The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council hosts a “What do you know about Lewiston?” trivia night at City Hall on Thursday evening to quiz locals on their knowledge of the city. From left are Hunter Steele, Amino Aden, Hunter Landry, Carolyn Adams, Emma Williams, Emma Wolverton and Isho Mohamed. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Olivia Carter, 9, looks at her mother, Jen Carter, as their group tries to come up with a list of all of the annual festivals in Lewiston during a trivia night called “What do you know about Lewiston?” held at City Hall on Thursday. The event was hosted by the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council. Also shown are Penny Goodwin, Lucky DiBello, Pat Gardiner and Fran Morin. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
LEWISTON — When it comes to Lewiston trivia and planning a date night, this group of five makes for a formidable team.
Christine Holden, Ed Plourde and Beckie Conrad have been around a while and they were able to field every question about local history that came their way.
Matt Hird and Kyra Physic, on the other hand, are teenagers, 17 and 16, respectively. When the questions veered into the area of local culture, they were all over it.
What famous rock is located at Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary? The elder three didn’t seem to know, but Hird had them covered.
“Whale Rock!” he exclaimed, earning his team points at the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council’s “What do you know about Lewiston?” event Thursday night.
The event used a variety of team activities to highlight all things Lewiston. Businesses, colleges, museums, parks, festivals, the dropping crime rate — no aspect of what the Youth Council calls “New Lewiston” was ignored.
“The event was born out of the Youth Council’s concern that some individuals, both locally and away, aren’t aware of, or have misconceptions about, the Lewiston of today,” Council Chairwoman Emma Williams told the audience of about two dozen Thursday night at City Hall.
The Youth Council believes that Lewiston has evolved into a wonderful place in defiance of many old and unfavorable stereotypes. The idea of the Thursday night event was to highlight this fact by challenging the brains, game-show-style, of those who turned out.
Planning a date night, for example. When faced with this dubious task, the team of five coupled experience and youth to chart out an ideal Lewiston date night.
“How about a public skate?” Plourde suggested.
“And a limo ride,” offered Hird.
“Yes!” Physic agreed. “A limousine tour of the city.”
Plourde scribbled these ideas onto a plain white paddle, as did leaders of the other teams. Suddenly, Holden was inspired.
“How about it’s summer,” she said, “and we go up to the top of Mount David?”
“To watch the fireworks!” Physic added.
The fictional date was shaping up nicely.
“I think we have to end at the Blue Goose,” said Hird. “Seems like it has to end at the Goose.”
Plourde hastily scribbled these ideas onto the paddle before time was up.
“Hey,” he said. “We don’t want to lose this thing.”
It turns out nobody lost. Other teams offered their own date night plans, which included hiking at Thorncrag, kayaking on the Androscoggin River, dancing at the Ramada, a performance at The Public Theatre and dinner at Fish Bones.
“These are all great ideas,” Williams told them.
Throughout the night, a list of Maine cities and their 2016 crime rates stood on display at the front of the room. Lewiston’s was the lowest of all, a fact that the Youth Council doesn’t want anyone to forget.
“By the end of the evening,” according to the event program, “if someone says about Lewiston, ‘It’s got a high crime rate, it’s run-down, there’s nothing to do there,’ you will be able to effectively respond.”
True that. After an hour of vigorous learning of local facts, almost everyone agreed that they knew more going out than they did coming in. Answering trivia questions and planning dates, as it turns out, are decent teaching methods.
“I thought it was very clever,” Holden said at the end of the event. “It showed a lot of creativity on the part of the students.”