Most people wouldn’t choose to be hosed down in public. At least that’s what they’d say if you asked them.

But every year children and adults alike find themselves under a tall ladder being drenched from overhead by a fireman’s hose at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.

The group hosing marks the end of Cape Elizabeth Family Fun Day — and it’s the fire department’s way of cleaning up after the event just before it: Fun in the Foam.

Locals turn out in droves to play in piles of firefighter foam sprayed from trucks at the oceanfront park. But long before the foamy finale, the park fills with families for a day’s worth of events including games, food, a rock climbing wall and a talent show.

The fun kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday with hot air balloon rides. While the balloons are tethered to the ground to keep them from wandering too far, they’ll still offer stellar and not-often-seen views of Portland Head Light and the coast. The rides take about 10 minutes (weather permitting) and run until 11 a.m. The suggested donation is $5 for kids, $10 for adults. Proceeds benefit the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

At 10:30 a.m. a parade starts moving, beginning on Shore Road by the Cookie Jar (554 Shore Road). Little League teams, marching bands and local mascots like Crackers from the Portland Pirates and Oakie from Oakhurst Dairy take over the street to entertain their Cape Elizabeth neighbors.

The festive procession ends at Fort Williams Park and Family Fun Day officially opens.

The annual event has been going on for more than 20 years and carries on the tradition of community get-togethers of yesteryear.

“We try for an old-time town fair, without the rides,” said Steve Culver, a Cape Elizabeth resident and one of this year’s organizers. “More like a local town fair. That makes it simple and it kind of comes together every year.”

Some of the classic activities return every year, like the ring toss, the train ride and the bottle throw. But new entertainment is also added, like this year’s Monkey Motion, an innovative jumping system, and the rock-climbing wall brought in by the Maine Rock Gym.

Also a new addition this year: a dog show.

Beginning at noon, this friendly canine competition will offer local dogs and owners plenty of entertainment and perhaps a little glory.

Show categories include: “The Long and Short of It” with prizes for tallest dog, lowest dog, longest tail, curliest tail, waggiest tail, longest ears, pointiest ears, oldest and youngest dog; “Beauty and the Beast” will award prizes for furriest, fluffiest, shaggiest, cutest, most beautiful, Miss Congeniality, and puppy that most makes you want one; “Most Likely to Succeed” will judge for best trick, best bark, best manners, best stay, best handshake, best educated and best walk; and “Fashionista” contestants will win prizes for most stylish, most like handler, most like a celebrity, most like a TV/movie character, best hero, best villain, best historical figure and best political figure.

The dog show is free to enter and open to anyone — and it’s not Westminster, it’s all in good fun.

After the pooches show what they can do, people can show off their abilities during the talent show at 3 p.m.

All day there will be arts and crafts for perusal, game booths set up by sports and music boosters and food sold by community groups.

“It’s to get the community together and celebrate,” said Culver. “And to raise money for nonprofits.”

While Family Fun Day supports many Cape Elizabeth organizations, all are welcome, regardless of what town they’re from. “The more, the merrier,” as Culver noted.

And a day spent lifted in a hot air balloon, tossing rings and water balloons, climbing walls and watching talent shows is a day well spent. And it can only end one way: covered in foam.

Fun in the Foam starts at 4 p.m. and is the final, wonderfully messy event of the day. 

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 822-4056 or at:

[email protected]


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