70th Maine Potato Blossom Festival Opens July 8th in Fort Fairfield
What better way to celebrate 70 years as northern Maine’s premier summertime celebration than throw an epic party, invite thousands of your friends, and provide dozens of free fun events and live performances?
Planning for this years’ special edition of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield has been underway for months.
“It continues to amaze me how Fort Fairfield, a town with about 3500 residents, rallies to host the more than 35,000 people who will descend upon our community for nine days of music, sporting events, pageants, food, fun and of course the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Parade!” said Festival Director Tim Goff. “It takes a small army of volunteers to pull it off, but we are happy to roll out the welcome mat and show everyone how we have a good time.”
The festivities start before the Festival even officially begins, with the first of five Maine Potato Queen Pageants–the Pre-Teen Miss Maine Potato Queen Pageant–on Friday, July 7th. The first weekend of the Festival includes events like the Chess and Horseshoe Tournaments and the Town-Wide Yard Sale on Saturday, July 8th and Sunday, July 9th.
“The Family Canoe and Kayak Day on Monson Pond and the Household Pet Show on Tuesday are fun ways to bring people together to enjoy different aspects of our community,” said Goff. “Wednesday’s Baby Bike Parade certainly is another colorful celebration combined with a performance from the Wednesday Evening Fiddlers. Thursday is when things really start cranking, with the Cary Adventure Park full of inflatable bounce houses, water features and more, the ever-popular potato picking contest and the Family Movie Under the Stars.”
Thursday is also when the Festival Main Stage comes to life, offering free musical performances with an expanded beer garden and food vendors close-by on Main Street. On Thursday, Brian and Doug from the popular local band Common Crossing hit the stage at 6 p.m., followed by French Toast at 8. Friday’s line-up features Travis Cyr and the Strings of Calamity at 6 p.m. and Contemporary Country Rocker JD Gilbert and his band at 8.
Saturday, July 15th is the apex of the Festival, with more than 10,000 people attending the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Parade in downtown Fort Fairfield.
“Again this year, the parade will feature a pre-parade car parade, as well as cruisers participating in our new Police Car Show from that morning,” explained Goff. “The parade starts at 1 p.m., but folks start lining the streets, hitting the pancake breakfast and the craft fair, or participating in the Festival 5-Miler early on Saturday. This year, we want to offer even more reasons for folks to hang around, so the International Tater Tot Eating Competition will return for a second year, and bands will be hitting the Festival Main Stage as soon as the last float floats by.”
Saturday’s Festival Main Stage performances begin at 3 p.m. with the soulful sounds of the Star City Syndicate – an 18 piece amalgamation of local musicians playing Motown classics and more. Adam Nadeau will follow at 5 p.m. with his wide-ranging repertoire of songs from throughout the decades. At 7 p.m., “acoustic maestro” Ben Kilcollins will bring his rocking band north for a homecoming performance. Headlining Saturday’s Main Stage performances at 9 p.m. is the modern pop dance band, Tickle, and their blend of R&B, Funk and Classic Rock.
Capping the nine-day celebration will be Unlucky Joe, whose groove-metal sound has been entertaining audiences for more than a decade. Unlucky Joe will storm the stage at 7 p.m. on Sunday, with a performance that will be followed by a fireworks finale over the Aroostook River directly behind the Festival Main Stage. There will be a beer garden and multiple food vendors set up during all four nights of music.
The Maine Potato Blossom Festival also features numerous other events and activities throughout the nine-day event. For a full schedule, visit PotatoBlossom.org
For more information about the 70th annual Maine Potato Blossom Festival, contact Tim Goff at 472-3802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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