STANDISH – Despite unsettled weather, the 14th annual Standish Summer Spectacular kicked off Thursday night at the Sebago Lake Boat Launch with the Taste of Maine event.

“The Taste of Maine was a big success this year,” said Linda Brooks, Standish parks and recreation director and a member of the Spectacular organizing committee. “We had a lot of additional vendors this year and a huge turnout.”

The Taste of Maine event, also known as the Launch of the SSS, featured samples from local eateries such as Standish House of Pizza, the Mediocre Deli in Standish, Galaxie Salsa of Buxton, A La Mexicana Restaurant in Raymond and Katie’s Cupcakes in Gorham.

“It’s a really fun event and a favorite for people in town,” said Diana Mains Allen, organizer of the event. “This year, the event raised funds for the Standish Historical Society and they have done a fabulous job organizing it.”

Events continued Saturday with the annual parade along Route 25 starting at 10 a.m., Community Marketplace, and Strawberry Pie contest.

“The parade was even bigger and better this year,” said Brooks. “We had a lot more participants, sponsors and attendees.“

Due to rain Friday, musicians Flamin’ Raymin’ and Sizzlin’ Suzzin’ were rescheduled from Friday to Sunday night but the crowd didn’t seem to mind the change of day.

“They worked their magic with the crowd as usual,” said Mains Allen. “Lots of dancing, limbo, hula hooping and line dancing going on and smiles all around.”

The activities at Kiwanis Beach were cut short due to a thunder and lightning storm, but the fireworks went off as scheduled after the storm passed through.

“We are very appreciative of Kiwanis for opening up their beach at no cost, the town of Standish for sponsoring the fireworks show, Standish Recreation Committee for sponsoring Flamin’ Raymin’ and Sizzlin’ Suzzin’, the American Legion for taking care of the parking and traffic after the show and to Standish Public Safety and Standish Fire Department for being on hand for potential fire suppression,” Mains Allen said.

Brooks said the five-member Spectacular committee – consisting of Brooks, Mains Allen, Bill Tracy, Jeanine Dalton and Dee Thibault – will be taking a short rest before they start planning for 2014.

“We’re going to take a few days off,” said Brooks. “Then we’ll start taking requests for next year.”

Members of the Bonny Eagle Robotics Team (BERT) follow their namesake creation down the parade route. Longtime Standish resident Elmer Alley served as the grand marshal for the Standish Summer Spectacular parade on Saturday. Courtesy photo by Diana Mains AllenThe Exchange Street Quartet, made up of Ryan Norfleet, Miles Hunt, George Feinberg and Mike Soper, performed Thursday night at the Taste of Maine event at the Standish Boat Launch on Sebago Lake. Courtesy photo by Diana Mains Allen Members of Brownie Troop 689 ride down the route of the Standish Summer Spectacular parade Saturday morning. Photos by Rich Obrey 

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