Food, fun make ‘great’ Woolwich celebration

Sun, 08/04/2019 - 9:30am

    A new record was broken in the Nequasset Paddle Race, a pecan pie won the baking contest, the cotton candy was free and a hamburger could be had for a dollar! All of this, a pair of miniature horses, and more drew a big crowd to Woolwich Community Day on Saturday, Aug. 3.

    One of the rites of summer, the community celebration is held the first Saturday of August on the grounds surrounding Woolwich Historical Society’s Farmhouse Museum and the town office. The community’s Special Events Committee hoped to attract more people this year and succeeded.

    “We changed it to ‘Community Day’ and invited all of the churches and town committees to come and take part,” said Committee Chair Collette Coombs.

    Non-profit groups including ecoMaine and Headstart, a part of Midcoast Maine Community Action, had informational tables. Also there was Te’ Kelley who operates the Willowood Rescue Farm for animals.

    Kelley was born and raised in Woolwich but said she now lives in Anson. She brought one of her 30 animals to show, an unusual looking snowy mallard duck she named Kismet.

    The event began with the second annual Nequasset Paddle. John Mathieu of Bath was the first kayaker to finish crossing Nequasset Lake in 21 minutes, 10 seconds, a new race record. Woolwich’s Mike Evan was second in 26:50.

    Trace McFarland and Olive Beeton, both 13, finished first and second in the junior kayak competition. McFarland’s time was 32:58, Beeton’s 42:01. Sean Smith and Ryan Wynne won the canoe competition in 30:50. New to this year’s event were Lorna Ryan and Lindsey Currier. They crossed the lake on paddleboards! It took them just over 48 minutes to get from the Old Stage Road landing to Nequasset Park.

    Race organizer Kyle Beeton said the competition went the full length of the lake, about two miles. “Overall, it went really really well,” he said, adding it was nice to have two paddleboarders.

    Bragging rights for the best homebaked pie went to Barbara Richards of Woolwich for her yummy pecan pie. Emily Lapointe’s blueberry pie made from fresh picked Maine blueberries got second place.

    One of the biggest attractions was a pair of miniature horses named Cisco and Stella. “They’re both nearly full grown and very friendly,” said Amy Appleton. She and husband Peter Appleton live nearby on River Road. They hope to train them to use as therapy horses.

    “Stella is actually the half-sister of a miniature horse named Einstein who’s actually the smallest horse in the world,” added Appleton.

    This year’s event featured a bounce house, a bean bag toss, a performance by the grammar school’s Junior Wildcat cheering team, and a miniature putting course for  kids to try their golfing skills.

    Woolwich’s longtime administrator Lynette Eastman and husband George returned to serve as masters of ceremonies and provide music from the 1960s, 70s and 80’s. The Eastmans, of Pittston, said they are are liking their retirement.

    “I don’t recall how many years George and I have been doing this, it’s been quite a few years. We always enjoy coming back to Woolwich and look forward to this every summer,” she told the Wiscasset Newspaper.

    Selectmen Jason Shaw and Allen Greene teamed up again to man the grill. With burgers selling for a buck and hot dogs for 50 cents, they were really busy.

    “We could do this all day, right Allen,” said Shaw flipping a burger and putting more hot dogs on the grill. “We’ve had a great turnout this year! We’ve got families from here in town and lots of people from away too. It’s busy, but that’s the way Tammy (Given) and all the rest of the people volunteering like it. We want people to come to Woolwich and enjoy themselves!”

    Manning the equally busy popcorn and nachos booth tent were Doug and Ginger Maheux, Woolwich Firefighter Association members. Roger Baffer and Caelie Smith made free cotton candy.