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Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's time for Windham Summerfest - By Michelle Libby



Summerfest - for the community, by the community

Summerfest is all about community. Community support. Community pride. Community togetherness.
This Saturday, Windham will put its best foot forward in a volunteer-run, town-sponsored, non-profit involved day of fun, food and entertainment. Starting at 7:30 a.m., there will be registration for the fifth annual Duane Clark Scholarship Car Show. At 9 a.m. at the school complex, 406 Gray Road, the Summerfest 5K begins. From the parade at noon to the fireworks at dusk, the day is packed with performances, games, live music and more. 

Last year Summerfest was cancelled due to a lack of volunteers. However a group of people stepped forward and pulled the event together. This year, many of the same volunteers are back including event coordinator Kelly Mank, Robert York (fundraising), Robin Mullins (parade and fundraising), Rick Sanborn (booths) and Neils Mank (booths).

The parade will begin at noon and travel from the rotary at Routes 202 and 302 to the Summerfest grounds. The parade is a wonderful example of community, said Mank. It showcases local businesses, organizations and groups including local daycares and singers. There will be a fleet of antique tractors and many classic cars. The Town of Windham also polishes up its line of public works vehicles. 

New recruit Blaine Davis has taken over coordinating the booths for non-profits and athletic teams.
“This should be able to be their huge fundraising event for the year,” said Mank. She pointed out events like the Yarmouth Clam Festival, where youth sporting raises the majority of their funds every year. “Youth programs struggle a lot with fundraising and this could be a great way for the community to support them,” Mank added. 

From church groups to Boy Scouts, boosters to political organizations, each group brings a unique item to sell. And, yes, the Boy Scouts from Troop 866 will serve their frozen hot chocolate again this year.
Windham Historical Society will hold an artisans fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 234 Windham Center Road. They will have horse-drawn wagon rides, and demostrations from blacksmithing to caning, granite splitting and rug braiding as well as more. There is a $5 suggested donation.  

Volunteers have put in hundreds of hours to get ready for this event. They began meeting early in the year every other week and have, in the last month, begun meeting weekly to tie up all the loose ends. 

Fan favorites, helicopter rides, Flamin’ Raymond and Sizzlin’ Susan, a K9 demonstration by K9 Grinko and Sergeant Bill Andrews, and the frog jumping contest will all return this year. 

Evening entertainment is Veayo Twins, Montgomery Road and The Band Apollo, which will appear just before the fireworks. People are encouraged to get there early to enjoy the music and find a seat, although there really are no bad locations to see the fireworks on the school grounds. 

Attending Summerfest is as much about the citizens having a good time as it is about supporting local businesses, non-profits and area sports teams.

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