BUCKFIELD — After years of being a one-day celebration, groups in Buckfield are bringing the 2017 Community Day back to a weekend-long celebration with events at the Old Church on the Hill and Zadoc Long Free Library.
The annual Labor Day celebration will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 2, with a vintage handmade clothing and textile display at the Old Church on the Hill. The historic building located at 77 High St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and the same time on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.
Old Church on the Hill Committee member Sandra Perkins said the committee was given trunks full of antique clothing and textiles.
“It’s fascinating and we just have so much more to go [through],” she said. “We have an old Girl Scout uniform. The women’s dresses, many of them would go back to the puffed sleeves, narrowed wrists era, which is going to be represented with the tea that we’re doing.”
Perkins is referring to the Friends of the Julia Long Tea event that will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, at the Zadoc Long Free Library at 5 Turner St.
The event is hosted by the Library Committee and will feature between 125 and 150 antique cups and saucers and 20 to 30 teapots that are part of member Lucille Allen’s personal collection. There will also be a children’s table at the tea.
“We have some little surprise gifts for the boys and girls who come to the tea,” Allen said.
The Buckfield Historical Society will display a Long family album with clippings and pictures. Several hostesses of the tea party will be dressed in early 1900s costumes that coincide with when the library was built.
One of those who will be in costume is Allen, who had hers made by Drapeu’s Costumes of Maine in Lisbon Falls.
“I have my costume. It is a little bit expensive, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” she said. “It is made from a 1900s pattern. … It is made authentically – no zippers.”
Julia Long was the mother John D. Long, who was the governor of Massachusetts from 1880-1883 and then Secretary of the Navy under President William McKinley. John built the library in honor of his mother and father, Zadoc Long.
“Julia never got any recognition. It was always Zadoc and John, but it was given in honor of his parents. … It is time Julia got some recognition,” Allen said. “That’s why the Friends of Julia Long are having the tea. I would say behind every man there has got to be a strong woman and she represented two of them.”
Allen and Perkins explained why they and others in town want to see Community Day celebrated the entire weekend.
“See, Labor Day used to be a three-day town affair and the volunteers slowly retired or passed away or whatever and it’s just been a one-day affair for several years,” Allen said. “There are a lot of us who would like to see it back to the three days.”
Perkins agreed, some things that were done in the past, such as the firemen’s muster, they aren’t able to do anymore. But this doesn’t mean other activities shouldn’t take place over the weekend.
“We need to flesh this out more in years to come,” she said.
“[We’re] trying to get back to a weekend of activities for the whole family,” Allen added.
On Labor Day, the annual parade will step off at 10 a.m. from Buckfield Junior Senior High School at 160 Morrill St. The theme of the parade this year is the Good Old Days and the route will travel down Morrill Street and take a left onto Turner Street, ending near the Municipal Center at 34 Turner St. Children will line-up at the John D. Long American Legion, also on Morrill Street, according to Community Day Committee member Barbara Wright.
“There is going to be plenty of floats,” she said.
Festivities will continue in the field behind the Municipal Center and parking there will be handicapped only.
“There is going to be free parking at the apple growers on Streaked Mountain Road with a shuttle going in front of the Town Hall,” Wright said. Anyone who needs help getting down the hill to the field or vice versa can be transported in a golf cart.
On the field, there will be plenty of food, arts and craft vendors, including the American Legion truck and apple crisp. Returning for the 2017 edition is the corn hole tournament, silent auction and duck race.
Volunteers are still needed to help out with Community Day. Those interested can contact Chair Eileen Hotham at 336-2871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.