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LUBEC, Maine — This year’s Independence Day activities within the Washington County border town of Lubec will take on an international flair.
Lubec counts as residents more or less 1,200 people who live in a gateway community to New Brunswick’s Campobello Island. Nearly 4,000 miles to the east — way across the pond — is Lubeck, Germany, a thriving city of 214,000 that has been a major Baltic Sea maritime and trade hub since the 12th century. Although the city was heavily bombed during World War II, it also has been heavily restored to reflect its traditional medieval architecture.
Maine’s Lubec this week extended an invitation to Gabriele Schopenhauer, who presides over Lubeck Germany’s city council, asking her to be an honored guest and an active participant in this year’s July 4 festivities. “Gabi” says she’s looking forward to her first trip to America and is planning on bringing along her husband, who is a school teacher, and a granddaughter.
“I look forward to meeting you and sharing what our community has to offer,” Town Administrator John Sutherland said in his letter of invitation to Schopenhauer. “I am sure you will find the people are warm and the scenery is beautiful. The seals should be in the harbor, and whale-watching tours are available. It is my understanding that you are coming during the Fourth of July holiday. That is an exciting time to visit, and I am positive that you will find the festivities enjoyable.”
The committee planning this year’s festivities is looking at what could be a week’s worth of activities. Many events are children-oriented, but also include the much-anticipated Lion’s Club chicken barbecue, a pet show and a carriage parade, in which children dress up dolls who adorn wagons and carriages for a stroll down Water Street. Also planned is a frying pan toss, which is akin to a discus throw, but using heavy cast-iron pans.