WINTERPORT — “It was a huge success last year,” 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 annual Winterport Music Festival each year the on first Saturday of August.
The Festival — brainchild of Phil Pitula, full-time town manager and part-time musician — will be in its sixth consecutive session noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, offering a variety of musical venues at the town’s Abbott Park. Eight acts will perform to an audience that has averaged more than 1,000 each year.
“Last year, we 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.”
Geared toward family entertainment, the annual Music Festival will open with its first act at noon. When families arrive, they may drop off their children at the children’s area, then set up their lawn chairs in the nearby parking lot in front of the stage to enjoy the music.
Members of the nonprofit association made up of business owners from Winterport, Frankfort, Monroe and Hampden are the volunteers who operate the activities in the children’s area.
“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.”
Admission to the designated area set up for youngsters is $5. Except for pony rides, a petting zoo and llama events, which will cost an addition dollar or two each, all other activities will be available to the children once inside the area. The fun will include an unlimited amount of time in the bounce house, donated by Granville Lumber and sponsored by My Thrill Studio, a recording studio, in Winterport. The dunk tank also will be 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 children with a “bubble station,” teaching them how to create huge soap bubbles. The association 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.
The children’s area will be open from noon to 6 p.m.
The Music Festival also will open at noon, with a separate gate fee of $5 each. The musical headliner will be Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. Co-headliner will be Girsa, providing traditional Irish music. Also performing will be Soca Party on island steel drums; Emily Guillow, singer-songwriter; Koostix, acoustic trio; Jazz in Blue, traditional jazz classics; CatchaVibe, reggae; and Bill Thibodeau Band, bluegrass.