Lincoln festival flies under gray skies

Posted July 19, 2009, at 7:23 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:15 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Kimberly Worster traveled nearly 3,000 miles to come home, but not for the 2009 Lincoln Riverdriver’s Homecoming Festival.

That the festival was this weekend was more of a happy coincidence for the Lincoln native than a preplanned event, she said.

“It’s an easy excuse to get the whole family together,” the 34-year-old Worster, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., said Saturday as she sat at the Lee A. Rush Memorial Gazebo with her sister and grandmother.

As many as 10,000 visitors, some from as far away as Alaska, have been hitting town since Thursday for the homecoming festival and its fireworks show, homecoming parade, dances, barbecues, a road race, ATV runs, auctions, hot car shows and live music, organizers said.

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The festival jammed streets, hotels and motels, crowded sidewalks on Main Street with foot traffic and filled restaurants around town, especially Saturday.

No police problems were reported, Police Chief William Flagg said.

“The couple of arrests we have made have had nothing to do with this,” Flagg said. “This is a very family-oriented event, with no issues.”

Held at several locations around town, the festival wound up Sunday, after fireworks at Cobb Field on Saturday night.

Attendees on Saturday strolled between locations to take in several happenings almost simultaneously.

Parks and Recreation Director Ron Weatherbee refereed a three-on-three basketball tournament at Prince Thomas Park, while Steve Ruhl, a licensed auctioneer, auctioned items under a tent downtown.

The Roaming Railroad Train Rides, a railroad without tracks, ran passengers between Veterans Square, Prince Thomas Park and Cobb Field.

Reilly Berg, 13, of Lincoln had his portrait sketched by Nathan Libby, 18, of Lincoln under a tent. Berg pronounced himself satisfied with the portrait, though his father promised to tease him about it.

Brittany Long, 19, of Bangor watched her friends Andrew and Tom Wood of Bangor play in the tourney while Noah, her Yorkshire terrier, snoozed in her lap.

“The only thing about this that stinks is the weather,” Andrew Wood, 22, said between games. The skies were gray all day and occasionally let fly with moments of light rain through the afternoon.

Samantha Guerin, 21, of Lincoln had the fun of taking her 16-month-old daughter, Paige, to the festival and watching her wave and smile to everyone.

“There’s a lot of things here she hasn’t seen before,” Guerin said.

“You see a lot of people here that you went to school with that you haven’t seen in a long time,” said Scott Lord, Guerin’s boyfriend.

Budgeted by the town at $27,000, the event is the town’s largest. It usually costs about $25,000, town officials said. As many as 75 volunteers helped make homecoming happen, along with about 30 vendors selling their goods.

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