BIDDEFORD — Bacon Street was alive with people, activities and music at the fifth annual Bacon Street Festival Sunday.

The street was closed off from High Street to Piersons Lane Sunday afternoon for the free festival, which was held in conjunction with the 29th anniversary of National Night Out by the National Association of Town Watch, and was made possible by the help of businesses, organizations and volunteers. Through National Night Out, towns and cities across the country hold activities that promote safe neighborhoods, crime, drug and violence prevention, and partnerships between communities and police.

The theme this year was “My Neighborhood.”

The event kicked off with a few words from local dignitaries and organizers of the event.

Event organizer Rick LaChance told festival-goers, “Get to know your neighbor while you’re here. That’s what this festival is all about.” He told people that some day down the road, a neighbor may need a helping hand, and they could offer that helping hand.

“This is all about taking pride in your neighborhood, cleaning up and making things better,” he said.

The street was crowded with people enjoying free treats, including milkshakes made by a bicycle-powered blender from the Community Bicycle Center, and a range of activities.

Lindsey Gilley cheered on her daughter, Deliliah, who was playing miniature golf. She said it was the family’s second year attending the event.

“I think it’s amazing,” she said. “Something like this really brings the community together.”

Marc Palardis and his wife Tammy of Moonlight Acres Kennels in North Waterboro brought some of their animals for a petting zoo, including ducks, rabbits, goats and chickens. He said he enjoyed seeing children have a good time interacting with his animals.

“That’s what I like to see,” he said, “the smiles on their faces.”

Other activities included a bounce house, face painting, pony rides, pie and cupcake eating contests, and the chance to paint ArtVan Outreach coordinator Nick Blunier’s car.

Blunier said he just replaced his 1996 Saturn SV 2, and invited anyone who wished to make their mark on the vehicle, which was parked on the side of Bacon Street, to grab a paintbrush. The tempura paint participants were using wasn’t permanent, he said.

The car, he said, got him through high school, but now with more than 200,000 miles on it, the transmission had recently gone out and it doesn’t go in reverse.

“It’s on its last leg for sure,” he said, “I figure, what a way to go out.”

Haley and Sabrina Day of Biddeford were adding to the colorful embellishments that decorated the maroon sedan.

Their father, Paul Day, said they live in the neighborhood and go to the festival every year.

“It’s good for the community,” he said. “I think it’s great for kids.”

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, Ext. 325 or [email protected].

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