CANTON — Canton’s bicentennial parade Saturday boasted a pirate ship with the kids from the towns’ recreation teams on board, several antique cars and fire trucks from Canton and other nearby towns.

Also seen in the parade were ATV riders with large gold balloons adorned with 2021 and antique tractors and cars.Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, also known as Chris Dailey and Linda Williams of Canton, marched just ahead of a few bagpipe players in their full regalia as another man playing a hand drum marched in the parade.

Dailey and Williams attracted plenty of attention from children and their families during and following the parade as they chatted with several of them. Not only does the couple dress as Mr. and Mrs. Claus for Christmas, they do it year-round for all kinds of events, they said. “We take donations for Canton’s Santa Angels,” Williams said. The Santa Angels group uses the money to help to dress and feed the area’s children and to fill their backpacks for the school year.

Cheering the parade on in their parked vehicle by Main Street were Patty and Larry Williams of Topsham and their friends Aurie Cox, and Robert Paradis of Lisbon Falls. Cox taught school in Canton for 39 years, she said, and Paradis lived in Canton’s Gilbertville for 15 years.

The two couples were in town to enjoy the bicentennial and said they liked learning about the town’s history on the trolley tours which took place throughout the day Friday. They also enjoyed the ‘old car show’ and the quilt exhibit at the museum.

Also parked nearby watching the parade were Francine and Nelson Peters of Lewiston and Paula Grenier of Clinton. The Peters and Grenier donned pirate hats and special flags with pirate designs to wave as their daughter-in-law Erin Peters’ pirate ship float went by in the parade.

Walking around the town ballfield where over a dozen artisans and entertainers worked under their canopies, Canton residents Kathy Walker and her daughter Ashley Walker talked about some of the highlights of the town’s celebration weekend.

Kathy Walker noted that the Walker family did much of the planning for Friday night’s street dance which took place in the boat launch area. She estimated that there were at least 300 people in attendance and that the food truck, Alabama BBQ, had to leave and return over three times with more food for the attendees during the event. Another amazing fact of the weekend’s events was that most of the events like the street dance, trolley tours and car show were free to the public, Walker said.

On the ballfield, hobby blacksmith Dennis Lee of Livermore showed Harvey Damon, age 7, and his mother Iva Damon of Buckfield, how to fire and create a long S-hook tool from a metal form. Also waiting their turn to help Lee make tools from metal were Micah and Atticus Henderson and their father Richard, of Mexico.

“What’s a hardy?” Atticus wanted to know as he heard the blacksmith mention the word as he talked about the metal piece that was ruined as he worked with the molting metals. “It goes in the hardy hole; now I ruined that piece because I wasn’t paying attention so it’s a cut-off hardy,” Lee explains as he inserts an end of the long metal piece he’s working on and hammers the damaged section off.

The tools Lee uses to create his metal works, such as his forge to heat metals in and this anvil, were made in the 1800s. “I’m a traditionalist,” he said of the punches, chisels and candle chandeliers he has on display. He also noted that he received his training at “one of the best schools in the country” for metal work, New England School of Metalwork in Auburn.

Over at the town’s museum and gift shop, the Historical Society held a photo and art exhibit along with a quilt exhibit in the upstairs of the old and recently renovated historical building. Teaching guests about the dozens of quilts on display were Canton residents Kris Ramos and Joline Adley, both members of the town’s quilting group.

Ramos explained how a quilt made by Julia Adams in 1923, with its round, circular pieces, is called a yo-yo quilt and its special cut-in design was made specially to fit in to use with high-post beds, she said.

Selectwoman Carole Robbins, who was also visiting the quilt exhibit, pointed out that some of the quilts on display were made by her great-grandmother, Alice Parlin. Also noted by Ramos was the Quilt of Valor specifically numbered for each veteran who receives a quilt and the hand-quilted quilt designs made by Darlene Gauthier of Hartford.

Over at the town’s boat launch area was a car show featuring antique cars, older cars and specialized racing cars. According to the Facebook page ‘You know you are from Canton, Maine, if…’ Matt and Jami Harding of Canton were the winners for Best in Show for their light blue antique car. Malcolm Ray, the organizer of the car show, wrote on the town’s page, “Great for a Canton car to be recognized.”

Canton’s Bicentennial Committee Members, left, Anne Chamberlin, Liz Rothrock, and Loretta Blancato were driven by Gary Dougherty in his 1971 Pontiac Granville during the town’s bicentennial parade held Saturday on Main Street. Photo courtesy of Peg McCluskey.

Canton’s Chris Dailey and Linda Williams, Santa and Mrs. Claus, speak to Tiffany Gammon’s children, Brady, behind, Noel and Kolton Gammon Saturday following the town’s bicentennial parade. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Canton resident Kris Ramos shows off a hand-made quilt made by Julia Adams in the 1920s. The quilt exhibit held at the Historical Society building was part of Canton’s bicentennial celebration held over the weekend. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Children from Canton’s recreational sports teams sit on a pirate ship float sponsored by Scott’s Recreation during the town’s bicentennial parade held Saturday. Photo courtesy of Peg McCluskey.

Blacksmith Dennis Lee of Livermore shows Harvey Damon, age 7, how to make an S-hook as his mother Ivy Damon watches. Lee was one of the artisans featured at Canton’s town’s ball field during the weekend long bicentennial celebration for the town. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

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