Fireworks show added to Pumpkin Fest

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RUMFORD — A fireworks show has been added to the sixth annual River Valley Pumpkin Fest on Saturday, Oct. 14.

It became official Thursday evening after the Board of Selectmen approved a request for an additional $500 from Kris Howes of Gaskyl Productions, which is hosting the event, with support from EnvisionRumford.

The request received unanimous support from the board, contingent upon the state fire marshal’s approval of the proposed launch site.

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Howes said the money, along with the $1,000 selectmen approved earlier for the event, will be used along with a $2,000 donation from Northern Venture Fund. All the funding from the town will be from cable franchise fees.

Town Manager Linda-Jean “L-J” Briggs said the town will also be spending an estimated $900 from the police department budget for security at the downtown event.

Howes said the planned location for launching the fireworks will be at the far end of the Hartford Bridge on the former Agway property, but away from the building. He said the site was approved by Fire Chief Bob Chase, Police Chief Stacy Carter and the contractor, Central Maine Pyrotechnics of Hallowell.

“This will help the nighttime part of the festival,” Howes noted.

This includes a live band and a dance in the street following the lighting of carved pumpkins from earlier in the event.

The 20-minute fireworks show will begin at 8:30 p.m.

In other business:

• Briggs announced that Mike Mills, who began as interim superintendent of Public Works earlier this year, has been named the permanent superintendent. He will remain director for the Parks Department for a time. Mills replaces Andy Russell, the longtime superintendent, who had been on medical leave.

• Briggs said Executive Secretary Terri Palmer has decided to join her husband, Matt, in retirement. A recognition ceremony will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, in the Rumford Falls Auditorium. Light refreshments will be provided to the public.

• October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There will be a vigil at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, at the park at the end of Congress Street. Carter and Briggs will speak.

• Briggs said she attended a public hearing in Augusta regarding Catalyst Paper’s request for tax credits from the Finance Authority of Maine board. If awarded, she said, the project would help fund the purchase and installation of the tissue machine, “bringing additional workers and further economic stimulus to the community.”

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

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