SMITHFIELD — There were boats, antique cars, tractors, a woman dressed like a cow and even a campsite with a fire being pulled on the back of a trailer Sunday during the Leap Year Town Parade.

The parade, attended by hundreds of spectators on the shores of North Pond, was one of the final events in the town’s 175th Anniversary celebration this weekend.

“We had a great turnout,” said Gary Bulmer, co-chairman of the 175th Birthday Committee as he organized floats prior to the start of the parade Sunday. “There were a lot of people walking around town. The attendance was great at the dance, the roller skating and the antique car show.”

The events Bulmer mentioned were just a few of the dozens scheduled for the weekend, many of which were held Saturday to commemorate Smithfield’s incorporation as a town on Feb. 29, 1840. It is the only town in Maine to have been incorporated on Feb. 29.

On Sunday, more than 75 vehicles, floats and participants on foot lined up to take part in the Leap Year Town Parade, which started on Lake View Drive and processed through the village, ending near the Fairview Grange.

Amber Merry and Mackenzie Willette, both 13, were riding their roller skates in the parade behind a truck advertising the Sunbeam Roller Rink, which is owned by Bulmer. Their favorite part of the celebration was a dunk tank on Saturday in which participants attempted to knock town officials into a bucket of cold water.

“It was a bunch of people I know,” Willette said. “It wasn’t that much money, but it was still really fun. It was a lot of local people.”

Also participating in Sunday’s parade were Don and Joyce Nelson, of Verona Island. Since retiring last October and selling the campground that they owned for 25 years, Shady Oaks Campground in Orland, the couple have been traveling to parades around the state with their replica of an antique 1902 Cadillac pie wagon, which they said would have been used to sell desserts.

The Nelsons have nicknamed the wagon “Nelson’s Pie Wagon.” On Sunday they were dressed up in Victorian costumes similar to what the original drivers of such a wagon might have worn.

“We’re just a retired couple looking for something fun to do,” said Don Nelson, 80.

“We actually call it the no-pie wagon though,” said Joyce Nelson, noting that they don’t actually sell pies.

“It was a really nice weekend,” said Sue Hewes, of Winslow, as the final floats passed in the parade. “There was a great craft fair Saturday and a lot going on. I learned a lot.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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