RLHT holds ‘Festival in the Park’

The Irregular, 8/10/2016

RANGELEY — Celebrating Common Ground and the 25th anniversary of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, July 23, the RLHT hosted a “Festival in the Park” in the town of Rangeley Park to celebrate 25 years since inception and to thank the residents and visitors to the region for their support. All the events were free of charge.

According to organizers, fun was had by all beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting until the weather caused an earlier than planned closing at 1:30 p.m. The welcome tent was full of surprises, including the premier of a film about the history of the trust (go to www.rlht.org to view). A free raffle for a stand up paddleboard was won by Connor Christian of Virginia and Sandy River Plantation. There was a Giving Tree offering a “wish list” of items needed by the various programs of the trust, lots of information about trust properties (hiking trails, snowmobile trails, birdwatching preserves, fishing streams, and more), a long list of accomplishments, and members on hand to answer any questions.

“Kids were squealing with glee as they scaled the climbing wall, clung to the mechanical bull ride, tested their trapeze skills with bungee jumping, and delighted in soaking the adults in the dunk tank,” the spokesperson said. Furry characters roamed the park posing for photos with the children. There was a scavenger hunt themed on natural resources as well as serious face painting led by Sonja Johnson and assisted by talented local artists.

Meanwhile, the adults enjoyed boat tours of the lake and Hatchery Brook, a trust-owned conservation parcel on Rangeley Lake. A Tug of War between teams formed by local businesses and the local town employees was a fun diversion as well. Photographers were snapping away to capture the spirit of the festival, and those photos will be soon be distributed to the participants.

Food was plentiful as the crowds enjoyed a free barbecue lunch. Hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches accompanied by chips, watermelon and water were served in the park. In addition, free popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones kept the crowds well nourished throughout the festival.

RLHT organizers expressed their gratitude to the lead festival sponsors: Franklin Savings Bank; M&H Construction; Seven Islands Land Company; and Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law. Additionally thanks to many others who contributed to the event success including: Bald Mountain Camps, Blue Flame Gas, Ecopelagicon, the Gingerbread House, Local Musicians, Parkside & Main, Town of Rangeley, Rangeley Fire Department, Rangeley Fire Ladies Auxiliary, Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club, Rangeley Park Commission, Sysco, NorthStar Ambulance, Koobs Garage, Rangeley Builders Supply, Rangeley Health & Wellness Partnership. “We sincerely than the support of numerous volunteers, local businesses and the community without whom this would not have been a success!” the spokesperson said.

Visit www.RLHT.org to learn more about the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, the work it does and its accomplishments.