BREWER, Maine — Beautiful weather helped to draw hundreds of folks from all over the region to the eighth annual Brewer Days “A Hometown Celebration,” making it a resounding success, Mayor Arthur “Archie” Verow said Saturday.
“We had a good turnout at the event,” he said. “It was awesome.”
The three-day event started Friday with a community barbecue, a Brewer High School football game at Doyle Field and a street dance in the parking lot of Brewer Auditorium.
Just after the barbecue began, but before the football game, the city gave accolades to an active couple by naming them as co-Citizens of the Year and named W.S. Emerson as Business of the Year.
W.S. Emerson was established in Bangor in 1921 but was forced to look for another location when its building was sold as part of that city’s 1960s urban renewal.
“Company officials decided to take a leap of faith and come across the river to Brewer,” Verow said. “We believe that was a wise decision, as the company has expanded and prospered at its new location here in the city” on Acme Road.
“Throughout its 44-year history in the city of Brewer, the company has been an outstanding corporate citizen,” the mayor said. The company “has contributed generously to the community in terms of support for programs and events benefiting our youth and adult population.”
When it came time to decide on a citizen to honor, “the two top nominees happened to be husband and wife,” Verow said.
Octogenarians Lawrence “Bud” and Jean Lyford both were selected for the honor.
“Both were highly deserving because of their many years of service to the community, so it was decided to recognize both as equally deserving of this honor,” Verow said.
Bud Lyford, who grew up in Brewer, was a star football player for the University of Maine in his youth before joining the U.S. Army. Afterward, he returned to Brewer and went into business when the Thompson and Lyford Hardware store opened on Center Street.
He was a high school basketball referee and “was active in supporting athletics in the community” including leading an effort to restore Doyle Field, Verow said.
Jean Lyford is a member of the Brewer Garden and Bird Club, founded the Jack and Jill Nursery School and spent years involved in local Brownie and Girl Scout programs, as well as supporting area schools and her church, the mayor said.
“The couple are very active, and continue to be active in supporting the work of the Brewer Historical Society,” Verow said. “Brewer is a better place because of this couple’s many years of service.”
The announcement of the citizens and business of the year were made Saturday during breaks in the live music, provided by Brewer Hometown Band JD Bros., who entertained with acoustic light rock, and country band Rodeo.
Saturday’s events were geared toward children, with games and activities, but there also was a farmers market, a huge yard sale sponsored by the Brewer Historical Society and a cook-off featuring pumpkin desserts and pickles.
The hot and tangy pickles took top honors this year, said Verow, who was one of the judges.
“Everybody liked those,” he said.
On Sunday, Brewer Boy Scout Troop 15 held a well-attended car show that nearly filled the auditorium’s parking lot.
The nice weather and terrific turnout at this year’s Brewer Days made it a perfect weekend, Verow said.