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Friday, June 17, 2016

What to expect Summerfest weekend - By Walter Lunt

There will be many activities at Summerfest on June 25 on the grounds of Windham High School. From the traditional parade and food booths, there will also be activities for the whole family, entertainment from a variety of bands and performers on the main stage. 
The committee is still looking for volunteers for the parade, which kicks off at 10 a.m., and a clean-up crew for Sunday. 

Summerfest is not a town funded event. Everything is paid for by donations from businesses and organizations who participate. Donations were down this year, so the committee is doing the whole day on a “shoestring budget,” the committee said.  

There will be a carnival as there has in the past and the fireworks will go off at 9 p.m.

Saturday will kick off with the seventh annual Duane Clark Memorial Car Show with a bonanza of classic cars and over 30 categories of winners.

It’s got doughnuts, coffee, drivin’ and cruisin’ songs and dozens of classic cars. The Duane Clark Memorial Car Show is fast becoming a tradition at Windham Summerfest.

Founder and coordinator Stan Page predicts “The show will be bigger and better than ever,” especially considering that “…it’s the only car show in town this year,” referring to the cancellation of this year’s Windham Boosters Auto Show.

Duane Clark was a 1964 graduate of Windham High School who died in 1971. A committee of his classmates started the scholarship in his memory in the early 70s.

 “For those of us who loved Duane and love old cars, this is a natural marriage,” said committee member and classmate Gary Plummer.

Clark is remembered by his high school peers as an outstanding athlete and all-around great guy who promoted positive school values, sportsmanship and fair play. Committee members said Clark was well liked and highly respected across the entire student body, and that virtually everyone considered him a friend.

“The car show helps to support a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving Windham High School senior by carrying on Duane’s unique qualities,” according to Page. The 2016 scholarship was recently awarded to WHS graduate Sadie Nelson who will major in athletic training at the University of New England.
Page said this year’s auto show, on June 25, features 26 classes of vehicles with trophies awarded to first, second and third place winners. Classes range from antique cars and motorcycles to Corvettes and street rods. Special awards include best of show for both car and truck, best paint and best engine.

The premier Duane Clark Cup is selected by Duane’s classmates who decide which vehicle would be the one picked by Clark to drive away in. The student who won the Duane Clark scholarship the previous year selects and presents the special Scholarship Winner’s Pick.

A number of car show participants join the Summerfest parade, which precedes the start of the Summerfest day activities. The public is invited to visit the car show for free at the Windham High School front parking lot between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Car Show participants can register between 7 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. For more information, call 892-7389.

Civil War encampment at Village Green

Civil War re-enactors will muster on the Windham Historical Society’s Village Green on Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26. In period dress, the soldiers of the 3rd Maine Infantry Volunteers will march with drum and fife in the Summerfest parade and demonstrate drills and camp life at an encampment behind the historical society Town House museum on Windham Center Road.

Saturday, beginning at noon, events include an infantry drill with musket firing, a Civil War era regimental surgeon, field music and an inspection by a civilian Sanitary Commission attempting to promote healthy camp life for the men.

Sunday, at 8 a.m., there will be a special portrayal of Camp Hamlin (named for Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin), which was established near Augusta for the mustering of the 3rd Maine in May/June, 1861 as it prepared to leave for Washington D.C. and three years of federal service in the War Between The States. It includes a fashion presentation, mail call, and the closing of camp around 3 p.m.

On both days guests are encouraged to visit with the soldiers, take a look at the cook stove, tents and equipment and ask questions.

Also on site in the historical society museum will be a display of a home front parlor. The self- guided tour includes hand sewn silk bonnets, a treadle sewing machine, original billboards advertising a traveling minstrel show of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, letters home from Windham Civil War soldiers, needlework, furniture and household items.

The encampment and display are free. Donations to the historical society are gratefully accepted. For more visit, www.windhamhistorical.org.

Although not all of the events are a direct part of Summerfest, the weekend is shaping up to be full of fun and laughter.

The Summerfest Committee is looking for more board members for next year’s event. It’s never too early to volunteer. They are looking for coordinators for entertainment, certain fundraising events and someone to run the parade. 

Even if volunteering isn’t on your agenda, make sure Summerfest is on the calendar for June 25. To volunteer this year or for the board, visit www.windhamsummerfest.com or call Kelly at 894-5600. To make a donation to help fund Summerfest, visit www.gofundme.com/windhamsummerfest.

Photo: Stan Page awards the 2015 Duane Clark Scholarship check for $1,000 to Adam Poitras of Windham, who completed first semester studies at Northwestern University where he majors in Economics.

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