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Community celebrates PondFest 2017

Community members gathered at the boat landing in Soldier Pond for the fourth annual PondFest celebration on Sunday, July 2.
(Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

WALLAGRASS, Maine — The small town of Wallagrass got a bit bigger for a day when guests gathered July 2 at the Soldier Pond boat landing for the fourth annual PondFest celebration.

“It’s just good for the community to keep their spirit alive and show that people still care about this town. The kids get a big kick out of it too,” said Jessie Desjardins a member of the Wallagrass and Soldier Pond Beautification Committee, which hosted the event to foster community togetherness and raise funds to buy a new pavilion for the boat landing.

George and Marlene Pooler of Wallagrass dropped by PondFest “to meet and greet the locals,” according to Marlene Pooler, who added that her husband has a lot of friends and acquaintances in the community.

The band New Generation performed at PondFest in Soldier Pond on Sunday, July 2. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

“He knows everybody,” she said. “He coached a lot of the kids at the elementary school quite a few years ago in soccer, baseball and softball.”

Larissa Lasselle and her husband Peter Nelson of Wallagrass volunteered to help out with PondFest. Peter flipped burgers on the grill and Larissa served as a sweeper to ensure that the 70 or so participants of a 5k race completed the course safely.

Meanwhile, their 3-year-old daughter Amara seemed to enjoy hopping in a bouncy house set up for the event. “I think I’m having fun,” she said.

The 5k replaced last year’s canoe race to kick off the day of activity which also included live music, fireworks and a parade.

Cassidy O’Leary stands by her colorful and peace promoting van which she displayed in a PondFest parade on Sunday, July 2.
(Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

“I thought it was a really beautiful trail. I think we should do it again,” Lasselle said of the race. Organizers did not keep time at the 5k, but Fort Kent Community High School student Noah Martin finished the race first overall, followed by CHS graduate Jordan Tanguay.

Committee President Elaine Desjardins said this year’s PondFest brought in more than $3,000.

“This is the largest crowd we’ve had yet. We’re grateful to everyone,” she said.

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