A giant N is the first letter installed at Veterans Memorial Park, as seen on Tuesday afternoon, and will eventually spell Lewiston. It will be the backdrop for the new concrete stage that Neokraft Signs is donating to the city where bands and public performances will take place throughout the year. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — The largest free standing sign in the state was gifted to the city of Lewiston by sign manufacturing company Neokraft Signs in commemoration of its 75th year in business, the company announced in a statement Tuesday.

The Lewiston-based company plans to donate 10-foot-high letters that will spell “LEWISTON” by the Longley Bridge in Veterans Memorial Park. Lewiston Regional Technical Center students are set to be performing the welding of the letters after the Neokraft team has fabricated them for their courses.

“We wanted to do something to give back,” Mike Mathieu, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the statement. “We’ve donated a new concrete stage that’s been poured in front of that wall, along with a new wall where the letters will be placed for everyone coming into town to see.”

The company was founded in 1947 by Alexander Lobozzo after returning to Lewiston following his military service. Lobozzo began creating signs for local companies, specializing in neon and plastics. Since then, its Pleasant Street office has become the leading sign manufacturer in Maine.

Neokraft Signs is known for for some of Maine’s most iconic signage, including Portland’s Time and Temperature Building and the production and installation of the Bates Mill No. “Hopeful” sign by Maine artist Charlie Hewitt.

“Neokraft continues to be a valuable member of our local business community, and I’m proud that they’ve chosen to highlight this important milestone with this contribution to Veterans (Memorial) Park,” said Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline.

The company plans to have the letters completed before Lewiston and Auburn’s Liberty Festival on Sunday, July 3.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.