DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — More than 20,000 people are anticipated to join Dover-Foxcroft for its popular Homecoming Celebration July 31 through Aug. 1.
About $18,000 was raised or donated for the event, which will feature fireworks, a parade and an assortment of other activities.
The celebration begins at 11 a.m. Friday with the traditional Media-Center free cookout and open house sponsored by WDME and the Piscataquis Observer on East Main Street.
While this year’s parade theme is “A Step In the Green Direction,” with an emphasis on saving the environment, all units are welcome to participate in the 10 a.m. event, according to Barbara Moore, an organizer. “There is a misconception that only ‘green’ floats-units will be allowed in the parade, but all units are more than welcome and no motorized vehicles will be turned away,” she said Tuesday.
Construction on West Main Street will divert the parade to the Piscataquis Fairgrounds. The route will use Summer and Main streets, the Essex Street Bridge, and Fairview Avenue. More than 60 parade units have signed up including the Anah Belly Whistlers, Shrine Flag Unit, McDonald’s Upteam Eco-Cab and Foxcroft Vet-erinary Service, which will have 100 horses in the parade.
Other events on Saturday are a street festival, chicken barbecue, craft sale, children’s games, children’s drama camp performances, outdoor cafes, a museum open house and walking tour, electric car display, refreshments and entertainment including singer Mark Phillips, Shane Ellis with the Foxcroft Academy Alumni Jazz Band and Phatt Sally.
A concert by the hip-hop group LabSeven will begin at 7 p.m. at Center Theatre. At the show’s conclusion, shuttle buses donated by Rowell’s Garage will ferry participants to and from the fireworks display at Sebec Lake. This will be the first time since the homecoming was organized 12 years ago that the fireworks will be at the lake.
It was a labor of love to raise the funds for the fireworks, according to Moore. Because of tight finances, the town was not able to donate funds so the committee reached out and was pleased with the community response.
“The [Sebec Lake] camp owners and residents of the town have just come forward in an unbelievable fashion, and we’re going to be able to have an awesome fireworks display at the lake,” she said. Shuttles will run from downtown and the fairgrounds starting at 8 p.m. The Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis Club will offer concessions at the beach from 5 to 10 p.m.
Moore said the committee cannot thank sponsors and supporters enough. “This popular annual celebration would not be possible without your support,” she said.