HALLOWELL — The Hallowell Community Band played at one end of the city’s business district, and the Swingtime! band with Elaine Bender picked up the pace at Granite City Park on Saturday shortly after the end of the Old Hallowell Day parade.

Vehicles crawled along streets and lanes narrowed by parked cars and trucks and navigated by friendly, stroller-pushing folk and others who meandered from bake sale to yard sale to book sale — a series of activities and booths spread throughout the blocks leading to the riverfront.

On Water Street, Bob McIntire — the city’s 2016 Citizen of the Year — was one of several people hawking bricks to help support activities designed to keep the downtown businesses afloat during next year’s state road reconstruction project. The Down with the Crown booth stood feet away from its namesake, and McIntire just pointed to the tall crown running along the middle of the street in silent explanation. The pavement’s bulge bedevils motorists trying to park on the east side of the street and those trying to exit from the passenger-side doors.

The street should be level once construction work, including new water and utility mains, is finished.

The brick business was a little less than brisk, but about a half dozen people had bought bricks by noon. Prices were $10, $15, and $50, depending on how much artistry was wanted.

“We want our family to have a name on a brick,” one woman told McIntire. However, he explained that the bricks would not be used in the project. They were essentially souvenirs being sold to help the locals meet the challenges involved during the reconstruction.

While the state will suspend work on weekends and holidays, it will continue through the summer of 2018. This was the final parade along the misshapen roadway, which is also known as Route 27 and U.S. Route 201.

The Down with the Crown brick sale was one of many projects to result from brainstorming among residents and businesses.

“The goal is to make sure every business in Hallowell survives this necessary but, let’s fact it, unwelcome six months of reconstruction and improvement to our downtown,” according to one of the group’s flyers.

At the booth next door, volunteers with the Hallowell Citizens Initiative Committee sold T-shirts to help save the wooden hose-drying tower on the Second Street fire station. While a city bond will help stabilize the tower, other improvements would be paid for by donations.

Between the two booths, Maggie Warren, attired in a red gown with a puffy lobster mitt serving as an elbow-length glove on one arm, talked about her two appearances along the parade route. She marched with the Down with the Crown folks first.

“Then a Woodstock contingent came by, and I had to go with that because I was at the original Woodstock (Music Festival) in 1969,” Warren said. She said she left her 4-year-old with her parents so she could enjoy the festival.

The parade featured, among other entries, dancing troupes, firetrucks and players from the Bulldog Strong Basketball Camp doing drills and shooting baskets all along the route.

Near the other end of Water Street on Saturday, a “tap, tap, tap” sounded as Jon Doody, of Augusta, hit a small chisel to carve an outline of a fish in a piece of slate.

An associate member of the Maine Stone Workers Guild, Doody demonstrated carving techniques on several partially completed carving projects, including a fleur-de-lis in a chunk of granite salvaged from what had been the foundation of a home nearby.

“My grandparents are Irish and French,” he said, explaining the inspiration for the design.

Doody transitioned from carving wood to carving stone a few years ago, and he brought some of his wood carvings with him.

“There are a lot of parallels between the two,” he said. “With soft stone, you have to learn to be patient; you can’t rush it.”

Two passers-by stopped to look at the projects.

“Do you see yourself doing Roman friezes some day?” asked Dafydd Holbrook, who until last year lived near Bristol, England, and now lives in Hallowell with his wife, Michelle Holbrook.

“Those Roman friezes had artisans who were professionals working on them for years,” Doody responded. Doody said stone-carving is a hobby for him. He is a financial services professional.

Dafydd Holbrook admired the work and said he too had done some carpentry.

Doody explained that he prefers to use reclaimed or recycled material for his work. “You can buy stone anywhere, but there’s so much available if you’re creative.”

In one large marble piece reclaimed from a renovation of the State House a few miles to the north, Doody had begun carving a message welcoming new Mainers in a number of different languages.

“I carve the letter out and fill it in with ‘real imitation gold leaf,'” he said, holding up a small bottle of paint.

Returning to the slate, Doody, wearing a pair of German welder’s goggles that could have come off a “Despicable Me” character, tapped again at the fish design.

The goggles protect his eyes from the stone chips. “It’s really hard to replace an eye,” he said.

Then the chisel knocked out a chip that was too large.

“This is what you call an unintended design change,” Doody said to spectators, including a friend, Steven Judge, who was taking photographs after volunteering to help at the parade.

Doody decided the new groove would fit nicely into the design.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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