SMITHFIELD — A large wooden loon looked over the shores of North Pond on Wednesday afternoon.

The 3-by-7-foot sculpture by local artist Kevin James will make its debut Sunday in the town’s Leap Year Town Parade, part of Smithfield’s 175th Anniversary Celebration.

The town, which is the only one in Maine to have been incorporated on the extra day of a leap year, celebrates its anniversary every 25 years, said Jodie Mosher-Towle, co-chairman of the Smithfield 175th Birthday Committee. Smithfield was incorporated Feb. 29, 1840.

James said a loon was the obvious subject for his sculpture.

“The parade was the impetus to make the thing,” said James, who plans to attach the loon to a trailer decorated to look like water for Sunday’s parade. “We live on a lake, and the loons are constant. You can hear them every night, hooting and hollering.”

James is also a member of the Fairview Grange, which is sponsoring a number of events at the three-day anniversary celebration, and the Grange’s events chairperson.

The celebration starts Friday and includes a public bean supper — prepared by James — as well as other events Saturday and Sunday.

“There’s a lot going on and a lot of family-oriented events,” Mosher-Towle said.

Almost all of the activities are free, Mosher-Towle said. “I really want to highlight that it’s free family fun. We wanted to make sure everyone and anyone in our town and the surrounding towns could come for a fun time,” she said.

The celebration starts Friday with the bean supper at the Fairview Grange and live music by Dave Mello and James.

On Saturday there will be an arts and crafts fair at the Grange; an afternoon poetry reading featuring Maine’s Poet Laureate Wes McNair, of nearby Mercer; and roller skating at the Sunbeam Roller Rink, among other events.

“I think the history of the town you live in is important,” said Nichole Clark, Smithfield’s administrative assistant. “It’s interesting and exciting. If people learn more about the history of the town, I think they would want to be involved more.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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