NORWAY — “There’s not too many towns with a fishing hole right on Main Street,” Deb Partridge, director of Norway Parks and Recreation, said as she watched dozens of boys and girls cast their lines into the Lake Pennesseewassee outlet at Butters Park on Saturday morning.

Partridge said the fifth annual Family Fishing Festival had 85 children register, tying the record for the most anglers.

“People drop in and drop out,” she said. “It’s just a relaxing day to promote fishing.”

For Joe Marshall of Norway and his sons, Joseph, 8, and Robert, 5, the festival is the only time they fish. When they came last year, his boys tried fishing for the first time.

Robert Marshall said his favorite thing about fishing is catching one, while his brother found the process of baiting the hook a challenge.

“It’s hard because it’s squirmy,” Joseph said.

Fishing was not the only attraction at the festival — several organizations provided fun activities.

• Norway-Paris Fish & Game traced, weighed, measured, cleaned and grilled the fish caught by excited youngsters;

• The University of Maine 4-H Camp & Learning Center in Woodstock brought animal pelts for visitors to identify;

• The Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited taught fly-tying and dry land fly-casting;

• Healthy Oxford Hills brought its bike-powered blender to make smoothies;

• The Center for Ecology-Based Economy painted aquatic animals on smiling faces;

• Boy Scout Troop 130 helped tie knots and recruited new members; and

• Norway Fire Department manned a first aid station, while serving water and popcorn.

Fisherman younger than 15 years could enter to win the Stuart B. Cummings lifetime fishing award — a license good for a lifetime. Isaac Shiers, 6, of Norway took home the award.

Partridge said the event promotes fishing because of the values it teaches children, such as patience.

It’s also “really fun,” said Julia Collins, 8, of South Paris, who said she’s been fishing for “a while.” For her friend, Raven Severy, 3, of South Paris it’s her first time.

“She likes cranking the bait,” said Ron Blake, a member of Trout Unlimited, who took time to teach Severy how to cast and bait the hook.

Cylus Colello, 8, of Oxford was perched precariously on the other side of the bridge rail, waiting, perhaps not so patiently, for a bite from the fish below. Colello said he’s an experienced fisherman.

“I was fishing at Hobbs Pond the other day and fell in,” Colello said. “(The best part) of fishing is to catch the fish and eat them, except I don’t eat fish.”

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Julia Collins, 8, of South Paris hands a wiggly worm to Ron Blake of the Mollyockett chapter of Trout Unlimited, as Raven Severy, 3, of South Paris tries out fishing for the first time at the fifth annual Norway Family Fishing Festival at Butters Park in Norway on Saturday. (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

London Curtis, 7, of Norway gets an octopus painted on her face by Anna Heath of the Norway Fare Share Co-op, while her little sister, Payson, 4, watches at the fifth annual Norway Family Fishing Festival on Saturday at Butters Park in Norway. (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

Cylus Colello, 8, of Oxford found the perfect fishing spot on the other side of the bridge rail at Butters Park in Norway on Saturday during the fifth annual Norway Family Fishing Festival. (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

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