Somerville, a town of about 550 residents, is celebrating itself Saturday at the annual Somerville Day Fall Fest.

Lead organizer Delta Chase said a group of six women organize the event and the bulk of them have been doing so since the event’s beginning more than 20 years ago.

“The committee members being in their 70s and 80s mean they really believe in their town,” she said. “You feel that when you’re around these ladies.”

The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade from Turner Ridge Road to Somerville Elementary School, at 665 Patricktown Road. After the parade, there will be a tribute to the lives lost during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, by Selectman Chris Johnson.

Chase said the biggest events are a cake walk and a can raffle. The former is a musical chairs-style game in which people pay to enter a round and if they land on a certain spot when the music stops, they win a cake provided by a community member.

The can raffle — in which people buy tickets and drop them into cans corresponding to donated prizes — has more than 100 prizes this year. Chase said that event gets the most attention from attendees. Items as valuable as grills have been available at the raffle in years past.

“That’s the biggest tradition,” she said. “It takes an hour to draw the thing.”

There also will be live music and craft vendors peddling their wares. Hot dogs, baked beans and coleslaw cooked by resident Helen Morrow, who donates her time, also will be available.

Chase said the committee tries to add an event every year to freshen up the day. This year, a bubble gum blowing contest with a “small cash prize” is the trial event. All ages are allowed to participate.

“We’ll have our measuring utensils out,” she said. “We’ll have a committee judging for fairness.”

Chase said the event takes a balanced community effort to sustain itself over more than two decades.

“It takes the whole community,” she said. “It takes a lot of help and generosity from everyone else.”

The event, held solely at the elementary school, will end with pizza and fireworks starting at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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