HEBRON, Maine — Lucretia Blais is a bona fide city girl, born and raised in Lewiston-Auburn; she’s only redneck by marriage.
And that’s official.
Blais officially tied the knot with Jeffrey Gould of Lewiston on Saturday night on the stage at Hebron’s Redneck “Blank.”
“They are not really giving us a lot of details on what’s going on,” Blais said before the nuptials.
Bridesmaid Jessica Gould said the whole idea is to get the bride’s reaction.
“All we know is that there are donkeys and chickens,” Gould said.
“And I’m going in when they get the gates open, then there’s a ladder I have to climb,” Blais said.
It’s a fitting end to this year’s Hebron festival, according to organizer Harold Brooks. What better way to make the festival more family-friendly than by making a brand new family, right on the spot.
“This is not really a drinking festival,” Brooks said. “I mean, people want to drink. But the festival is designed to have fun and that’s why 99 percent of the people are here — to have a good time. That other small percent, they can keep their money and stay home.”
Saturday was the last night of the third annual Redneck “Blank.” Brooks started the event two years ago as the Redneck Olympics until the International Olympic Committee stepped in and demanded the name be changed.
Saturday was decidedly drier than Friday, when a heavy downpour inundated the event. And it was cooler than last year, according to Mell Hamlyn.
“It’s been great weather for the event,” she said.
Brook said he didn’t have an official count on the people attending but said it’s just shy 2,000 at any given moment.
The event has grown a lot since it started. The first year was devoted to mud runs and the Redneck Games, like the toilet seat horseshoe toss, the tire trot and the greased watermelon haul.
The next year was even bigger and drew national attention, as a featured segment on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
Television was back again this year, with crews from Animal Planet’s “Northwoods Justice” taping a segment alongside a crew from the History Channel. The History Channel was taping for a new reality show.
“They’re the ones that do ‘American Pickers’ and ‘Dirty Jobs’,” Brooks said.
Brooks said decided last year that he wanted to do a Big Redneck Wedding.
“Originally, I wanted to have 20 couples up there as a redneck thing,” Brooks said. “This was the only couple that was really interested, and she was really persistent. I’d kind of forgotten about it, but she reminded me.”
Blais said she attended last year’s event with her then-boyfriend’s family and had a great time. Gould, the cousin of the groom, agreed.
“We came here last year and only for one night, and we had a ball,” Gould said. “We’ve been planning since then.”
Gould said the family has spent the last year acclimating Blais to the redneck lifestyle.
“We’re breaking her in,” Gould said. “She’s out riding snowmobiles, four wheelers, camping.”
And Gould, who’s been married herself for seven years, admitted to bit of jealousy.
“If I had a chance to do it over, I’d jump right into that mud pit,” she said.