One of the richest men in the world celebrated his fifth wedding anniversary dining at a restaurant in Bangor, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and meeting with a group of residents and business people in Millinocket.

During a trip to Maine, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were seen dining Friday evening at The Fiddlehead Restaurant in downtown Bangor.

On Saturday, Zuckerberg and Chan spent the day hiking on the Appalachian Trail around Mount Katahdin before meeting with Millinocket residents.

Each year, the couple celebrate their anniversary by taking a trip because their honeymoon was cut short – Facebook went public the day before their wedding. This year the couple chose Maine as a place to relax and conduct some grass-roots research.

“Priscilla got a new hat.” – Zuckerberg Facebook post Facebook photo

In March, Forbes magazine ranked the 33-year-old Zuckerberg the fifth-richest person on earth, with a net worth of $56 billion. Ahead of him were American billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett – and Amancio Ortega of Spain.

Zuckerberg, who each year sets a personal challenge for himself, is trying to visit and talk to people in all 50 states in an effort to better understand Facebook’s users.

Zuckerberg said he has visited about 30 states so far, including Ohio, where he met with recovering heroin addicts; Indiana, where he spoke with young people at a juvenile detention center who had committed murder or robbery; and Michigan, where he met with community leaders in Detroit who had converted an abandoned building into a safe after-school place for kids.

“This isn’t a scientific study and it requires further research, but I think there is something to this idea that your relationships shape your path more than we realize,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. “I also think this is where Facebook can make a difference.”

“Some of you have asked if this challenge means I’m running for public office. I’m not,” Zuckerberg added. “I’m doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we’re best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook.”

Zuckerberg and his wife started their trip in Bangor on Friday, the day of their anniversary, when they were spotted at the restaurant.

On Saturday, Zuckerberg and Chan hiked part of the Appalachian Trail and met with residents – including teachers, small-business owners, a librarian and a trucker – at designlab, a graphic design firm in Millinocket.

Zuckerberg also posted a photo of his wife wearing a “Got Moose?” cap.

“When I asked people if they would leave to pursue a better career opportunity elsewhere, not a single person said they would,” he wrote on Facebook. “They love their community and they’re optimistic they can build new industries not (by) cutting down the forests, but leaving them standing and creating tourism from the natural beauty, as well as other industries of the future. If the couple who built the bed and breakfast we stayed at by hand are an example of the spirit of this area, then I’m confident they’ll succeed.”

Zuckerberg did not identify the bed-and-breakfast.

The couple’s visit to Millinocket produced numerous comments on Facebook. News of the visit had been shared by more than 3,900 people as of Sunday night. More than 2,500 people posted comments.

“Millinocket is a hidden gem. Its people are like none I’ve ever met before. My two trips to Millinocket were life changing for me. It’s a special place,” Kari deLongre posted.

“Mark and Priscilla. Happy Anniversary. Millinocket is a wonderful town and once you visit Baxter State Park, you won’t be able to stay away,” Melissa McDade Manzo wrote.

When one commenter suggested on Facebook that Zuckeberg not forget to visit the Bangor Police Department’s Duck of Justice during his visit to Maine, Zuckerberg reacted. The Duck of Justice is a stuffed, mounted duck that Sgt. Tim Cotton rescued from the trash.

“We were in Bangor last night for our anniversary dinner, but we missed the Duck of Justice on this trip,” Zuckerberg replied Saturday. “Hiking around Katahdin was a great way to celebrate this morning.”

That comment from Zuckerberg about the duck prompted a response from Cotton, who administers the police department’s Facebook page and has successfully promoted the duck as a reason to interact with Bangor police.

“I agree with his decision to try out one of our great restaurants instead,” Cotton said in a statement posted Sunday. “I am also very impressed with the fact that he and his wife were meeting with a group of folks in Millinocket to discuss economic and other regional issues. Very thoughtful.”

The Duck of Justice has been in the shop undergoing repairs by a taxidermist, according to WABI-TV. Cotton said the duck needed to be spruced up after being handled by hundreds of visitors, who wanted to have their photograph taken with the duck.

Cotton said he is planning to have the Duck of Justice on display in the police department lobby by Memorial Day weekend.

“The duck is best served while you chill and he will be back on official duty in about a week,” Cotton said in the Facebook post. “Our group of royal podium builders finally found some plywood and duct tape, so it’ll be very cool.”

Zuckerberg did not say how long he and his wife would be in Maine.


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