NORWAY – The 2005 Norway Summer Festival, hosted by Norway Downtown Revitalization, is planned for Thursday through Sunday, July 7 to 10, with the major celebration, including the 33rd annual Sidewalk Art Show, on Saturday, July 9.

The festival will highlight the life and work and Norway’s George Howe, the mineralogist, naturalist and teacher whose discoveries of Maine gemstones helped establish the Oxford Hills as a center for fine gems and jewelry.

Mineralogy expert Vandall T. King will present a lecture on Howe at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the Norway Memorial Library, gemstone exhibits will be on display at the library and Norway Historical Society, and a short history of Howe, written by local historian David Sanderson, will be available throughout the weekend.

The library will host an exhibit of paintings by local artist Duncan Slade, winner of last year’s Best in Show Award in the Sidewalk Art Show. The exhibit will run from June 13 through July 30, with extended hours on July 9, and Slade will talk about his work at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30. One of his paintings, now in the collection at Stephens Memorial Hospital, graces this year’s festival poster and postcard.

The weekend events will kick off on Friday, July 8, with a performance by Art Moves Dance Company of Norway with the nationally-acclaimed percussion group Inanna. The collaboration will take place at 7 p.m. at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, available at Books n Things in Oxford and Pick-a-Lily in Norway.

The Sidewalk Art Show will fill the sidewalks of downtown Norway from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 9, featuring more than 80 artists from all over New England.

Fiddlers will play on the Weary Club porch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and an ongoing exhibit of Norway fiddler Mellie Dunham memorabilia will be inside. Poets on the Porch III offers original poetry read aloud from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Norway Memorial Library porch.

Featured readers will include Brunswick poet Gary Lawless, Lisa Moore, John Governale, George Twine, and Rockie Graham. Poets are encouraged to sign up for five-minute slots by calling Moore at 207-743-9808.

Dancers from Art Moves Dance Project will offer free morning workshops at their studio at 13 Cottage St., then perform on an outdoor stage from 3 to 5 p.m. In addition, Inanna will host a drumming workshop for all ages on the stage at 9:30 a.m.

The Boxberry School of Oxford will provide children’s activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Witherell Park.

The Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a duck race at 2 p.m. Musicians performing on the sidewalks will include Lucinda Gail, Mary “Ukelady” Hargreaves and Johnny Miller.

There will be food available to suit all tastes, from burgers to fruit smoothies. The Norway Library book sale will be held at the American Legion Hall on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, folks can run an 8K race or take a 5K fitness walk, sponsored by Healthy Oxford Hills.

Other community events will include the Kiwanis/Rotary auction and pancake breakfast.

If it rains on Saturday, the art show and other events will be held on Sunday, July 10. For an updated listing, go to the Norway Summer Festival Web site at www.downtownnorway.com or call 739-2215.


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