June 18, 2018
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Children’s area blooming at Winterport Music Festival

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Mary Scott Larsen, daughter of Ryan and Dustin Larsen of Winterport, shows off the medal she won last year in the children’s area at the Winterport Music Festival.

WINTERPORT — The Winterport Area Business Association will sponsor a children’s area noon-6 p.m. during the Winterport Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 6.

Last year’s children’s area was “a huge success,” said Ann Ronco, an officer with the Winterport Area Business Association. “So, this year, we decided to give it a boost and see what happens.”

Ronco, who with her husband, Ray, operates the Old Winterport Commercial House antique shop and bed-and-breakfast, took on the task of organizing a children’s area “to keep the kids busy” during the daylong concert program presented at the Winterport Music Festival each year on the first Saturday of August.

To participate in this unlimited time of fun will cost $5 in the designated area set up for youngsters. Except for pony rides, a petting zoo and llama events, which will cost an added dollar or two each, all of the other events will be available to youngsters once inside this area of the park. Several activities have been added this year.

When families arrive, they will be able to drop kids off at the children’s area, then set up their lawn chairs in the parking lot in front of the stage to enjoy the music.

The festival — brainchild of Phil Pitula, full-time town manager and part-time musician — will be in its sixth consecutive session, offering a variety of musical venues at the town’s Abbott Park. Eight acts will perform noon-8 p.m. to an audience that has averaged more than 1,000 each year.

The music festival will be open noon-8 p.m., with a separate gate fee of $5. The musical headliner is Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish. Co-headliner is Girsa, providing traditional Irish music. Also performing will be Soca Party, island steel drums; Emily Guillow, singer-songwriter; Koostix, acoustic trio; Jazz in Blue, jazz classics; CatchaVibe, reggae; and Bill Thibodeau Band, bluegrass.

“Last year, WABA wanted to try something that would keep the kids busy during all that music,” said Ronco. “So we tried a bounce house, a dunk tank and pony rides. It was a huge success. So, we’re going to make it even bigger this year.”

Members of WABA, a nonprofit association of business owners from Winterport, Frankfort, Monroe and Hampden, are the volunteers who operate the activities in the children’s area, keeping the kids busy during the concert.

“This year, we have added seven or eight more activities for the kids,” Ronco said. “We want to keep them busy so their parents can enjoy the music.”

The fun will include an unlimited amount of time in the bounce house, which is being donated by Granville Lumber and sponsored by My Thrill (recording) Studio in Winterport. The dunk tank also is provided by Granville Lumber and sponsored by My Thrill Studio.

Sonny’s Driving Range and Par 3 Golf Course in Winterport will set up a children’s golf tutorial and challenge events with prizes. White’s Farm in Winterport will hold a “Hay Find,” a scavenger hunt for prizes hidden in bales of hay. Sun Garden Learning Center in Winterport will entertain the youth with a “bubble station,” teaching them how to create huge soap bubbles. WABA will hold a magnet fishing game for the youngsters.

For a small, separate fee, Betty Hauger of Winterport will provide pony rides, a petting zoo and llama demonstrations.

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