First Congregational Church’s Summerfest, a Wiscasset tradition since 1983, returned to Wiscasset Common Saturday and what a wonderful morning it was weatherwise for this year’s event; warm but not so much that people could not come enjoy the live music, food and help support some good community causes.
“It’s my first Summerfest. It’s really a wonderful gathering,” said Pastor Amy Lignitz Harken, interim minister for the church. “I think it really goes beyond what people might expect to find at a church fair.” She assumed her duties in February. She lives with her husband Bruce Harken in Sabattus.
Among the morning highlights was Joel Pierce of Topsham, the church’s music director and organist, demonstrating his skills with a rope as a lasso artist. Pierce told Wiscasset Newspaper he learned a few cowboy rope tricks while he was living in Arizona. “Well, I used to be in a roping team that was actually part of the Tucson Boys Chorus.” Pierce became First Congregational’s music director in December 2021.
Deb Morgan, Joni Leigh and Gretchen Burleigh-Johnson, each wearing a straw hat, were in charge of the dog parade that included canines of all sizes. Each dog received a king-sized bone for taking part.
Sarah Whitfield helped man the food tent grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. Other helpers included Linda Winterberg, her daughter Mary and her husband Bill Barr, Jacki Lowell, Steve and Jan Whitfield, Pam Frenier, Nancy Roby and Roger and Beth Whitney of Alna. Also on hand was Dan Bigley who lives with wife Zoe in Freeport. The Bigleys are former Wiscasset residents and longtime members of the church.
Also taking part were Judith Sutter and several other members of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church on Hodge Street.
Proceeds of Saturday’s event benefit nonprofits including Church World Service, Cooper-DiPerri Scholarship, Feed Our Scholars, Habitat for Humanity, Healthy Kids, Lincoln County Dental Clinic, Mobius, New Hope for Women, St. Philip’s Food Pantry and Tedford Housing, according to the church’s website.