Readfield Heritage Days will now be an annual event. 

“We need to have a party, a celebration that celebrates Readfield,” said Select Board member Dennis Price, who is also on the Readfield Heritage Days Committee. “This kind of event raises the town morale and brings the town together.”

The event has taken place since early in the town’s founding, but only every other year. In its first years, Price said, it was a benefit for the library.

“The current Select Board was interested in creating a heritage days every year,” he said. “It is difficult to keep in the front of your mind if it is only happening every other year.”

To see if making the event annual was feasible, Price and Select Board Vice Chairperson Christine Sammons led the charge to host the Readfield Festival last year with similar entertainment as Heritage Days. No tax dollars were spent on the event.

Attendance was similar, too. To Price, that meant success — and a need to have an annual event in the town. 

“If we can host a party with no budget, imagine what we can do (with one),” he said. 

At Town Meeting this year, voters authorized spending $10,000 on the event out of the $37,412 recreation, parks and activities budget. Going forth, $5,000 will be spent on the event. 

The three-day festival, which will take place this year from Aug. 9-11, will have events in three areas: The fairgrounds, the beach and downtown around the Readfield Union Meeting House and Readfield Community Library. 

Price said the biggest highlights will be a kickball tournament; a performance by The Shizzle, an Augusta-based dance band; and fireworks. 

“We want to have more diverse things and have folks come and participate,” he said. “A kickball tournament is unique. It is a classic throwback.”

Price said that around 100 people played in the kickball tournament during the Readfield Festival. The 2019 Readfield Kickball Championship will start at 10 a.m. at the ballfield at the fairgrounds. 

At the town beach, The Shizzle will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday. There will also be lawn games like cornhole, ladder toss and flying discs. 

Fireworks will end the day at 9:15 p.m. at the beach.

Readfield firefighters shovel dirt off the top of steel plates covering their beanhole beans during Readfield Heritage Days in August 2011. The previous evening, firefighters dug a large hole and started a cook fire with about a cord of firewood. When it had burned down to coals, they lowered three large custom-made steel bean pots, each with 25 pounds of beans and a “secret recipe” of other ingredients, into the hole. Kennebec Journal file photo by Joe Phelan

The Heritage Days Fishing Derby for kids 12 and younger will go on throughout the day, with a weigh-in and prizes from 4 to 5 p.m. at the fire station. During weigh-in at 4:30 p.m., the fire department will serve a beanhole supper. 

Around town, other events will take place, activities not funded with taxpayer dollars. 

The Readfield Union Meeting House will offer several entertainment options during the event, culminating with a performance by longtime Maine singer and songwriter Dave Mallett. His most recent album, “Greenin Up,” was released by the Maine Farmland Trust. Mallett will perform with bass player Mike Burd at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20 and will go toward ongoing restoration efforts at the Meeting House. 

Other music at the Meeting House will be Tom Giordano and Friends at 9 a.m., Simon Quist at 10 a.m. and Ed Desjardins at 11 a.m.

Other events listed on the town’s website include:

• Readfield Historical Society wine and cheese social from 5-7 p.m. Friday. The society will dedicate its new military room in honor of Bill and Flo Drake.

• Capital Improv Comedy Show at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the library will benefit The Friends of the Readfield Community Library. Tickets to this show will be $10.

• Pancake breakfast at the Masonic Hall from 8-10 a.m. Saturday.

• The Readfield Corner before 1827 history walk will be led by Dale Potter Clark and Bill Adams. The Historical Society walk will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Mill Stream Trail.

• Readfield Recreation Committee’s Movie Night at the Beach will show “The Goonies” at 7 p.m. Sunday.

“I am tired of hearing from people how high our mil rate is without knowing what the other aspects are that add value,” Price said. “(Readfield Heritage Days Committee members) are just trying to have a good town to live in, and we are doing a good job.”

More information about the event is available on the Readfield Heritage Days Facebook page. 

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