BETHEL — Vendors and donors for fireworks are being sought for MollyOckett Days Festival, Bethel’s largest and most traditional summer celebration and homecoming in mid-July.

The event is named for a Pequawket Indian who befriended the early settlers of western Maine and lived among them. The festival is organized by the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.

Robin Zinchuk, executive director of the chamber, said Thursday by email that they’ve finalized the schedule for July 19 and 20.

“This will be a weekend filled with an enormous amount of great fun, interesting exhibits, healthy competitions and a chance to connect with community organizations and area businesses,” she said.

The chamber is still seeking fireworks sponsors and needs to raise $750 for its fireworks show, she said.

“We have raised or requested from the towns about $1,750, and we need at least $2,500 to put on a halfway decent show,” Zinchuk said.

Fireworks donations of any amount can be mailed to: Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1247, Bethel, ME 04217.

Zinchuk said donors should mark the check “fireworks fund.”

“We are also wanting potential vendors to know we still have space available,” she said.

“MollyOckett Days commemorates Bethel’s past, its vibrant present and the ongoing work of area businesses and organizations to create a promising future,” she wrote.

The theme for Saturday’s parade, which starts at 10 a.m., is “Homecoming.”

Bethel has held MollyOckett Days for more than five decades.

The intention of that theme, Zinchuk said, is “to build the bridge between the festival as a traditional town homecoming event, and the fact that MollyOckett Days has provided the platform for the renewal of our relationship with the traditions of the Native American cultural history of this region.”

Festivities on July 19 include the parade; artists and artisans; Native American basketry demonstrations, product displays and music; an array of food items; the Mahoosuc Art Council’s annual ARTirondack chair auction; a North American wildlife encounter live animal show; a frog-jumping contest, numerous activities provided by area nonprofits; a fiddler’s jamboree; an evening two-hour band concert, featuring Crime Scene, a classic rock band “with a twist;” and fireworks, she said.

Events planned for July 20 include early-morning running and walking events for all ages: a Diaper Dash for infants and toddlers, a one-mile event for children up to age 14, a 2.5-mile “open” walking event and a five-mile road race.

Bethel Outdoor Adventure and Campground will hold the Tubing and Treasure Scavenger Hunt, which rounds out the festival Sunday.

Several area businesses and organizations are sponsors and donors.

Zinchuk said a collaborative grant between the Mahoosuc Arts Council and the chamber was provided by the Maine Community Foundation’s Maine Expansion Arts Fund, making possible the Native American cultural presence.

A complete schedule, vendor applications and applications for the Sunday events can be found online at

The chamber can be reached at 824-2282 or 800-442-5826, by fax at 207-824-7123 or by emailing [email protected].

[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.