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The Gray-New Gloucester Patriots cheerleading squad served as the parking patrol for the New Gloucester Community Fair Oct. 18. Volunteers included Emily Tynes, Meghan Nickerson, Alyshia Teras, Kelli McLaughlin and Krystal Fogg. Plans for the 2009 edition of the annual community fair are already being formulated.

Staff photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Bigger and better

Ideas for a bigger and better fair next year were swirling around at the New Gloucester Community Fair Committee’s meeting Dec. 2, including returning it to a two-day format. Using Google Earth mapping software, committee member Michael Bardier delivered an in-depth presentation that outlined his vision for future editions of “the last unofficial fair of the year,” which is this annual event’s tagline.

Bardier began his talk by reviewing the layout used in October and pointed out its shortcomings. One was the line of sight from Bald Hill Road, which had drivers focused on the back side of the vendor booths, which was not particularly inviting. Also, the configuration of the tents, stage and booths did not produce a lot of foot traffic to the vendor area. Many attendees simply perused the car show and then left the fair.

Bardier’s proposed layout would utilize the whole area within the fairgrounds oval. A stage for musical acts would be located at the northwest end, and the music would consist of folk, jazz and country performers – no rock or rap, as he doesn’t feel those genres would be consistent with a family atmosphere.

The activities area, including bungee jumping, rock climbing and rides, would be set up parallel to Bald Hill Road, making the action more attractive to passersby. There would be four food vendors separated by small stages from which frequent announcements would draw visitors to the area, producing increased business for the vendors.

Some of the goals Bardier pinpointed were to grow the fair to 10,000 attendees while preserving a hometown feel, avoiding a carnival-type atmosphere. The increase in visitors to the fair may produce sufficient revenue to provide a source of income for the town. He advocates ramping up publicity to expand the visibility and awareness both of the fair and of New Gloucester itself throughout the state. The detailed census data and demographic studies he has compiled will help with developing an advertising strategy, plus a comprehensive Web site is being planned.

More New Gloucester residents are invited to join this imaginative committee. For more information, call George Carman at 926-5170.

Nativity story

The annual children’s Christmas pageant will be held at the First Congregational Church, Gloucester Hill Road Sunday, Dec. 21 at 9:30 a.m. The Sunday school will be performing a charming presentation of the nativity story for all to enjoy.

New Gloucester Santa

New Gloucester residents can look forward to another Christmas Eve visit from Santa this year. Adults are encouraged to pre-arrange gifts if possible, but if that cannot be done, the child will be given a goodie bag.

The fun starts Wednesday, Dec. 24 at 4:30 p.m. at Thompson’s Orchard, 276 Gloucester Hill Rd. After the pre-arranged gifts and goodie bags have been given out there, Santa and his helpers will embark on their tour route. It winds down the Gloucester Hill Road toward the Lower Village, and then circles the Upper Village before ending up at the Snow Hill Road turnpike overpass.

Santa will make stops at private homes that have requested his visit, plus public stops at the town hall, Cloutiers Market and Links Variety. The estimated time of arrival in the Upper Village is approximately 6:30- 7 p.m., although it will depend on how many stops were made along the way.

To obtain more specifics about Santa’s route, or if you are new to the area and want to know how to participate, call Deb Emery at 926-4458 (leave a message if she is not home.) If you do not live along the route of travel, you’re welcome to meet the yuletide group at one of the public stops.

Presents can be left of at the Emery household starting Friday, Dec. 19, with a firm cutoff time of noon Dec. 24. Please be sure to put the child’s name and the delivery location in bold lettering on each package. The Emerys reside at 77 Intervale Rd., across from the Memorial School, in a white house with a railroad caboose in the yard.

If you would like to support this worthwhile project, look for donations cans at the local stores, or mail a check to: New Gloucester Santa, P.O. Box 204, New Gloucester, ME 04260.


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