Van Buren Summer Fest squeezing two days of fun into one this year

VAN BUREN, Maine — The Van Buren Summer Fest will be packing two days worth of games, music and other activities into one this year.

The town, school system and local chamber of commerce are all coming together to host the festivities on Saturday, Aug. 4, according to Town Manager Nancy Troeger.

This is the first year that the event is scheduled for just one day, she said.

“In the past we’ve had a longer festival, but we are shortening it this year, due to funding issues and less volunteers,” Troeger said.

In previous years, the event took place Friday night and Saturday on Main Street complete with a parade. This year, the festival is taking place near the boat landing on a dead-end street, where there is not much traffic, a gazebo hut, grassy area, parking, and electricity.

The vendor booth list also is smaller, but catered toward families and hosted by the high school classes. The usual vendors and clubs that participated in the past, will now be helping out at the high school booths with the students, many of whom are children or grandchildren of various club members, according to Troeger. Members of each class also are making food to sell to raise money for future class activities.

From noon to 4 p.m., DJ James will play music while children can play in a bounce house slide that the recreation department and classes are sponsoring. The youngsters will be able to buy bracelets to play in the bounce house with the cost varying by time: $5 for a 30 minute bracelet, $10 for an hour, and $15 for two hours.

In addition to class sponsored activities, there will be a rope tug-of-war competition, a rubber duck race where people buy a duck and race it in the river to win a prize, and possibly a petting zoo.
At 4 p.m., the band Tennessee Haze will play in the gazebo. People are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets, but will not be allowed to bring outside food and beverages into the barricaded area. Tennessee Haze will play from 5:30-9:30 p.m. After the concert, the town will shoot off fireworks over the river.

There is no charge to get in for the festivities, except for food, the bounce house, and booth games. The library also will host a craft tent.

“Who knows what we’ll do next year?” Troeger said. “We want to do something before school starts to get people together. It is family friendly and we hope that whoever wants to get there can get there.”

“While rain is not expected, there is always a backup plan,” she said.

Follow Morgan Mitchell on Twitter @TheMaineMorgan

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