‘Schoonerfest’ floated at Friends of Wiscasset Village

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 1:00pm

Friends of Wiscasset Village on Jan. 17 discussed plans for a grand opening celebration in late June, after the completion of Maine Department of Transportation’s downtown work and after work to beautify Main Street with flowers.

Jorge Pena from Maine Art Gallery and Peter Wells, who has been focused on amenities and streetscape issues, floated the idea of a new festival to be held in late spring called Schoonerfest, a celebration of the Luther Little and Hesper, two early 20th century four-masted schooners left abandoned in Wiscasset and demolished in 1988 when efforts to renovate them failed. The men suggested public art projects, akin to the pumpkin carvings at Damariscotta’s Pumpkinfest, in which the schooners could be built by artists and perhaps used to plant flowers during the festival. Wells also suggested a hologram be projected in the water at the Recreational Pier. The Friends were enthusiastic about the possibility, and Mary Ellen Barnes suggested Wells and Pena discuss their idea with the Waterfront Committee and coordinate with it, since it also has projects in mind to recall the schooners’ history, including putting salvaged pieces on display.

MDOT personnel were checking the traffic lights’ electrical boxes during the meeting. According to Barnes, the biggest issue continues to be the coordination between the state and the railroad. The street signals will ultimately switch to red when a train approaches.

Terry Heller said the Garden Club of Wiscasset would kick in $6,000 to help pay for baskets for the lamp posts and arrange for Hawkes Greenhouse to provide plantings and do the watering for the first year. There are currently no brackets on the lamp posts, and Heller said she envisioned baskets on all four sides of each post. Heller said she would have to discuss the brackets with MDOT. A discussion also ensued about planters, some of which would be situated on the granite bench on the north side of the street.