Old Town’s big annual celebration takes place this weekend, with Riverfest 2017 to be held this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30.
Riverfront Park will be the centerpiece of the festivities, with most events to take place there.
The fun kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. with the dedication and National Anthem. That will be followed by a fitness program presented by the Old Town-Orono YMCA; then comes the Riverfest Talent Show, which will start at 5 p.m. and be for all ages. There will be no prizes or judges – just plenty of fun. Comes sing, dance, or whatever you want to entertain the crowd (acts must be squeaky clean and family friendly)! Terran Stone of Noreast Entertainment will provide the music and sound for all of Riverfest.
After that, there will the Glow Dance Party, which was a big success last year, with fireworks to follow at 9 p.m. and a dance party after that, which will run until the park closes for the evening at 10 p.m. And from 7:15 p.m. until it’s gone, there will be free ice cream, courtesy of the Old Town Rotary Club.
Saturday offers a full day of events, starting with the Riverfest 5K Road Race, which is sponsored by the Y. The race will begin and end at the Old Town -Orono YMCA. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m. Participants may register by visiting otoymca.org or by stopping by the YMCA at 472 Stillwater Avenue.
At 8 a.m., the 12th annual Ride for a Cure Brenda Sibley Memorial Tide will be held. A donation of $10 per rider is requested; registration is at 8 a.m. at the Old Town McDonald’s. Raffles also will be drawn at Riverfront Park, with all proceeds to benefit Cancer Care of Maine.
The big event for many people – which traditionally packs the downtown – will be the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. at Old Town High School, then heads down Stillwater Avenue and onto Main Street before ending at the Holy Family church parking lot. This year’s grand marshals will be the OTHS softball and boys swim teams. Among the participants in the parade will be three bands, youth groups, floats, performers and businesses, and much more.
After the parade, there will be crafters and information booths lining the paths in Riverfront Park until 4 p.m., as well as numerous activities for kids, including pony rides, wagon rides, a petting zoo, laster tag and other games, bounce houses, a photo booth and kids zone. The Old Town Public Library also will be offering family activities.
There will be entertainment all day as well, with acts to include the University of Maine Band and Dancers, the Maine St. Andrews Pipes and Drums; Central Maine Twirlers; the Rusty Pipes barbershop quartet, Elvis impersonator Jessi Mallory; guitarist Nakoa Parsons; and Zeny Robbins.
And as always, there will be food, food, and more food at Riverfest, including hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and doughboys from the Old Town Booster Club; a chicken barbecue from the Old Town Rotary Club; baked potatoes from the Knights of Columbus; Philly Cheesesteaks from Crossroads; pizza from the Maine junior Black bears; nachoes and cheese chili dogs from Old Town Elementary School; macaroni and cheese from the Leonard Middle School; sausage from Girl scouts; and lots more.
During the celebration the Riverfront Park area will be closed to parking, although there will be handicapped parking available. There also is no parking on the streets along Riverfront Park on Friday night and all day Saturday, but there are several other public parking lots nearby include the city lots on Main Street across from Rite Aid, next to Riverfront Park, and next to the Boomhouse; the Old Town Public Library lots; and the lot at the rear of city hall.

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