LEWISTON — “Here come the clowns!” exclaimed 8-year-old Caitlin Michaelis of Auburn as the spectacular parade of the 2015 Northeast Shrine Association’s Fall Field Days passed by Saturday afternoon. Caitlin had a prime position at curbside where mini-cycles, pint-sized trailer trucks and lobster boats zoomed past for nearly two hours.

It was a festive atmosphere for hundreds of young and old people along the downtown parade route. Shriners from New England and eastern Canada marched and performed with dozens of motor units to showcase children’s hospitals, burn centers and other charitable causes supported by Shriners International.

Lewiston’s Hulett Square, where Lisbon Street meets Main, was the hub for crowds of families. The parade started at the south end of Canal Street, moved toward Main Street, turned right and proceeded up Main Street to Sabattus Street, past the Kora Temple, and ended at the Municipal Parking Lot on Oak Street. There were large groups of viewers all along the way.

Parade units used the south side of the divided Main Street. Many groups brought lawn chairs or blankets, and the shade of trees on the grassy median strip offered a comfortable vantage point.

Lewiston’s Kora Shrine Temple and its potentate, Rick Hersom, hosted the two-day event which drew upward of 2,000 Shriners to the Twin Cities.

Caitlin’s brother, 6-year-old William, said his favorite sight on the city street was a fleet of lobster boats that handled swift figure-eight maneuvers as easily as any of the cycles, Crazy Cops cars or other mini-motorized vehicles. Caitlin said she liked the costumed Oriental Bands. Enjoying the show with Caitlin and William were their mom and dad, Jennifer and Michael Michaelis.


Dignitaries from the dozen or more visiting Shrine temples rode in classic cars. The Kora Concert Band and a few Oriental Bands were featured on flat-bed trailers. Bagpipers of the Kora Highlanders, as well as a bagpipe unit from Anah Temple, Bangor, also marched and played.

The Kora Temple displayed the largest motorized array. They sped around in small replicas of Crazy Cops cars, with old-time policemen chasing convicts in stripes who threw water at the lawmen, occasionally soaking a good-natured spectator.

Members of the various motor units ran intricate and fast-paced routes up and down the street. Lewiston’s Kora Temple units included Crazy Carts, six miniature antique autos, nine stock-car racers and the Kora Log Rollers, which are miniature trailer trucks.

Cairo Shrine Temple of Rutland, Vt., featured mini autos, mini monster trucks and mini versions of “choppers” (modified motorcycles).

Bangor’s Anah Shrine Temple members rode stock cars, mini Indy racers and trailer trucks, as well as the fishing boats with “ports” along the mid-coast. Anah also had a Keystone Kops corps and trailer trucks. Their group of costumed cartoon favorites was a hit with youngsters, with little ones running out to hug the Minion from the recent animated movie of that name.

There were lots of colorfully costumed clowns swapping high-fives with as many kids as possible.


Caitlin’s long red hair attracted lots of kidding from clowns sporting their own blazing red wigs. Ruffles the clown joked about having a redheads get-together as he gave her one of his photo cards.

Young Landon Desjardins of Lewiston said his favorite part of the parade was the “jumping cars.” He was talking about carts driven up, over and down a ramp built on top of an SUV. He also was delighted to have a card from Doodles the clown.

Landon was with sister Avaya and their mother, Nichole Desjardins of Lewiston, as well as Emilia and Parker Boucher, their mother, Erin Boucher of Lewiston and her nephew, Jacobey Brookes.

Canadian Shriners included Luxor Shrine Temple from Saint John, Province of New Brunswick; Mazol Shrine Temple, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Philae Shrine Temple, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Aleppo Shrine Temple of Wilmington, Mass., had a large showing of motorized units from the Boston area. These included the Aleppo Fire Brigade, some mini 1901 Oldsmobile autos and small-scale trailer trucks. Aleppo also ran two new, full-size trailer trucks in the parade, demonstrating the kind of over-the-road transportation needed to get Shriner units around the country.

Representing Connecticut were Sphinx Shrine Temple of Newington and Pyramid Shrine of Stratford. Palestine Shrine of Cranston, R.I., also took part. Other Shrine temples attending the Northeast Fall Field Days were Bektash of Concord, N.H.; Melha of Springfield, Mass.; Mt. Sinai of St. Albans, VT; and Tunis of Ottsawa, Ontario.

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