Musher’s Bowl

Congratulations to the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and all of the local sponsors of last week’s Musher’s Bowl and Winter Carnival. With fresh powder on the slopes, a frozen lake for dogsled rides and bright sunny skies, Bridgton was filled with revelers enjoying all that makes this season so special.

A special thanks to all the 75 brave souls who dove into Highland Lake for Freezin’ For a Reason; their efforts raised an incredible $16,000 for Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. The highest money-raisers were Adriana McDaniels- youth category, Shelby Lebland- young adult, Fryeburg Veterinary Hospital – team, Patti Murphy- most money not jumping and Ali Kiger- most money and jumped. And speaking of Patti Murphy, next year’s 10th-anniversary event brings a special challenge from the all-time fundraising record-holder. She’s pledged to single-handedly raise $10,000 for the cause. That’ll buy a lot of dog food. Awesome!

Big-box brouhaha

I am staying out of the debate on whether the proposed McDonald’s is good or bad for town, although I definitely have an opinion. There are compelling arguments for both sides, and now a citizen’s referendum is being organized by locals opposed to it.

The recent petition drive garnered nearly 300 signatures in favor of regulating the size and type of future development in town. The group has planned a series of strategy meetings through February, and the public is invited. They will be held at 7 p.m. in the basement of the Municipal Building on Iredale Street on Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24. Additionally, the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board are holding a public hearing on the petitions on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. Anyone wanting a say in the proceedings or just interested in learning more about the proposal is encouraged to attend.

Kick some grass

The best part of growing up in Nashville was being exposed to great music. Any given weekend offered a wealth of traditional southern and Americana classics, and I developed an appreciation for bluegrass at an early age.

Some of the best music I heard was at the monthly Full Moon Bluegrass festivals at Moon Mountain Farm, where famous players and hillbilly pickers alike would gather in informal circles and perform well into the night. A raucous bluegrass show is a surefire way to shake off cabin fever, and an upcoming one will raise money for the Lakes Environmental Association at the same time.

The 7th annual Deep Freeze Night of Bluegrass will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall on North High Street, and the line-up includes the Hemingway Brothers, Squash and Gourds and Jewell Clarke and Donnie Katlin. You are also invited to bring your own instruments for picking after the show.

Tickets are available at LEA, Bridgton Books, Running With Scissors and at the door. They are $15 each, $25 per couple or bring the whole family for $30. For more information, call LEA at 647-8580. You can bring your own beverage, and there will be set-ups and snacks for sale.

Moonlight challenge

Camp Sunshine is a nationally renowned summer program that offers free vacations in Maine for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. One of their most popular fundraising events is next week, and it’s happening right here in Bridgton.

The 16th annual Moonlight Charity Challenge is Friday, Feb. 4, at Shawnee Peak. Teams of four skiers or snowboarders compete in ski races and enjoy entertainment, a buffet, lift ticket, and commemorative T-shirts and grab bags. Cost for entry is $300 per team or $75 for individuals, who will be matched to a team. All proceeds go to fund the great programs at Camp Sunshine and the Adaptive Ski Program at Shawnee for kids and adults with disabilities. For more information, go to www.shawneepeak.com/event/83/Moonlight_Charity_Challenge_Race_Night.

Classic Kesey

This weekend brings the run of Lake Region Community Theater’s adaptation of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The Tony Award-winning play explores issues of individuality and rebellion and the movie won five Oscars in 1975. It is a mix of comedy and drama, with clever fast-paced dialogue and strong characters.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale at Krainin Realty and Hayes True Value. The weekend performances are Saturday evening at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 4. For more information on the community theater, check out lrctme.org or call 838-3846.

Art and chocolate

It might have been -10 this morning, but if you need a reminder that summer isn’t too far off, join Gallery 302 on Friday, Feb. 4, for the Art In The Park poster contest.

Every year a local artist’s work is chosen to grace the July event’s poster, and the public gets to vote on it. Not only that, but the reception features live music and lots of chocolate. The entries are up at the Gallery from Jan. 29 through Feb. 24, so even if you can’t make the big event you can still vote throughout the month.

The Gallery 302 Artist Collective is located on Main Street right across from the Bridgton Library. Call 647-ARTS for more information or check out www.gallery302.org.


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