The fourth annual OakFest celebration adds three new events to its three-day festivities and kicks off on Friday in Oakland with an art show, live music and a parade honoring first responders.

The days of music, food and activities help promote local businesses and show what the community has to offer, said Town Manager Gary Bowman in a recent interview.

“The idea of this event is all about the community, and you have many, many different organizations that operate within a community, so we’re trying to bring everybody together to do something good for the town,” he said.

Friday starts with the first new addition to the festival: Art of Main Street. Local artisans will have their work on display under a big tent at the intersection of Main and Center streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Starting at 6 p.m., a parade sponsored by the Lions Club will process through town. The 25 floats, which include go-karts and representatives from local businesses, begin at Williams Elementary School and snake down Pleasant Street, Main Street and Church Street to end at the boat landing on Old Belgrade Road. The parade will honor first responders, including police officers, firefighters and Delta emergency medical technicians, according to OakFest Committee Chair Kathy Paradis.

The annual street dance, which takes place on Main Street, will follow the parade. Both RJ the DJ and The Rockit Band, a classic rock group, will play from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

“We’ve had a DJ for the last three years and he does a great job,” Bowman said. “We’re just trying to mix it up a little to create some excitement.”

Bowman said last year’s Friday night attendance had dropped slightly from the year prior and hoped the addition of The Rockit Band would bring that number back up.

“I’ve listened to them and they get people up and moving,” he said.

Guests will be able to find a variety of food Friday and Saturday from vendors such as Oakland Lions Club Dough Boys, Laurie’s Lunch, Pete’s Pig, Korner Store, Crazy Spuds, Stone Fox Farm Creamery and shaved ice and cotton candy from Bernadini Enterprises.

Adults can find cocktails and beer in the beer garden.

On Saturday, the open air market will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Pleasant Street. More than 60 craft vendors are expected to be selling their goods. Produce as well as art, crafts and services will be sold at the market.

Three different bands — Camp Manitou, Big E and the Hopefuls and country group Merry-Go-Roundup — will provide live music, and guests are invited to bring chairs and blankets to spend the day.

The Living Water Church and Kingdom Life Church are teaming up this year to provide a children’s section that will include a bounce house, ball pit, slide and a visit from the Ghostbusters van.

Two new events will be featured Saturday, including a classic car show and a Civil War re-enactment.

“We have the 20th of Maine Civil War re-enactors coming down,” Bowman said. “It’s going to mimic the way Civil War officers used to recruit troops.”

The three-day event will conclude with the Paddle, Pedal, Pound the Pavement triathlon Sunday morning. The course begins with a 2.5-mile canoe or kayak paddle loop on Messalonskee Lake, continues on a 12-mile bike loop from the boat landing to Route 23 and back to Oak Street and ends with a 3.1-mile run from the boat landing, through town and around trails behind the middle school back to the boat landing.

Competitors will be responsible for their own canoe or kayak and bike.

Individuals pay $55 and teams of three $120 to take part in the triathlon. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and goes for an hour. The race starts at 9:00 a.m.

Awards will be given to the top finishing male, female and team.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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