It appears the consensus is that the 2006 Naples Fourth of July Celebration lived up to the promise of the “Best Fireworks in Naples in 100 years.” Quite impressive given the fact that it looked doubtful in early April that we would even have fireworks this year. So the call went out, and it was answered big time!

This year’s celebration wouldn’t have been possible without the generous level of support from Naples area businesses. Once again I wish to thank P&K Sand and Gravel for challenging other businesses in Naples, and thank Richard P. Waltz Plumbing and Heating of Windham, and Moose Landing Marina for meeting or exceeding the challenge.

I would also like to once again thank the rest of the businesses that made this year’s celebration a great success: Causeway Marina and Naples Marina, Norway Savings Bank, The Causeway Landing/Freedom CafA?©, the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber Of Commerce, Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Lake Region Safe Lakes Association, New England Electric, Coldwell Banker/Lake Region Properties, Brays Brew Pub and Restaurant, East Shore Beach Association, Bayview Cabins, Naples Professional Pharmacy, MetLife /Jerry Horine, Colonial Mast Campground, Four Seasons Camping Area, Wendy Carey, State Rep. Rich Cebra, Steamboat Landing Miniature Golf, Songo River Queen II, 57 Mineral Spring, James & Patricia Richardson, Q Team, Inc., Naples Self Storage.

I would also like to thank the following businesses for their donations that came in after the pre Fourth of July press release: Rick’s CafA?© $1,000, Charlies on the Causeway $500, and the Augustus Bove House $100.

Further thanks goes out to Barbara McDonough for planning, organizing, judging, and announcing the parade, and to Harvey Price and Maura Seymour for also helping to judge the parade and hand out awards.

Thank you to Fire Chief Chris Pond and the rest of his Naples Public Safety crews for helping to line up the parade and provide security during the parade and fireworks, and also thanks to Chris and his crew for helping in delivering and returning the extra fireworks barge to Harrison.

Also special thanks goes out to Dana Watson, Cole Watson, and to Tony Longley Construction and his crew for helping with the loading and unloading of the rented barge, and to Henry Hudson and the Harrison Old Home Days for allowing us to rent their barge, and to Paul Collard and Bob Dunton for the donation of the new fireworks barge section. Very special thanks goes out Helen Dingley for allowing the town to use Kents Landing for fireworks preparations and dock loading.

Finally thank you to all that participated and turned out to support the great Fourth of July “Fun in the Sun” Parade this year, and congratulations to the following winners of the various parade categories: Largest Marching Unit: Camp Takajo; Best in Show from Naples entry: 207 for their beach party floats and marchers; Most Patriotic: Sebago Soap Company for their float containing Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross and the Statue of Liberty being played by Charlie and Kaci Maxfield and Sam Frey; Best in Show Overall: Lake Region Properties/Coldwell Banker for their patriotic float filled with beach balls and people having fun in the sun; Most Original: Madura Family Float their Blast Off 2006 float complete with astronauts, a space shuttle, and mission control; Best Vintage Firetruck: Harrison FD; Funniest: Great Northern Docks “Fishing on the Dock” complete with the biggest fish I have ever seen come out of Long Lake; and the Best in Show Fire Truck went to Bridgton Fire and Rescue Engine #1.

I would also like to recognize and thank Gazebo Tees and the rest of their Pirates of the Causeway for their great pirate ship float, and for the many hundreds of beads and T-shirts they threw out to the crowd and explain to everyone while very deserving of an award, the Turcottes informed the judges that they were there to have “fun in the sun” and that they didn’t wish to receive an award. Thank you and congratulations all the same Henry and Judy on a great fun-filled crowd pleasing float.

In closing, I once again wanted to thank everyone for a great Fourth of July celebration. In the past, I have had people comment that the Parade and Fireworks weren’t what they used to be. This year I have only heard how great the entire Fourth of July celebration was, and I am sure that the buzz will be going around the region and the state, and I would expect that people are going to come back next year and bring some friends with them. Will we be ready, and can we deliver another spectacular or maybe even better Fourth of July experience for our residents and our visitors? As a couple of business owners said to me recently, the bar has certainly been raised. Can we keep it up there?

Derik Goodine

Naples Town Manager

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