FARMINGTON — Plans are underway for the third annual Maine Fiddlehead Festival: Local Food Day on May 3, according to sponsor Lillian Lake.

“It’s a celebration of local foods and the opening of the summer season for the Sandy River Farmer’s Market,” she said Thursday.

The festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 3, with events primarily on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington. It also involves downtown businesses and restaurants. Local churches are invited to serve lunches featuring local foods, she said.

Academy Street will be closed to allow a display of antique tractors. Instead of a parade of tractors, as was held last year, a display will be available throughout the day.

Local food vendors and farmers will set up in the court outside the Emery Community Arts Center as they did last year. Most sold out last year. It was a good turnout, she said.

“There’s an abundance of local foods to find and forage,” she said.

The festival will include fiddlehead walks, fiddlehead cooking demonstrations, instruction on canning and preserving of Maine foods, supervised children’s activities and music, including the Franklin County Fiddlers and others, she said.

Demonstrations on topics such as fermentation, food cultivation, wild mushrooms, and cheese-making are being planned.

“Intent on doing something to highlight how valuable local farms are to our community, Grace Eason, professor of environmental and science education at UMF, brought her concerns to the UMF Sustainability Campus Coalition Coordinator in 2012, Valerie Huebner, and Drew Barton, professor of Biology,” she said.

Tanya Swain of the Western Mountains Alliance worked with them.

They began a festival to celebrate local foods in partnership with UMF Sustainability Campus Coalition with Director Luke Kellett and the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement. Swain brought in community members to help plan the event, Lake said.

Last year, the committee renamed the festival the second annual Maine Fiddlehead: Local Food Day. The festival caught the attention of USA Today and Taste of Home, she said.

“Since the first festival, classes have expanded to include butter-making and lard rendering, as well as canning and preserving,” she said. “Local organizations have become more involved with expanding community gardens and school gardens. Students at local schools are learning more about growing their own food and UMF students have become actively involved in growing food.”

Sponsors for the festival include Franklin Savings Bank, WKTJ, Mt. Blue Television and Lake. Homestead Bakery supplied meeting space and UMF has been particularly supportive, she said.

Members of the committee include Sarah Marble, Cynthia Stancioff, Dave Fuller, Katie Beach, Lauren Crosby, Liz Quigley, Jordan Nicole and Paul Santamore.

More information is available at the website,

[email protected]

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.

filed under: