ELIOT, Maine — The theme of this year’s Eliot Festival Days was “Celebrating the Eliot Community Spirit.” The two-day town celebration has become a tradition and true trumpeting-in of the fall season.
The Eliot Festival Days did not disappoint the die-hard attendees who visit for the parade that makes its way down State Road with participants tossing candy to onlookers, the local vendors, the road race or just to mingle with friends and neighbors on the last Friday and Saturday of September.
Open to residents of Eliot and the general public, the town celebration promotes active participation in festival activities and raises funds for charitable purposes and to cover operating expenses of the event.
For its 33rd year in a row, the two-day festival saw a great turnout.
Festival Day Chair, John Lippincott, said, “The crowd wasn’t quite as big as usual because of everything else that was going on in other towns with sports, other activities and a couple of the big fairs starting, but it went very well.”
Although more intimate than larger fairs or festivals, Eliot Festival Days hosted 80 vendor booths this year who sold delicious sweets, handmade crafts and more. The Eliot Fire Department also got involved by adding hot dogs and Meat House burgers to the event’s menu to benefit the Fireman’s Association.
The weather was perfect and the event ran smoothly without any hitches, said Lippincott.
“The fireworks were fabulous. Everyone had a great time,” he said of the display that kicked off the festivities on Friday night.
The festival’s 21st annual 5K road race on Saturday morning put 317 runners to the test. Placing first, Jesse Young, 23, of Rochester, N.H., ran the race in 16 minutes and 30 seconds. Colby Nixon, 23, of Eliot came in second at 17 minutes and 26 seconds and Anne Marie Prewitt, 44, placed first on the list of women from Eliot to finish at 19 minutes and 37 seconds.
The fastest finishing time for the course is held by Patrick Tarpy who completed the 5K in just under 14 minutes and 16 seconds in 2006.
The Eliot Police Department posted on Facebook, “Thank you to all who showed up for our Eliot Festival Days. It was great to see old friends and hear the stories of Festival Days gone by. See you all again next year.”
Distributed by MCT Information Services