Annual SummerFest planned in Newport

Posted July 06, 2010, at 10:21 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — Though it has been scaled back somewhat from previous years, Sebasticook Valley Community Center’s SummerFest 2010 kicks off Friday with a weekend of events.

From a bicycle parade Friday evening to a horseshoe contest Sunday morning, the event boasts opportunities for people of all ages, according to Pam Newcomb, president of the center’s board of directors.

“It is definitely scaled-back, but there is quite a bit to do,” said Newcomb. “There might be some downtime between events, but I say have a picnic on the beach or go swimming. We’re right here on the water, so utilize the area.” Sebasticook Valley Community Center is at 81 North St. in Newport.

Newcomb said a decision by the town to withdraw $100,000 of the center’s funding is to blame for the scaled-back SummerFest. Selectmen opted to withdraw the funding in March after the Newport Police Department began an investigation into money missing from the center’s till. Though that investigation is ongoing and no one has been charged, Newcomb said the situation has been dealt with internally and that the center will continue to offer programs.

Children are invited to help kick off SummerFest 2010 by decorating their bicycles in a patriotic theme and participating in a 6 p.m. bicycle parade that begins and ends at the Community Center.

Beanbag and dart tournaments begin at 6:30 p.m. at the community center, each of which costs $5 to enter and features a cash prize for the winner. Drinks and adult beverages will be available. At 7:30 p.m., the center will offer its own version of the new NBC game show “Minute to Win It,” which features challenges involving common household items. The event costs $5 to enter and features prizes in several categories.

The festivities kick off early on Saturday with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Newport Masonic Lodge on Route 7. While the lodge will hold the breakfast, all proceeds will support Sebasticook Valley Community Center.

Bingo begins at 9 a.m. at the center, as does a kids’ fishing derby. A Wii game tournament and archery activity begin at 10 a.m., followed by a family beanbag tournament at 11 a.m.

Kids can make their own kites or Play-Doh at noon, and Hyperdash and cup stacking tournaments begin at 1 p.m. The Police Department will offer a bicycle safety event at 1 p.m., and the center will offer another “Minute to Win It” tournament — for children this time — at 3 p.m.

Saturday’s events will conclude at dusk with fireworks sponsored by Sebasticook Lake Association. SummerFest 2010 will wrap up with a horseshoe tournament beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday.

For information, visit the website www.svccenter.org or call 368-5733.

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