The annual Lupine Festival that was originally scheduled for June 20 had to be cancelled for the usual reasons of late. However, The Outdoor Heritage Museum went on to allow a percentage of the original amount of vendors that had signed up to come and offer their arts, crafts, and other assorted items from books to vintage clothing.

The rest of the vendors, originally scheduled for the Lupine Festival will come back on future Saturdays throughout the summer. This way everyone gets a chance to sell the items they had worked on crafting or accumulating over the year with the intention of bringing them to the Lupine Festival, one of the first popular summer events in Oquossoc.

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

In keeping with regulations, there were no more than fifty people there at one time. It was steady throughout the morning but as the event wasn’t advertised, it was probably just the right amount of foot traffic. The vendors were all spread out and so it worked out quite well. “You’ve heard of “social distancing” well this is “vendor distancing”, Outdoor Heritage Museum Director Bill Pierce joked.

Vendor Beverly Lavigne enjoying the first of fair of the season. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

I spoke to one of the vendors, Beverly Lavigne, and asked her if she was having a good day. “I was a shopkeeper in Rangeley for many years. I was at Cardinal Express for a long long time, so when I come back here it’s kind of fun”, she said. “This is the first one, most of them have been cancelled, and there haven’t been fifty people here on the ground at the same time, you can see that by looking around for yourself, but the people are really happy to see that we’re here.”

I spoke to one of those happy people. Her name is Cindy Walk. She has been coming up here for 22 years, her husband for almost 50 years. I asked her how she came to be at the fair as I myself had only just heard about it a couple of days before. “My husband comes down to Oquossoc for lunch all the time. I stay home, I just do my thing around, I love the woods, and just staying where I am. So he comes down, he said there was a little fair, and since I grew up in a small town, the Cape is a small town, you kind of want to support your local people.”

Cindy Walk, happy to be supporting the local community by attending the fair.

This is true. We do want to support our local people. Beverly, who introduced me to Cindy felt that community spirit. “There is benevolence about the community here. There’s a kindness, benevolence is a kindness and that is really nice. This guy at this museum here wants to try and help everybody. Have you talked to him? Bill? You should go talk to him.” (Little does she know I talk to him probably five times a week this time of year, ha-ha) I assured her I would go talk to him.

Bill Pierce enjoying a brief respite in the shade with his lovely wife Rhonda and “Zeke the Museum Freak” Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

I continued to walk around and wound up negotiating over two books that I wound up purchasing for my beau- “One Fine and Pleasant Misery” by Patrick McManus and “The River as Looking Glass & other stories from the Outdoors” by Craig Woods (just in time for Father’s Day!). The good news is he loved them. Perfect for the camp.

All in all it was really nice to stroll through and say hi to people I haven’t seen in months. It was such a beautiful day and I was happy to be out and about.  After saying hi to Bill and Rhonda and Zeke, I continued to chit chat with Beverly about people and Covid and how we were both coping and the steady turn out of attendees and I agreed with her when she said, “People are happy to see a little bit of socializing, a little bit of normalcy.”

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