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East Millinocket preps for SummerFest

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — The Schenck High School Class of 2000 will be there. So will the Class of 1990. The Classes of 1985, 1970, 1960, even 1950 are also due to attend, and that’s what Mark Scally, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, finds most heartening about East Millinocket SummerFest 2010.

Organized by resident Kelly Willigar and funded by $10,000 in town money plus contributions from businesses, residents and sponsors, the SummerFest grew from the town’s centennial celebration in 2007. It continues to grow because Schenck class reunions have tied into it, Scally said.

“I think it is going to be bigger and better,” he said Tuesday. “It improves every year. The more we do it, the better we get at it. Kelly tells us what she is going to do, she learns from it, and she is very open to suggestions as to what we can do to make it better.

“It’s a good draw,” Scally said.

Fireworks, a townwide yard sale, plenty of dinners and suppers, church services, concerts, athletic events and children’s games have been the centerpiece of SummerFest since it began, but there are some new features this year, Willigar said.

One is a softball tournament to benefit the family of Dawn (Mankowski) York, who died of cancer, Willigar said.

“She just passed away at age 37,” Willigar said.

Any teams interested in participating in the tournament can contact Derrick Thompson at 746-9635 or Marti Dionne at 746-5832. Donations can be sent to the East Millinocket Federal Credit Union.

Another is the increased participation of class reunions, which will meet at Opal Myrick Park and other spots around town. Graduates interested in attending can visit eastmillinocket.org.

“It will bring the community back together,” Willigar said of the festival, pointing out that with the Millinocket paper mill’s temporary shutdown, much of the community has dispersed. “As far as I know, we have seven class reunions going on this year as part of the festival. Everybody plans their reunions now around the town celebration.”

The festival has tons of things for residents and visitors to East Millinocket to do, said Shirley Tapley, the town’s administrative assistant.

“It’s wonderful that the town is able to continue this [from the centennial] on a slightly smaller level and definitely on a smaller financial level,” Tapley said. “Everyone in town talks about this for months. It is not something that just happens and goes away.

“The money probably could be used elsewhere, but what better way to show that community spirit is alive and well in East Millinocket? It makes for a very fun time,” she added.

SummerFest has grown well beyond town, with individual events held in Medway and Millinocket as well, Scally said.

“It definitely is a morale boost to the community. It’s a chance for people to say that we are still alive,” he said.

Brookfield Renewable Resources, Katahdin Federal Credit Union, Millinocket Regional Hospital, Rioux Electric, Crandall’s Hardware, Fraser’s Trading Post and Tracy Fleming are among the event’s sponsors.

Anyone interested in helping sponsor or in volunteering for the event can contact Willigar at kellywilligar@hotmail.com or visit the town office.


East Millinocket SummerFest 2010

July 8-11, Opal Myrick Park*

Thursday, July 8

7 a.m.: Public breakfast, Living Hope Church of the Nazarene, 1 Palm St.

8 a.m.: Townwide yard sale

2 p.m.: Hot Dog-Watermelon Eating Contest

3 p.m.: Teen concert featuring Peace of the Rock

4 p.m.: Trolley rides, public supper

5 p.m.: Concert, Mark “Guitar” Miller

6 p.m.: Children’s parade; dance, Opal Myrick auditorium

7 p.m.: Comedian Birdie Googins

Friday, July 9

7 a.m.: Public breakfast, Calvary Temple Church, 2 Orchard St.

8 a.m.: Golf tournament, Hillcrest Golf Club, Millinocket.

9 a.m.: Dawn (Mankowski) York Memorial Softball Tourney, Medway Recreational Softball Field; children’s old-fashioned games

10 a.m.: Firemen’s Hose Down; pony rides; slide show of Schenck High School Class Nights

11 a.m.: Class Nights Slide Show

11:30 a.m.: Free hot dog roast

Noon: Concert, New Realm

2 p.m.: Concert, The Has-Beens

3:30 p.m.: Teen concert, Breaking Edge

4 p.m.: Trolley rides; BBQ chicken public supper

6 p.m.: Concert, Home Town Band

9:30 p.m.: Fireworks

Saturday, July 10

6:30 a.m.: Registration, RACE Around Town 5K Road Race

7 a.m.: Public breakfast, Christ the Divine Mercy Parish, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 58 Cedar St.

8 a.m.: RACE Around Town 5K road race: Main Street Toll Bridge

9 a.m.: Parade assembly, Public Works, Church Street

10 a.m.: SummerFest parade

11 a.m.: Fun Day; pony rides; trolley rides

11:30 a.m.: 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Opal Myrick gym

4 p.m.: Softball tournament final game, Medway Recreational Softball Field; public supper; concert, Beth Weatherbee

5 p.m.: Concert, Tom Dixon Band

9 p.m.: Street dance, Main and Beech streets

Sunday, July 11

7 a.m.: Public breakfast, First Congregational Church, 11 Maple St.

10 a.m.: Town church service, Living Hope Church of the Nazarene, followed by public BBQ; Class of 2000 memorial service for Dawn Rossignol, Medway Middle School garden.

*All activities at Opal Myrick Park unless otherwise noted; dates, times subject to change.

Source: eastmillinocket.org.

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