First Congo’s Summerfest raises thousands for charities

Sun, 07/23/2023 - 12:45pm

About this blog:

  • Barnako, wiscasset, Maine Art Gallery

    Frank Barnako is a seasonal resident of Wiscasset at Clarks Point on the Sheepscot River.   His career in journalism included on air and news director positions with CBS and NBC Radio and TV stations.  He was a pioneer in the Internet, helping to create and co-found where he also developed a 200-station radio network and wrote daily columns focused on the stock market, business news, and technology. Barnako describes himself as “an aspiring photographer,” whose work can be seen at<>. He is a member of the town’s Investment Advisory Committee. Email him at

The weekend’s Summerfest at the First Congregational. Church was a success even though it was scaled back this year, much more neighborly and social this time.  Previously,  the “Fest featured a potpourri  (mostly) old appliances, clothing, pots and pans, toys that were collected in the church basement for the last year. Then they were, then carried across the church lawn and  tossed onto folding tables.  At around 10 a.m. the rummage sale would begin.  From my point of view, over ten years, it was the same sale every year.  In fact, I’m sure some items that didn’t sell one year were put out for the next year, and the next year.

Not this year.  Organizers slimmed down the collection, eliminating the heavily-used, family ‘heirloom’ frying pans and Princess phones.  And still grossed six thousand dollars, according to an announcement made in church Sunday. The funds will be distribute to almost a dozen charitable groups in Wiscasset.

A highlight of the morning is the Dog Parade. This year there were about 20 pups in competition. From furry little animals to Bernese Mountain Dogs, they lined up and walked around the Common.  And of course, our boy Luc  brought home a plastic cup for Best Tail Wagger.

The Salty Dogs, Wiscasset’s version of a cover band played oldies.. Little was heard this year from the usual Scott Joplin-Ragtime band.  The talented church’s organist, Joel Pierce, played in the morning and the afternoon, both church music and contemporary tunes.  He’s very good.

We were blessed with wonderful weather in Wiscasset this week, highs around 80 - we’re still sleeping under blankets.  But Donna’s favorite weatherman, Keith Carson at Channel 6, warns that’s about to change - with a possibility of a 100-degree day at the end of the week.  We’ve hoisted an air conditioner into the living room window.

The Maine Art Gallery’s third exhibition of the year had an opening last week.  “Working Maine” was the theme of the show which included more than a hundred entries with about 70 of the pieces selected for inclusion.  Predictably there are lots  of paintings of lobstermen, sunsets, construction sites and crashing waves.  The curator for the show introduced the collection of working artists, focused on predictable subjects like lobster boats, sunsets and shift workers leaving Bath Iron Works. 

We ventured into Wiscasset for dinner out for only the third time this summer.  Donna loves to cook.  What can I say? We went to Water’s Edge, a restaurant with an uneven history of owners and chefs.  Some new folks have again come in.  Our fish and chips and a burger didn’t challenge the kitchen too much and we were not disappointed.  If you go, ask for Marcus, a server.  Snappy patter and a playful attitude.

In other news

  •  I lost my reading glasses. Again! I’m using a pair of “cheaters”.  Not working well.
  • Donna reports the first blueberries of the season have arrived at North of the Border: $6.50 a quart, up 50 cents from last year.
  • Eggs are going for $2.80 a dozen at Ames True Value. Two of the four eggs we had this morning had double yolks!  It’s almost as if there’s not enough room in the shell.for the egg.
  • We went to LL Bean this week.  Crushable hat for airplane flight in August.