OAKLAND — The town’s second annual OakFest celebration drew a strong crowd over the weekend.

The parade on Friday was particularly well attended, according to Town Manager Gary Bowman. The 65 parade participants took more than an hour to go through the town, and “thousands and thousands” showed up to watch, Bowman said.

Bowman said Main Street was so crowded when the parade ended that it reminded him of the crowds at Walt Disney World.

Kathy Paradis, the OakFest committee chairwoman, estimated that about 4,000 people watched the parade.

“It was one of the best parades that Oakland has had in many years,” she said.

After the parade, there was a beer tent, food vendors and a DJ. The food vendors did very well that night, Bowman said.


“One told me that it was the best he’d done all summer,” he said.

The winners of the curb appeal contest, sponsored by the downtown business committee, were also announced. The flower committee chose Mac’s Citgo for first place, Couture Styles for second place and Century Pools for third place.

The open air market on Saturday went well, although there were fewer crowds than last year because of the heat, Paradis said. The craft vendors did well but the food vendors didn’t do as well as they had on Friday, mostly because of the weather. Two people did get heat stroke at the market, according to Bowman.

“Other than that, everything was pretty perfect,” Paradis said.

The Paddle, Pedal and Pound the Pavement Triathlon on Sunday more than doubled in size this year, getting 56 participants, some of whom worked in teams.

“I see Sunday really being something five years down the road,” Bowman said. “I can see that being the biggest part of OakFest.”


For individual men, David Frost won with a time of 1:27:48. For individual women, Christal Siren won with 1:29:04. For a team, the Fat Kids, made up of Mike Rossignol, Anthony Cole and Owen Corrigan, won with 1:35:50.

The triathlon was hosted by Holly MacKenzie, who won the title of the strongest woman in Maine in 2012.

The budget for OakFest was about $12,000 and preliminary numbers show that the committee has about $4,000 left over, mostly from sponsorship and vendor money, Paradis said.

The goal is to make the festival self-sufficient, Bowman said, so the committee doesn’t have to ask local businesses to donate money.

Paradis said that without the commitment of the committee and fire and police departments, “this weekend couldn’t have happened.” The committee is starting to plan for next year already, and they are open to ideas and suggestions, which people can send through the website.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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