LEWISTON – Bates College invites residents of Lewiston and Auburn to “Affirming Our Community,” an Earth Day celebration starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building, on Central Avenue.

The gathering will feature a free barbecue and the distribution of bulbs for spring planting on a first-come, first-served basis. Scrod Pudding, a popular Maine contradance band, will perform.

“Schoolchildren, friends, neighbors – everyone’s invited,” said Laura Biscoe, director of the Office of Special Projects and Summer Programs at Bates.

The celebration is a way for Bates to express its gratitude to the Twin Cities and its concern for the environment, Briscoe said. “Green” groups such as the Farm Fresh Connection, which links Maine farmers and institutional produce buyers, including Bates, will have representatives at the event.

Some 2,700 bulbs for spring planting, including 16 varieties of lily and gladiolus, will be distributed during the gathering. Working with nearly 50 Bates students in the Longley School Mentoring Program, afterschool pupils at Lewiston’s Gov. James B. Longley Elementary School packed the bulbs in bags with planting instructions and markers for the blossom colors.

For more information, call Special Projects and Summer Programs at 207-786-6077.

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