NEW GLOUCESTER – Clearing skies greeted fair-goers Saturday at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds for the fourth annual New Gloucester Community Fair.

The daylong event attracted several thousand. The fair featured horse-drawn wagon rides, a vintage and collectable car display, games and music, a chicken barbecue, and culminated with a fireworks display.

Separated by several hundred yards, Democrat and Republican campaign workers handed out campaign stickers and buttons for local candidates and presidential candidates. Children wearing Bush and Kerry campaign buttons played together.

Color guard units from the Poland Fire Department and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department marched to a lone bagpiper’s call.

The New Gloucester Congregational Church choir, under the direction of Beth Barefoot-Jones, sang musical offerings to launch an afternoon of music that included contra dancing, blues, easy-listening, live acoustic music and hip-hop.

Members of the Maine State Police canine unit demonstrated the skills of the working dogs.

Early in the day, the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department, and United Ambulance of Auburn, demonstrated an evacuation drill using a Jaws of Life apparatus to cut open a car to remove a victim, bringing the person to a waiting ambulance.

Pat Dionisio, A. Wayne Cobb, and Elliott and Orlean Sturgis, all of New Gloucester, sat together on a park bench and enjoyed the warmth of the day, chatting.

State Rep. Michael Vaughan praised the state’s heroes – firefighters, law-enforcement personnel, EMTs, active military personnel, the National Guard and Coast Guard – for their courageous service to the country.

Ernie Rogers of Gray sat quietly in a barber chair while Francena Dupont gave him a haircut. She donated all the proceeds of the day to local resident Jeff Hamilton Jr., who is recovering from brain surgery. Hamilton, a volunteer fire and rescue worker, was diagnosed with a brain tumor this summer just after returning from his honeymoon. He is now receiving intensive physical therapy.<.000

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