RUMFORD – Last week, a new-to-the-area carnival rolled into town to kick off the Moontide Water Festival.

Unfortunately, for carnival organizers and participants, a heat wave, high humidity and strong thunderstorms also steamrolled their way into town, stifling attendance during the days of June 26 through 29.

“It was too hot for anybody to move,” said Moontide Committee member William Porter. “It was too hot for everything.”

Sweltering daytime temperatures, which climbed into the mid-90s at the beginning of the event, only dropped about 10 degrees over the weekend.

Nights were a bit cooler and attendance improved, especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for respective entertainers E&I Band, Leaving City Limits Band, and The Travelers.

“Entertainment events at night were packed,” Porter added.

Porter didn’t reveal how much money the carnival raised or what attendance was for the 4-day event, but he did say it was on average with past carnivals.

Billed as Maine’s largest street festival, the Moontide Water Festival Carnival, which was run by Carr Shows, is the first part of two celebrations held from late June through Independence Day. Each day, the carnival, which filled most of Congress, Exchange and River streets with rides, food booths and skill contests, was open from noon until 10 to 11 p.m.

Funds raised from the carnival help pay for July 4 events that end with the fireworks display. This year, more than $25,000 worth of fireworks will go off beginning at 9:15 p.m. over the Androscoggin River’s reflection pool.

Like last year, thunderstorms are once again predicted to roll into town on the Fourth of July, so bring your raincoats and umbrellas, Porter added, noting that the fireworks would be set off regardless of rain.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.