PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
A progressive way to meet your neighbors

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    Mark Snow pours wine at one of the homes hosting a progressive dinner Saturday on Yarmouth's Oakwood Drive. The whole neighborhood is invited to the annual event, and most years 50 to 60 people participate. Staff photo by Derek Davis

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    Neighbors Nancy Billmeier and Tracy Hayes sit and talk at one of the salad houses during the progressive dinner. This year there were nine host houses, including an appetizer house, two salad houses, five dinner houses and a dessert house. Staff photo by Derek Davis

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    Mary Rehak loads a box of wine into her car to drop off to a neighbor who is hosting this year. Staff photo by Derek Davis

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    The table setting at Carol Austin's house, with the dinner menu printed in French and English. Staff photo by Derek Davis

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    A table groaning with food helps kick off the festivities at the appetizer house. Staff photo by Derek Davis

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    Guests depart the appetizer house and make their way to the salad houses.

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    Carol Austin puts the finishing touches on a meal for nine guests at her home during Oakwood's progressive dinner. Staff photo by Derek Davis

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    A balloon tied to a mailbox signals one of the host houses.

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    Guests toast at the table of one of the dinner houses. The host houses are determined well in advance, but guests don't know where they will eat salads or entrees until a drawing is held.

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    Mary Rehak fills water glasses at one of the dinner houses. This is the 29th year the progressive dinner has been held on Oakwood Drive.

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    Carol Austin prepares a meal for nine guests at her home. Austin did double duty this year, serving as a host with her husband, Lin, and cooking dinner herself.

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    Guests depart one of the salad houses and make their way to a dinner house. Planning for the event begins two months in advance, and there's a new theme each year.

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    Ted O'Meara and Naomi Bentivoglio listen to Randy Billmeier as he tells a story during the annual progressive dinner. This year's dinner theme was "Around the World," a nod to the Olympics.

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    Guests mingle on a back patio. Everyone who attends the dinner must either host or bring food, and guests are expected to show up for all the courses.

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    Mary Rehak makes a speech during the annual dinner. "Honestly, this is time I see people that I have not seen all year," Rehak said.

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    Mary Rehak checks her list for the annual progressive dinner. The art teacher has attended the dinner for 16 years and worked on the planning committee for eight.

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    Guests make their way to the salad houses. One house offers gluten-free fare, the other nut-free.

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    A platter with fruit, cheese and crackers. The progressive dinner "is a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors," said Laura Beckman, who has lived on Oakwood Drive for 24 years.

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