WATERVILLE — Live music, art, food and remarks by Waterville native and former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, Mayor Nick Isgro and others will be featured at a special event to be held Tuesday on Common Street downtown.

Harvest on the Square will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be hosted by Mitchell’s nephew, Bill Mitchell, owner of GHM Insurance Agency, and his wife, Vicki, as well as Colby and Thomas colleges, the city and several organizations.

“We have a great event planned,” Bill Mitchell said. “We’re celebrating harvest on the square and it’s really to celebrate community — to bring our community together to celebrate all the wonderful things that are happening and starting to happen and develop in Waterville.”

Colby College President David Greene and Thomas College President Laurie Lachance will speak, as will Waterville resident Greg Powell, chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation.

“I think he’s just excited that the community is celebrating all the good things that are happening in Waterville,” Bill Mitchell said. “I think the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Alfond family and Greg Powell have always been supportive of the arts and the performing arts to the great benefit of Waterville and the surrounding area. George (Mitchell) also has deep family roots in Waterville. He has always kept in touch with his roots in Waterville, and I think it speaks volumes that he is coming here to be part of this celebration.”

Bill Mitchell in August bought two historic buildings on Common Street and is renovating them to be as they were many years ago.

Common Street Arts is in what is known as the Masonic Building. Terroir Oven, a restaurant featuring wood-fired cuisine, is scheduled to open there later this year. The building also houses artists’ studios.

Mitchell’s purchase of the buildings at 14-18 and 20-24 Common St. is part of an ongoing effort by Colby and city officials, as well as downtown organizations and businesses, to help revitalize and rejuvenate the downtown, attract more residents and businesses to downtown and help spur the local economy. Colby has bought four vacant buildings downtown with plans to renovate them and possibly develop a boutique hotel, retail shops and college faculty and student living quarters.

Discussions are being held about making streets more attractive and pedestrian and traffic friendly, developing the waterfront at Head of Falls and creating a more vibrant downtown.

Tuesday’s events will be held in Bill Mitchell’s Masonic Building, and a tent will be set up in Castonguay Square across from City Hall for extra space.

Artists will show their works and meet the public, and some of their art will be available for sale. Musicians scheduled to perform include David Deas and Bill Dolan on the second floor, Colby College a cappella groups on the third floor, Genevieve in the Common Street Arts gallery on the first floor and Lynne Conner Trio in the tent.

Beverages and appetizers will be provided by The Last Unicorn restaurant.

Speakers will be featured from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. While the festivities will end at 7 p.m., people are encouraged to shop at several downtown businesses that will be open until 8 p.m. and eat in downtown restaurants that also will be open well into the evening, according to Mitchell.

While the Harvest event is free and open to the public, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to Gail at GHM by calling her at 873-5101 or emailing her at [email protected]

In addition to Common Street Arts and artist studios on the first floor, the red brick four-story Masonic Building houses a photography studio on the second floor and an engineering firm on the third floor. While the off-white building next to the Masonic Building is vacant, Bill Mitchell is working to find tenants for it.

“I recently secured a tenant for office space on the third floor of the Masonic Building, and I’ve also renovated several of the offices in the building to bring them back to the beautiful state they’ve been in over the years,” Mitchell said.

While GHM Insurance is the major sponsor of Harvest, other sponsors include Waterville Creates!, Common Street Arts, Waterville Opera House, Waterville Main Street, Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Film Center, the Alfond Youth Center, the Waterville Historical Society and Waterville Public Library.

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