LEWISTON – More than 4,000 barbecue meals – a new record – and 6,400 gladiolus and lily bulbs were distributed to all comers April 29 as Bates College invited its Lewiston and Auburn neighbors to its annual Earth Day celebration.

The event, called “Affirming Our Community,” was held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. inside and on the lawn of the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building on Central Avenue.

The gathering featured a free barbecue and the distribution of bulbs – 410 bags were filled with 12 gladiolus bulbs and another 500 bags filled with three lily bulbs – for spring planting on a first-come, first-served basis. Scrod Pudding, a Maine contradance band, performed.

Laura Biscoe, director of the Office of Special Projects and Summer Programs at Bates, said the event is a way for Bates to express its gratitude to the Twin Cities and its concern for the environment.

Prior to the event, Biscoe’s office worked with Bates students in the Longley School Mentoring Program. After-school pupils at Lewiston’s Gov. James B. Longley Elementary School packed the bulbs in bags with planting instructions and markers for the blossom colors.


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