A Kora Karts driver zooms Saturday around the intersection of River Road and Main Street during the Richmond Days parade. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

RICHMOND — Under the heat of the late July sun on Saturday, Harley Warner adjusted her grip on the mallet to take another whack at the High Striker game set up at Richmond’s waterfront.

Harley Warner, 15, takes another swing at the High Striker game Saturday at Richmond Days, eventually ringing the bell after several tries. Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Jessica Lowell

Around Warner, the sights, sounds and smells of the afternoon demonstrated that Richmond Days, the decades-old annual summer celebration that the town hosts, was well underway.

With successive blows, Warner, 15, was able to inch the puck higher up the track until finally, after about 10 tries, she rang the bell.

“You’re the second girl today do that,” the operator said, pointing her in the direction of the prizes she could choose from.

Warner, who picked out a large, inflated Crayola crayon, grew up going to Richmond Days before she moved to Oxford. This summer, she’s at Chop Point Camp in Woolwich, and her grandparents brought her to meet up with her friends in town. She was planning to try out old-school roller skating — the precursor to rollerblading — on the roller rink that was being laid out not far away on Front Street, and later watch the fireworks display over the Kennebec River.

Riding in a float, the conductor encourages spectators to clap with the Hallowell Community Band Saturday during the Richmond Days parade. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

After a two-year hiatus, Richmond Days returned this weekend with a “Fabulous ’50s” theme that brought out the chiffon and poodle skirts among the most daring, the “Whatever Derby Races” that invoke soap box racing, and a Frank Sinatra impersonator to harken back to the heady mid-20th century days of heartthrob crooners.


In 2020, Richmond Days was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gathers. Last year, the town opted for a smaller-scale event, with a later start time.

But this year’s event, which started Thursday with the Police vs. Fire softball game and cookout, continuing through Saturday with a parade, games, the food trucks, the bounce houses and a nostalgic theme, drew people to the town’s waterfront, where most of the afternoon’s activities were centered.

A group from the Richmond Summer Rec program turns Saturday from Main Street onto River Road during the Richmond Days parade. Spectators lined the route that started near Richmond High School and then looped through the town and back there to finish. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Even though the lobster crate races — something Warner had looked forward to — were canceled, that didn’t stop dozens of people from jumping off the town’s docks into the Kennebec River for a cool off.

While Courtney Hinkley waited with the impatience of the very young on the way to do something fun, Jennifer Saxon paused for a moment on Front Street to say she was looking forward to the fireworks later on.

“She’s looking forward to everything,” Saxon said, gesturing to Hinkley. “I know they haven’t had it in a few years, so this year is probably a bigger deal.”

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