June 21, 2018
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Millinocket’s Trails End Festival draws more than 1,000

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Amanda Noyes and Corinne Zayasbazan just had to have their cake. The problem arose when it came time to eat it.

A carrot cake stacked four layers high covered with sumptuous swirls of delicious cream cheese frosting was one of more than a dozen pies and cakes residents and local businesses contributed to a charity auction at the Trails End Festival of Millinocket.

“We saw it and we fell in love,” Noyes, 26, said Saturday. “Our plan was to sneak away to someplace private and eat it all. Corrine was the bidder. I was the silent partner.”

Starting at $25, the bidding was spirited until the two town waitresses scored what turned out to be the winning bid.

“We threw down $40. We knew nobody else was going to pay that for a cake,” Zayasbazan said.

Then the two pals discovered a problem: They could buy their cake, but they couldn’t eat it, too.

“The lady who sold it to us said that it was a great cake with walnuts and raisins and pineapple and coconut,” Noyes said.

Noyes is allergic to walnuts; Zayasbazan to pineapple, they said.

They sold the cake to somebody else — for $20.

“We were devastated,” Noyes said.

“I ended up getting a pickle instead,” Zayasbazan said.

When their friends heard the news, they thought it was hysterical.

“We knew that it was Amanda and Corinne,” said Debra Valley, a dining room supervisor at the Appalachian Trail Cafe. “To anybody who knows them, that’s really all you have to say.”

More than 1,000 people attended the three-day festival that ended Sunday with the Pride in Your Ride Auto Show, featuring everything from lawn mowers to classic cars, and a reunion of the Shields Brothers Band, a famous Katahdin region band from decades past, and other things, organizers said.

“This is all about showing that Millinocket and the Katahdin region are a great destination for trails and other outdoor activities,” said Paul Renaud, co-owner of the Appalachian Trail Cafe and AT Lodge, both on Penobscot Avenue. “This is a great place to come to if you’re hiking or fishing or biking or riding a bike.”

Begun in 2008 to celebrate the town’s connection to the Appalachian Trail terminus, the event has grown into something more, said Jaime Renaud, Renaud’s wife and a co-organizer of the event.

“People think of it because it’s at one end of the Appalachian Trail,” Renaud added, “but we have more than 200 trails here. We have the trails at Baxter State Park, at the Katahdin Forest Management lands, with the new multiuse recreational trail that [is not open yet but] will be finished soon. Even the town is building a downtown trail along Millinocket Stream.”

Saturday’s events featured a hiker’s parade, kayaking on the stream and musical acts at the gazebo, including folk violinist Susan Ramsey jamming with folk singer-songwriter David Mallett before several hundred people.

“This is a beautiful day for this,” Ramsey said.

It was a good-sized crowd, but attendees said the event probably didn’t draw as many participants as it could with country star Alan Jackson playing in Bangor and several other festivals playing in northern Maine. The event has many highlights, but Jaime Renaud said she loves the pie and cake auction the most.

“Everybody loves that,” she said.

The event was sponsored by 15 businesses and organizations, including the International Appalachian Trail Club’s Maine chapter, Katahdin Timberlands Inc., Katahdin Federal Credit Union, Millinocket Regional Hospital and the Quimby Family Foundation.

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