PITTSFIELD — When it comes to summer traditions, the Central Maine Egg Festival tops the list for many Mainers.

Egg-lympic volunteer Jessica Ouellette cheers on children as they roll watermelons Wednesday during events in Pittsfield. Dozens of children competed in event that is part of the weeklong Central Maine Egg Festival celebration. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

Area residents and visitors alike take part in the event’s week of activities, which culminates with Saturday’s parade and fair.

Wednesday morning at Hathorn Park, about two dozen children competed in a series of challenges, none of which were related to eggs, despite being called the Egg-lympics. In its decades of existence, the Pittsfield festival has evolved from a celebration of the brown egg industry to “an opportunity for the entire community to celebrate and for civic groups to raise needed funds,” according to its website.

Kristy Richard, of Clinton, said she has come on and off for the last 32 years.

“My parents always brought me as a kid, so now I try and come every year with my son,” she said as she watched the final round of the Egg-lympics, a water balloon toss. “It seems like all the kids are having fun.”

Some of the participants traveled across an ocean to partake in the festivities. The first- and second-place winners of the water balloon toss, all siblings, are from Saudi Arabia and traveled to central Maine to visit relatives in Pittsfield and Dexter.

Gracie King topples over the watermelon she was rolling Wednesday during an event of the popular Egg-lympics in Pittsfield. Dozens of children competed in event, which is part of the weeklong Central Maine Egg Festival celebration. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

“This is our first time here in three years,” said Rayan Aleidi, 14, who had just earned a red ribbon with his sister, Jenna, 10. “We participated in the relay, ate some hot dogs and just finished the water balloon toss. I’m excited about the magic show.”

Wes Booth, a local entertainer, helped moderate Wednesday’s contests and performed magic tricks afterward for a small crowd.

Richard said the most entertaining event Wednesday was the watermelon roll, which involved each child rolling a watermelon across a specified distance on the grass and attempting to reach the finish line first.

“It was really funny,” she said.

On Thursday, the day’s festivities will include free movies at the theater, window painting on Main Street, an art show and outside games at Pittsfield Public Library, a marketplace tent from 4 to 8 p.m. in Manson Park, and a kiddie parade at 6 p.m. Rides and games will be open after the parade, and John Whitman and The Southwind Band will perform at Manson Park from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Vera Dionne and Kole King compete in an egg balancing competition Wednesday during the Egg-lympics event in Pittsfield. Dozens of children competed in event, which is part of the weeklong Central Maine Egg Festival celebration. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

On Friday, there will be a quiche and cheesecake contest at 11 a.m. at the Elks Lodge on Middle Street, an art show at the library, a marketplace tent, rides and games, and performances by Riff Johnson and Steve Dunphy at Manson Park.

Saturday features a full day of events, starting with the early bird breakfast served by the Hartland Fire Department at 6 a.m., and a pancake breakfast at Pittsfield Municipal Airport. The Experimental Aircraft Association Airport Fly-in Exhibitor Area will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the airport, with free airplane rides for children ages 8 to 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and scenic airplane rides from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The parade will commence at 9:15 a.m., beginning at Industrial Park, heading down Somerset Avenue, onto Main Street and into Manson Park.

The art show will continue at the library, with the marketplace tent open and rides and games also available. New this year are pony rides from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and an egg drop contest at 11:30 a.m., both at Manson Park.

Entertainment will take place at the park all afternoon and evening, with fireworks scheduled for 9:15 p.m.

For more information and the full schedule, visit centralmaineeggfestival.org.

 

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