according to Wilcox.

The city has applied for a grant to showcase historic buildings that recently benefited from facade improvements.

During the holidays, Westminster will hold its annual Holiday House Tour in the Willis Street neighborhood, including a stop at City Hall, according to the release.

Sestercentennial events will also coordinate with milestone anniversaries for the Chamber of Commerce, celebrating 90 years, and the Historical Society of Carroll County, celebrating 75 years, according to the release.

The City of Westminster was founded in 1764 by William Winchester, an indentured servant born in Westminster, England, according to the release. The city was incorporated in 1818.

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