Sebastian Smith, 6, has his face painted like a wolf during Richmond’s annual summer Richmond Days celebration in 2019. The event is returning this weekend after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. Hannah LaClaire/The Times Record file

RICHMOND — Richmond Days will bring the town back to the 1950s with the return of the annual event after a two-year hiatus that will feature soap box racing for children and a nighttime performance from a Frank Sinatra impersonator.

The idea for “The Fabulous ’50s” theme came from a desire to choose “something fun” that “everyone will like,” said Town Manager Laurisa Loon, who has put the event on since 2009.

Richmond Days has not happened since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Last year, the town was urged to keep the full event alive but opted for instead for a scaled-back celebration called “Richmond Nights.” Loon said this year will be the town’s 52nd year putting on the day event.

The celebration starts Thursday, with the annual Police vs. Fire Softball Game & Cookout at 6 p.m. on Lane Field. Family events start Friday night and continue all day Saturday until the fireworks at the Waterfront at 9:15 p.m.

The Children’s Parade — 1950s theme encouraged — and the “Whatever Derby Races,” a play on a soap box car race, will take place at 6 p.m. Friday night. Friday has two performances: one from David J. Shaffer at the Gazebo from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., then at 7 p.m., a Johnny Cash Performance, also at the Gazebo. 

Loon was inspired to add the “Whatever Derby Races” after seeing a video shared on Facebook of children in the 1950s racing soap box cars down the hill on front street. She changed it to a “Whatever Derby Races” after realizing it might be difficult to make a soap box car. 


“They will be judged on the fastest time, the most creative design and the best engineering,” said Loon, who said Richmond resident Sam Knight is in charge of sign-ups and rules and qualifications. As of Tuesday morning, six children signed up for the race, she said. 

Traditionally, a soap box car is a motorless car, usually made of wood, that people race down hills to see which car travels the fastest. It must have a steering wheel and working brakes, according to the rules of the Richmond race.  

Front Street will act as a Roller Rink from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and there will be a ’50s themed photo booth.

Continuing the theme, Saturday night, there will be a Frank Sinatra impersonation who will “sing under the stars,” at 7 p.m. at the Gazebo until 9 p.m. For other 1950s inspired performances, The Court Jesters will sing songs from that era at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Gazebo. 

Events kick off Saturday morning with the annual pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., at the Richmond Enterprise Grange. Also that morning is a book sale at the Isaac F. Umberhind Library and a Classic Car Drive-in at Kennebec Cutters, both at 10 a.m.

Most water activities, like the dunk tank, starts at 11 a.m. From noon to 3 p.m., there will be pontoon boat rides at the Richmond waterfront. Lobster crate races will start at noon and go until 2 p.m. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., not 1950s themed, is “Human Bowling” where people can go in an inflatable ball that gets rolled into human-sized bowling pins.

To end the night, fireworks will start at 9:15 p.m. A full list of events can be found on the town website,

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