Friday, July 1, 2016

Exquisite weater and Summerfest event bring the community together - By Michelle Libby

After much anticipation, Summerfest kicked off the summer season with a bang. Last Saturday, the day started off with heavier than usual crowds lining Route 202 for the Summerfest parade featuring organizations, floats, political entries, antique cars, the Shriners and so much more. The parade was longer this year and featured favorite entries and some new ones. Once the parade ended, the booths were open for business featuring food, fun and information. There was a row of crafters and another row for small food businesses like Naturally Jammin’. Other organizations like DARE and the Town of Windham’s comprehensive plan had tables to engage citizens in dialogue about what they do and their upcoming events. 
Non-profits served up food from the staple of frozen hot chocolate to pizza and sausage sandwiches, many vendors sold out of their products.

The day was highlighted by little things that happened. Windham Police officers played soccer on the field with some of the teenagers. Families brought Frisbees and played catch. Kids enjoyed running and playing with Flammin’ Raymond and Sizzlin’ Susan, their hula hoops and fun music. 
Everywhere people looked there was evidence of community involvement. State Representative Mark Bryant volunteered to be dunked in the dunk tank with is tie and dress clothes on. 

Entertainment and demonstrations went on all afternoon on the main stage and on a second stage at the far end of the field. There was an exciting K9 demonstration featuring K9 Vader from the Windham Police Department and his handler Officer Steve Stubbs.

The frog jump was a popular event with the winning frog cheered on by Dylan Hanrahan. The frog jumped 29 feet in 30 seconds. Dylan’s sister Brooke had the second place frog who jumped 17 feet 9 inches. 

As the evening rolled around the music heated up with JD Gilbert & The Night Train and Tickle. Singer Suzie Cropper from Main Stage Academy sang God Bless the USA just before the fireworks show began to the delight of the hundreds of people who packed into the school grounds. 

The committee chair Kelly Mank was thrilled with the turn out and the feedback she received that day and from the survey the committee put out on Facebook. There is still time to fill out the survey offering suggestions and constructive feedback at
The committee is looking for additional volunteers to make next year’s Summerfest bigger and better.
Other members Tommy and Deb Matthews worked on setting up and organizing the booths and the parade. Robin Mullins led the fundraising for this year’s event. Niels Mank handled logistics, set up and other details. 

The committee’s needs for next year include more volunteers willing to take some of the work load and many volunteers on the day of Summerfest to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

The survey also asks for volunteers for next year for the parade, set up, clean up and more. It’s never too early to get involved. 

Next year Summerfest will be on June 24, 2017.

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