SOMERVILLE — It’s not often you can venture into Somerville and walk out with a cash prize, but more than 50 people took their chances on Saturday.

Residents and visitors dotted Patricktown Road at 10 a.m., then congregated at Somerville Elementary school for a full day of Somerville Day activity.

Lead organizer Delta Chase said a group of six women — the Somerville Day Committee — organized the event.

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

Elaine Porter is one of those planners. She said she has helped organize the event for the nearly a decade but has lived in Somerville since 1962.

“It might be eight. It might be 10. I don’t know,” she said with a laugh.

Porter is also a member of the town’s Planning Board and a town representative on the Tri-County Waste Management Board. She said she didn’t know how she had time to work with all three committees.

“It just all runs together eventually,” she said. “It’s pretty nice to be involved in the stuff.”

She said Somerville Day has changed a lot during her tenure. Events have been added and subtracted over the years.

“They used to try to have dances at night and stuff like that, and nobody would come back to it,” Porter said. “We have fireworks now and we have good attendance for that.”

Claudia Fujinaga, who also has been part of the committee for eight years, said Cheryl Pratt’s cake walk — 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 — has been an overwhelming success.

“She came up with it, and it’s a big hit and everyone loves it,” Fujinaga said.

The parade was 2 miles long, spanning from Turner Ridge Road to the elementary school along Patricktown Road. Small town parades are generally much shorter in length and involve a number of people walking, but this parade only involved about a dozen cars, firetrucks and motorcycles traveling about 25 mph.

“It was interesting and it was fun,” said Gary McCarthy, of Windsor, who drove his motorcycle in the parade. McCarthy and his grandson Joshua, 12, have participated in the area’s annual Toy Run, but this is their first time in a town’s parade. “We just thought it would be a little faster.”

The parade participants periodically stopped along the side of the road to hand expectant children fistfuls of candy to add to their buckets. A number of residents sat in lawn chairs at the end of their long dirt driveways to view the parade as it flew by.

One such vehicle, a mint-green Toyota Prius, carried 88-year-old Warren Crouse, the town’s oldest citizen. He moved to Somerville from Massachusetts 30 years ago, he said, because he hunted in the area with his family.

“As far as what the town had to offer, Massachusetts was much, much better than here,” he said. “They don’t offer much here. We had excellent schools. … It was a great place to raise children, if you like living with looking out your kitchen window and seeing a rooftop or another house.”

Crouse said the community hasn’t changed “a heck of a lot” since he moved into town.

“The population isn’t a great deal more,” he said. “A few of the roads were paved that were dirt.”

He said he surveyed real estate listings around Somerville for five years before he bought the property he settled on with his wife.

“The place I bought, the real estate agent tried to discourage me,” he said. “I had my own mind to make up and I wasn’t going to let someone else make it up for me.

“I’m happy where I settled and I’m happy with the property I have,” he added. “What more can I ask for?”

Selectman Chris Johnson said the town, geographically, does not have a central area where townspeople can congregate, so this event is an opportunity to gather at Somerville Elementary School, which is only a few hundred feet from the town’s border with Washington.

“It’s actually a chance for the community to get together and enjoy some fun at the end of the summer,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities to do that in Somerville.”

After the parade, Johnson delivered a tribute to the lives lost during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the military conflicts that followed them. Organizers thought having the tribute on Somerville Day was appropriate because it always fell near the attacks’ anniversary, instead of holding two events in quick succession.

“We lost some of our residents in the wars that followed that attack on the Twin Towers,” Johnson said. “It was a good thing to come together for instead of just socializing.”

The attendees and Johnson congregated near a 9/11 memorial near a gazebo outside of the school for the address.

After the address, the residents were let loose in the school gymnasium to buy tickets for the can raffle. Tickets, which cost $1 for 10, were dropped into cans corresponding to more than 100 prizes donated by residents and businesses in surrounding communities. Marquee items earning the lion’s share of the tickets were four $50 cash prizes and gift cards to area businesses.

Home Depot and Lowe’s in Augusta donated a grill and a power washer, respectively, to be auctioned off. Those items started with a $75 minimum bid.

Pratt said the event made the committee $1,400 last year. Somerville Day is the group’s chief responsibility, but the committee also organizes community events during holidays and maintains the gazebo.

The group also uses its own time and money to travel around soliciting donations for the auction and raffle. Some members even donated their own money and items for the raffle.

Tables with wicker baskets, toys and handmade crafts lined the perimeter of the inside of the gymnasium while Helen Morrow, a volunteer, whipped up hot dogs, beans, coleslaw and potato salad.

The day closed with pizza from Windsor’s Rideout Market and a fireworks display, which could be the loudest the rural town of about 550 residents could get all year.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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