Rangeley playing host to weekend events

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RANGELEY – Regardless of the weather forecast, event organizers and volunteers were busy Friday preparing for weekend activities that include a logging festival, a concert featuring Foreigner, and a museum conference.

“If Mother Nature would cooperate,” Evelyn McAllister of the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce said Friday, “it would help a lot.” McAllister, who reports the daily local weather to Joe Cupo of WCSH 6 television, said although the forecast calls for inclement weather, events may transpire without too much concern.

Although the Chamber is not actually involved in the planning of any of the events, she said, they help publicize them and have been answering plenty of calls for accommodations.

“With a short summer season for us, this is normally a busy time,” she said, “but it’s been an exciting time. I’ve just learned a March of Dimes motorcycle ride will also come through Rangeley on Sunday.”

The ride is expected to meet in Lewiston at 10 a.m. and stop in Rangeley for lunch.

The bean-hole beans for the Logging Museum Festival were buried Friday in preparation for the annual dinner to follow the 10 a.m. parade today, she said. The meal will be served at the museum on Route 16. The Loggers Hall of Fame and Miss Woodchip contest were held Friday at the Rangeley Inn, she said.

Along with the annual logging festival, a concert featuring Foreigner takes place Sunday at Saddleback, as well as the start of the Wilhelm Reich Museum summer conference. Both will take place at Saddleback Mountain.

On the mountain Friday, Frontier Show Productions of New York was busy assembling the stage with local volunteers, said Joanne Taylor of Saddleback. The show is a fundraiser for Rangeley Lakes Region Health Center.

Along with the concert and Reich conference, the mountain’s banquet staff was also busy preparing for a wedding today, she said.

The staff has been taking numerous calls, she said, requesting information on everything from how many original members of the band are coming, to questions about the conference.

“From all reports,” she said, “concert ticket sales are going well, but tickets are still available at the parking lots on Sunday.”

The concert takes place at 5:30 p.m. with gates opening at 1 p.m.

A good response is also expected for the Reich conference, she said. A total of 110 people have signed up, and walk-ins are still being allowed. Participants are expected from Austria, Norway, Germany, Spain and across the United States, she said.

While the conference will take place at the mountain lodge, the mountain will cater the opening reception Sunday at Orgonon, Reich’s estate off Dodge Pond Road, she said.

Security hasn’t been forgotten. Rangeley Police Officer Brian Hughes said that while most of the activity Sunday is outside of Rangeley, the department will have extra officers on duty, and there will be several state troopers around the area.

As for the rest of the county, Ray Meldrum with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department isn’t expecting anything much different than ski season with people traveling both to Saddleback in Rangeley and Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, he said.

Organizers of the concert, he said, have also hired a security force of 40, and 10 Franklin County deputies have been enlisted to help.

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