The town known as York County’s home for retail outlets is gearing up for what organizers hope will be a signature event in the community for years to come: Saturday’s Kittery Block Party.

There will be live entertainment throughout the day, along with a children’s area. There also will be demonstrations and educational exhibits with artisans, artists, nonprofit groups and farmers that will add a truly local flair.

“This is just a really good intergenerational family event that is involving so many aspects of the community, from businesses to nonprofits and the town all working together to really create a nice event,” said Janice Grady, director of the Kittery Recreation Department.

The master of ceremonies, comedian Tom Clark, will get the party started at 10 a.m. Magician Peter Boie is the first act, followed at 11 a.m. by Shapleigh School’s Little Amps and Flute Choir. The Stairwells take the stage at noon.

The music will then turn country with Hank and Dixie and The Knotty Pine Boys fronted by Harvey Reed. Jazz and bluegrass are next with Sea Smoke at 2 p.m. The Dance Hall, the West African Ballet Kakande and the Unofficial Buoy Ensemble are also in the afternoon lineup.

In the children’s area, entertainers begin strolling the street at noon. Kids will be enthralled with Rick Adam’s stilt walking and one-man band, as well as balloon animals and strolling magic by other performers. Local favorite Gary Sredzienski also will be playing the accordion.

“We will have a fabulous children’s area with a bouncy house, carnival-like games, sand and spin art, face painting and more,” Grady said. “There will be something for everybody. And this event isn’t going to cost people money except to eat.”

It might cost a few dollars but you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to treat your taste buds to the local food options.

“We have such great restaurants in Kittery,” said Michael Landgarten, a member of the planning committee and owner of lead sponsor Bob’s Clam Hut. “There are going to be a lot of good bargains and great-tasting food. The lineup is going to be hard to beat.

“We focused on not doing fair food. You’re going to get a high-end food that is delicious.”

Landgarten has been pleased with how quickly the idea of a block party took off.

“It was great how this event emerged,” he said. “Initially, Bob’s Clam Hut wanted to do something to give back to the town and community. We spoke with the town and decided to bring back the block party, an event that has not happened for over 10 years. All the people we approached said ‘yes’ in a big way.”

Plans to block off streets for the party for walking and biking also included making sure there is parking for visitors. Organizers have worked hard to ensure that there is plenty of parking within walking distance of the festivities. There also will be a shuttle service to and from all of the parking areas.

“It’s been a lovely surprise the way different sectors in town have come together to plan this event,” Landgarten said.

Organizers are also hoping to make the event as green as possible with the help of Eco Movement. The company will sponsor a recycling station with bins for recycling, composting and the landfill. A little trash sorting will go a long way to meet the zero-waste goal set by event organizers.

Landgarten said he’s looking forward to celebrating a renewed signature event for Kittery.

“It’s a vibrant community and is due some appreciation,” he said. “It has its own special qualities as the oldest town in Maine. This is our chance to introduce folks to our great town and to celebrate with our neighbors.”

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be contacted at 791-6334 or at:

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