PITTSFIELD, Maine — The Central Maine Egg Festival, which has been a staple in Pittsfield for nearly four decades, gets under way on Tuesday.
The festival, which is celebrating its 39th birthday this summer, runs from July 19-23 and features five days of activities for people of all ages.
“It’s a little crazy because we’re getting down to the wire now, but the majority of stuff is set,” said festival president Debra Billings.
The festival introduced a new corporate sponsorship program last summer to bring in more nonprofit organizations, and Billings said more than $20,000 was raised this year.
Most of the activities will take place in Manson Park in downtown Pittsfield, but other events are planned at various sites around town.
Among them are an art show at the Pittsfield Public Library, featuring work from artists throughout central Maine, starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and a sidewalk art contest in the municipal parking lot, sponsored by the Sebasticook Valley Elks Club, at noon Tuesday. The municipal parking lot is also the venue for a street dance from 7-10 p.m., with DJ “Jaceman” Jason Gay spinning the tunes.
On Wednesday, festival-goers can test their athletic prowess in the Egg-lympics, which features numerous events including a five-egg relay, rubber chicken throw, wheelbarrow race and squirt gun fight.
The Egg-lympics will be held at Hathorne Park.
Maine crafters and artists will get a chance to showcase their work on Thursday when the Marketplace Tent opens in Manson Park at 4 p.m., while the Kiwanis Karnival will open at 6:30 p.m. and run until 10.
Friday’s events include a Quiche and Cheesecake Contest at the Elks Lodge on Middle Street, with judging kicking off at 11 a.m. and lunch at noon. The Marketplace Tent will be open from 4 to 8 p.m., while active members of the military and their families will get free ride bracelets for the Kiwanis Karnival as part of the Ride for Soldiers program.
The festival wraps up with a full plate of events on Saturday, July 23, including a 5K road race and walk, a horseshoe tournament, a dunk tank, pony rides, a State Police K-9 demonstration and a chicken barbecue. The traditional Big Parade will start at 9:15 a.m.
The parade starts at the Industrial Park, winds down Somerset Avenue, turns onto Main Street and wraps up at Manson Park.
The parade will be highlighted by the winners of the Central Maine Egg Festival Scholarship Pageant, who were crowned on Wednesday.
The participants were judged on the categories runway fashion, evening gown and an interview with an on-stage question, along with academic achievements and community service.
The winners, who will ride in the parade, are Samantha Turcotte, 17, of Cornville, CMEF Queen; Callie Lynn MacQuestion, 21, of Vinalhaven, Miss CMEF Collegiate; Olivia Patterson, 11, of Benton, CMEF Princess; Marissa McGraw, 9, of Lincoln, CMEF Junior Princess; and Hannah Bradley, 6, of Dexter, CMEF Little Miss.
A fireworks display, starting at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, will officially conclude the festival.
Billings said that festival organizers are still seeking floats for the parade, and those interested may call her at 680-0646 or Wendy Thibodeau at 487-4326.
Saturday’s schedule also features a variety of entertainment, with performances from Boom Bang Twang, the Sebasticook Valley Community Band, an open mike with Peter Witham, the Cowboy Angels, Steve Dunphy and Pete Witham and the Cosmic Zombies.
For a full schedule of events, log onto www.pittsfield.org and click on the Egg Festival link on the left-hand side of the page.