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Scarecrow Festival and UMFK Homecoming will flourish with activity

A young scarecrow rides on a float in the annual Scarecrow Festival Parade in Fort Kent on Sept. 24, 2016. (File photo | Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

FORT KENT, Maine — The third weekend of September promises to be a busy one in Fort Kent  as the University of Maine at Fort Kent Homecoming and Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce Scarecrow Festival will combine for the 24th year for an abundance of events and activities. Almost all will be free for members of the public to enjoy over the three-day celebration.

The action will begin on Friday, Sept. 15 with visitors downtown enjoying colorful entertainment as many local entrepreneurs participate in a business decorating contest. The theme of the contest is “Scarecrow Goes to the Movies.” The deadline for businesses to enter the contest is Wednesday, Sept. 13, with registration forms available at the Chamber of Commerce office or downloadable from the chamber website.

Children 7 and younger can enter a coloring contest, complete with prizes. Families can pick up and drop off the coloring sheets at Paradis Shop ‘n Save in Fort Kent or download them from the chamber website. The entries are due by Monday, Sept. 11.  

On Friday, John and Ann Babin of Flat Mountain Horse Ranch of St. Agatha will provide free wagon rides from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the parking lot of Nowland Hall at UMFK.

At the same time, the university will host a welcome barbecue and pep rally in the quad between Nowland and Powell halls. Campus officials invite the public to attend and meet their nationally ranked sports teams. The cost of the barbecue is $10 for the general public.

The Blake Library Gallery will host a reception on Friday to celebrate artist Michelle Richardson’s exhibit,  “Creatures with Wings and Other Strange Spirits.”  The event, scheduled from 5-7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

The annual Scarecrow Festival Parade winds its way around Fort Kent on Sept. 24, 2016. (File photo | Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

From 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Fox Auditorium, Emily Earle and Nicole Nelson will perform. “Emily Earle’s singing is a mix of heartfelt lyrics and contagious melodies — falling somewhere between early Miranda Lambert, classic Sheryl Crow, and unmistakable Linda Ronstadt,” according to a UMFK press release. “Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Nicole Nelson brings a soulful rock explosion to the stage. Her earthy flair expands the traditional pop/rock sound.” Admission is $5 per person, but is free to students with a valid ID. The performance will be followed by a social hour in the Bengal’s Lair.

Beginning at 9 p.m., the brothers of Rho and the sisters of Kappa Rho will host a bonfire at UMFK’s Crocker Beach. Alumni and their significant others are welcome to attend.

On Saturday at 9 a.m. registration will begin for the 2nd Annual Jim Grandmaison Bike Tour fundraiser at the UMFK Blake Library Parking Lot.

“The bike tour is designed for a 16-mile or 33-mile ride on the beautiful scenic route to Soldier Pond and along the shore of Eagle Lake,” according to the press release.

The cost of the bike tour is: UMFK students, $10; adults, $35; and school age students, $10. Families can enter for $100. Riders should wear blue and must wear a helmet.

The fundraiser will benefit the UMFK service group Partners for International Relief.

The annual Scarecrow Parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Fort Kent Courthouse on Market Street. The parade will travel north on Market Street, take a left on Main Street and continue up Pleasant Street to the home of UMFK President John Short and his wife Caryn, where winning floats will receive awards. The parade also will feature a “Scarecrow Goes to the Movies” theme. The deadline to sign up for the parade is Friday, Sept. 8. Parade entry forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce or at their website.

Homecoming games will include the UMFK Bengal women’s volleyball team against Husson University of Bangor at 10 a.m. at the UMFK Sport Center. At 1 p.m. the women’s soccer team will take on Fisher College of Boston, Massachusetts, at Alumni Memorial Field, followed by the men’s soccer team versus Fisher College.

For a complete list of activities taking place during that weekend check out the schedule at the chamber web site.

More information about  the University of Maine at Fort Kent Homecoming and Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce Scarecrow Festival also is available at the UMFK Alumni Affairs Office at 207-834-7557 or the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce Office at 207-834-5354

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