Getting social by rail in Alna
The perfect weather, a chance to ride the narrow gauge railroad, and ice cream tempted many to Alna Saturday, as Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum hosted its second ice cream social of the summer at the Albee farm.
WW&F conductor Jason Lamontagne estimated about 120 ticket holders would attend the social by the end of the afternoon. It was the first of a two-part program that included an evening concert by Rough Sawn, a local band that plays country, blue grass, folk and Western swing music.
As of mid-afternoon, 70 tickets had been sold in advance for the concert. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Cross Road non-profit museum’s programs.
Co-chairs for the afternoon were museum volunteers and Alna residents Steve Zuppa and Cindy Khire. Khire, who has volunteered with the organization for over 20 years, explained that planning for the social began early in June. On Saturday, a team of four volunteers set up early and started giving out ice cream to riders of the 10:30 train even the social was scheduled for a noon start, Khire said.
Zuppa, who served as president of WW&F for nine years, said he and wife Kathy worked on the event. “She found the recipe to make big bubbles for the kids. And I made the wooden bubble wands.” Throughout the afternoon, youngsters were eagerly trying out both at the family event which drew visitors from outside town.
Among these were the Tassinari family of Vassalboro. “We came to the ice cream social last year and came back in December for the holiday train,” Emily Tassinari said. "And now we’re back for the ice cream social.”
For those who missed both socials this summer, Zuppa said, “You can still come and enjoy the Fall Festival in September." It is Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes train rides, a pumpkin patch and music. For more information, call 882-4193.