Kalli Mae Hand of Farmington holds a unicorn during the 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival Saturday afternoon, Aug. 3 on Main Street. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

 

 

WILTON — The second day of the 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival on Saturday, August 3 was a continuation of the fun and excitement started the day before.

People lined Main Street for the 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival parade Saturday, August 3. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Early Saturday morning the parking lot at the former Bass shoe factory on Weld Road was buzzing with activity. People scampered around putting last minute touches on floats prior to the 9 a.m. parade, catching up with friends and reminiscing about the downpour of a year ago.

Some people taped crepe paper to bumpers, while others tied on balloons. There were colorful masks, feathers and beads everywhere one looked.

Hundreds more people took advantage of the good weather and turned out to watch the parade, which stepped off promptly at 9 a.m. It was led by the Farmington Emblem Club trailer which featured the State Street Traditional Jazz Band of Portland. People stood or watched from truck beds, chairs and wagons.

Many took advantage of the banks and tree shaded sections of Weld Road to look down on

During the 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival parade Saturday, August 3 some watched from a bank overlooking the Weld Road. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

the parade in comfort. Many viewers waved to those they knew as the parade passed by.

The intersection of Main Street and Weld Road was packed with spectators as the parade turned to make its way through town. Scores more lined both sides of the street. Some chose to watch from a pontoon boat near the boat launch on Wilson Lake.

In the afternoon there were events at Kineowatha Park, the downtown and Academy Hill School.

In the park the antique tractor pull started at noon. Spectators cheered as the drivers tried to reach the finish line. An electronic board kept track of distance and other vital information.

In the baby and toddler races, four children under 1 year of age drew laughs and groans from the audience. The little ones spent most of their time doing anything but heading toward the finish line.

Ten–month-old Salanai Stebbins of Farmington was more interested in the grass. She even decided to sample a clover flower. Seven–month old Caleb Couture of Livermore took a tumble and later bumped his nose but kept at it to take second place.

Emerging as the victor was 10–month old Arabella of Wilton. She sprawled out full length in the grass half way through the race. With a bit of urging from family members, she rose to her feet, finishing the race with a smile.

The three youngsters in the toddler race were much quicker to figure out what to do. The race ended so quickly there was hardly time for family members to snap pictures.

A corn–hole tournament was also in progress near the park entrance. Teams competed to see how good their members’ aim was in hitting the hole on the slanted wooden board.

Audrey Civiello sits in the Infant and Toddler Room of the newly opened Western Maine Play Museum. During the 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival on Saturday, there were special rates for people to visit the museum for half an hour. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

On Main Street children made their way through the newly opened Western Maine Play Museum. An interactive topographic table allowed children to change contours or make it rain. The wind tunnel and the magnet room drew both children and adults.

Dozens lined the street to watch the annual Kendall Burdin Firemen’s Muster. East Dixfield, Livermore Falls and Wilton competed. Youngsters enjoyed the cool spray created when the water missed the open target and hit the wooden structure instead.

The first mystery event found teams racing to connect sections of hose and a nozzle, then aiming a stream of water through a hole in a large plywood frame. On the other side, team members took turns filling a five gallon pail then racing to dump the water in a nearby barrel.

The second mystery event had the teams from East Dixfield, Livermore Falls and Wilton competing to see which team could disconnect the nozzle and hoses and return all parts to the starting line the fastest.

“It will mean less work for us. They’ll roll the hoses up,” Wilton Fire Rescue Captain Bob Burdick said.

The Wilton Fish and Game Association was open for trap shooting. In the Conex box, the Gatling gun and shooting gallery were available.

Western Maine Blacksmith Association members showed their skill at the open forge set up beside the Wilton Historical Society. Nearby in the Bass–Wilson Building people could view the art works on display.

At the Academy Hill School the Blueberry Bake–Off and Chili Contest took place. With a $1 fee, visitors could sample the entry of their choice. The Moose Creek Cloggers also performed.

Saturday ended with a fireworks display over Wilson Lake. Mardi Gras, this year’s festival theme was well represented with the color selections for the show which included both low and high bursts of light.

Sunday morning an ecumenical service was held at the Wilton United Methodist Church to wrap up another successful festival.

“This town really knows how to throw a party,” Reverand Richard Doiron said.

Later, Reverand David W. Smith from the Congregational Church said, “The ladies of the Congregational Church who started this all many years ago would be very proud today. Shannon Chase Smith should be proud too.”

Susi Pearson stands beside the Allied Realty float Saturday morning, August 3. It was one of more than 100 units in the 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival parade. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

The 37th Annual Wilton Blueberry Festival ended Saturday, Aug. 3 with a fireworks display over Wilson Lake. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden