BETHEL — Bethel's traditional summer festival — MollyOckett Days — will be held Saturday and Sunday on the Bethel Common and Main Street.
Named for MollyOckett, a Pequawket Indian who lived among and befriended the early settlers of Western Maine, the festival includes Native American cultural crafts, exhibits, music and foot races.
This year's theme is Stewardship of the Earth.
Among Saturday's events are a grand parade at 10 a.m., arts and crafts, food, Native American music, dance and craft demonstrations, a frog-jumping contest and a North American Wildlife demonstration featuring a bobcat and other native species.
The popular ARTirondack chair auction returns at 4 p.m. to benefit the Mahoosuc Arts Council. It features a work of art that will be auctioned to benefit two causes.
The collaborative artwork between James E. Francis, Penobscot artist and director of Cultural and Historic Preservation for the Penobscot Nation, and Arla Patch, artist, teacher and volunteer for the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has resulted in a painting on a chair crafted by Reggie Brown of Bethel.
A reserve is set at $1,000. Bids submitted before the auction and phone bids will be accepted.
The chair’s images convey the theme through native and western cultural imagery. Francis created the central image of the tree that becomes the Earth. Patch created the context based on the European American tradition of quilts. Francis provided the symbols, which represent one of each of the four remaining tribes in the Wabanaki Confederacy: the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet and the Micmac.
Chairs painted by Jewel Clark, Troy Jordan, Tera Ingraham, Lauren Head, Seneca Corriveau and Aranka Matolcsy will also be auctioned.
Evening activities include a Wabanaki drumming and dancing circle and fireworks at dusk.
Sunday morning features foot races: A one-mile and five-mile, a three-mile walking event, and a Diaper Dash for toddlers and crawlers on the Bethel Common.
Preregistration will be held right up to race time at 8:15 a.m. in front of The Bethel Inn Resort.
The third annual Tubing and Treasure Scavenger Hunt will be held at noon at Bethel Outdoor Adventure and Campground.
The MollyOckett Days Festival is organized by the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Northeast Bank.
For a complete schedule of events, visit mollyockettdays.com/schedule.html.
For more information, call 800-442-5826 or visit mollyockettdays.com.