NORWAY — The annual Norway Arts Festival gets underway Saturday, July 11, with arts, music, food and a look into the past.

The Marigold Tea Room will be re-created during the arts festival, Roy Gedat, president of the Norway Historical Society, said. The Marigold Tea Room was a favorite place to eat in Norway Lake Village during the Jazz Age.

It will serve homemade pie with ice cream and iced tea. This year’s pie selections include blueberry, raspberry, chocolate, custard, key lime, rhubarb, chocolate cream and coconut cream at the society’s headquarters at Main and Whitman streets.

“The event has become one of the favorite spots in the arts festival,” Gedat said in a statement.

But art is still at the center of the festival. This year’s festival features $2,000 in prizes for fine art, photography and artisan work, with a special noncategory prize of $500 for the festival’s best work, Michael Everett, president of the Western Maine Art Group, said.

“This (prize money) reflects this year’s emphasis on attracting and displaying fine art,” he said.


Julieanne Reed, an artist and graduate of Maine College of Art, will judge the work and help award the prizes. Prize winners will be announced at 1 p.m. in Longley Square.

The festival, co-sponsored by the Western Maine Art Group and Norway Downtown, provides an opportunity to see and purchase art and crafts from local and nonlocal artists.

Main Street will be closed to motor vehicles from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to create pedestrian mall for artists, artisans, musicians, nonprofit exhibitors, food vendors and hundreds of people expected to attend.

The first sidewalk art show was held in the mid 1970s by the late Lajos Matolcsy, founder of the Matolcsy Arts Center, and two of his former art students, Lee Bean and Ellie Viles. Eventually, the sidewalk art show expanded into a three-day event, drawing more than 75 vendors and thousands of people to the community.

In addition to the arts festival and triathlon, visitors will find a host of other events that day on Main Street, including an ice cream social sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church, a performance by Poets on the Porch at 11 a.m. at the Weary Club and two used book sales sponsored by Friends of the Library and Second Congregational Church.

There will be a student art exhibit and children’s activity at the Matolcsy Art Center, sponsored by Western Maine Art Group, live music at Tucker’s Pub from noon to 4 p.m., a performance by singer Barry Wood at 2 p.m. at the stage in Longley Square and tours of the Norway Opera House.


Norway’s local restaurants and festival’s vendors will provide food.

In addition to the arts festival, the eighth annual Norway Triathlon — a swim, bike and ride competition on and around Lake Pennesseewassee — will take place Saturday morning. It includes a 1k (.62 mile) swim from Pennesseewassee Park beach, an 18k (11.16 mile) bike ride up to Richardson Hollow Road and back along Greenwood Road, and a 5k (3.1 mile) run that includes the Libby Trail at Roberts Farm Preserve.

Organizers say the purpose of the triathlon is to promote healthy active lifestyles, to conserve local natural resources and to help the local businesses and economy. Proceeds will benefit Western Foothills Land Trust and its mission to conserve and preserve the natural ecosystem, watershed, farm and forest land and scenic landscapes in Western Maine.

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