The Benton Alewife Festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Benton Town Office, 1279 Clinton Ave., Benton, with activities at the boat launch, dam and school. A baked bean supper is planned for 4:30 p.m. at  Benton Falls Church on Falls Road in Waterville.

Prior to the event, Benton Elementary School will distribute paper fish to students to color; these will be hung on string under the tent during the festival.

Festival events include:
• Visit Benton Dam to witness the fish ladder and Alewife harvest up close;
• Children’s activities will include an interactive theater piece to demonstrate the migration process on the river, Fish Toss bean bag game, “Fish sticks” wood burning demonstration with Steve Valleau, and paper fish coloring table;
• Speakers from Maine Rivers and Sebasticook Land Trust;
• Music;
• Educational booths will include eagle/raptor specialist Erynn Call, Biodiversity Research Institute, Benton history photos and more; and
• Food offerings such as smoked alewives with Dave Dutton, and Two Maine Guys Food Truck.

According to the release, in the Gulf of Maine small fish known as alewives are getting ready to run up the Kennebec and into the Sebasticook. Each spring millions of alewives take this journey reaching Benton Falls Dam around the first week of May. The youngest are 3 years old and are returning for the first time to the place where they were born, one of the lakes and ponds of the Sebasticook Watershed. Alewives have been harvested at Benton Falls for more than 200 years, for food and for bait. The Benton Alewife Festival celebrates the run and the harvest of these fish with an afternoon filled with family friendly activities.

For more information, contact Benton Town Office at 453-7191 or [email protected].

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