Small towns in the Upper Kennebec Valley offer some of Maine’s best free entertainment. Solon’s great family 4th of July parade is worth the trip, according to organizer Shawna Albert. She and other volunteer organizers have seen the size of both the crowds and the parade itself grow every year.

“We’re really, really seeing lots more participation,” she said. “It’s great to see that happening.”

The parade starts at 11 a.m. near the fire department in downtown and goes a mile to the Falls Road. For more information or to sign up for the parade, email [email protected].

Madison and Anson have a steady stream of visitors who are interested in early American and local history, nature walks and other types of outdoor recreation. Every Saturday, at the Main Street Park and Playground, the Madison Farmers Market opens from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering fresh produce, baked goods, locally-made crafts, soaps and other products.

Nearby, a former church, now privately owned as the Somerset Abbey, offers several shows each month during the summer. This year’s music schedule includes Sojourn: Sounds of the Moody Blues, June 15; Emily French & Dirty Little Secrets (country rock), July 14; Mallett Brothers (country & country-rock), July 20; Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers (blues, boogies, funk, soul), August 17 and Brickyard Road, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute, September 1. Visit for more information.

A perennial draw for locals and visitors is Madison-Anson Days, which runs from August 23 – 26. Events include a book sale, sidewalk crafters and plenty of family entertainment. Area farmers will offer products and produce as part of the Down on the Farm theme. At 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, the Grand Parade kicks off another day of activities, with a fireworks display to cap the celebrations. Sunday events include a fishing derby and golf tournament. For more information on the developing Madison-Anson Days schedule, check their Facebook page or email [email protected].


Madison-Anson Days

Thursday, August 23
6 p.m. – Kid’s Power Wheels
Demo Derby (pre-register at Anson Town Office by noon on Aug. 23)

10 a.m. – Book sale,
Madison Public Library
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Crafters & vendors at
Skowhegan Savings Bank
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Backyard Farms Chili & Dynamite Cook-Off (Main Street Park, $2)

Friday August 24
2:30 p.m. Pie Eating Contest
2:30 p.m. Petting zoo
3 – 5p.m. Bike Safety,
K9 demonstrations
3 – 8 p.m. – Anson Carnival,
including Zorb Ball, bounce house, climbing wall, dunk tank, mechanical bull and more
3 – 8 p.m. Antique tractor,
farm displays & demonstrations, wood carving by Brad Clark
5 – 8 p.m. Pony Rides
5 p.m. Horseshoe & fry pan
toss tournaments
6 p.m. Pig scramble
(ages 4-12, $3 admission)

10 a.m. Book sale:
Madison Public Library
10:30 a.m. Kid’s bike race
at 55 Weston Ave.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Crafters and vendors at Skowhegan Savings Bank
5-7 p.m. Lobster bake
at the American Legion

Saturday August 25
9 a.m. Antique tractor and car show, Anson Town Office

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Crafters and vendors, Skowhegan Savings Bank
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Farmer’s Market, Skowhegan Savings Bank
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Craft Fair, SRS School, Pleasant St., Madison.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Walk-in Bingo, American Legion, Madison
10 a.m. Down on the Farm-themed parade from
Anson to Madison
10 a.m. Book sale:
Madison Public Library
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Family Fun Day, Main St. Park-Playground,
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Chicken BBQ at Piper’s House of Beauty, Madison
9 p.m. Fireworks (set off from Anson side of the river)

Sunday, August 26
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Smallmouth Bass Fishing Derby, Nathan St.
Boat Landing, Madison
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Lakewood
Golf Tournament, East Madison


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