Beautiful Bridgton

There are moments in life that you wish could last forever, and last weekend was one of them. The endless sunshine and dry crisp air was the perfect backdrop for a magical Bridgton moment. As I walked from the bustling Farmer’s Market up Main Hill to Art in the Park, I felt so happy for our visitors and so lucky to call this lovely little town home.

The Market was bursting with fresh local veggies, flowers, baked goods and crafts, and the artists in the park reported strong sales. I bought a huge bunch of Lacinato kale and collards from Geof Hancock of Alma Farms, then found a gorgeous diachronic-style glass birdbath at the fair. We have so many talented artists and artisans in our midst, and it was awesome to see them getting so much support.

Fabulous Festivals

Speaking of all the local talent in town, the Village Folk Fest is coming up on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22 and 23. I’ll be writing more on this fun fair as it approaches, but it is a free family festival created to celebrate all of the amazing craftspeople, farmers and musicians who live here. Depot Street will be closed to vehicle traffic and the street party will include live music all day and night, games and events for kids, vendors from across the region, and a delicious home-cooked Farm-to-Table harvest dinner. Please join us; we have so much to celebrate!

DamJam

And while Denmark is slightly outside of Bridgton, I have to mention the upcoming DamJam being held there from 3 p.m.-midnight Saturday, Aug. 2.

Jamie Hook and the Denmark Arts Center have enlivened the town with their eclectic offerings these past few years, including first-run indie movies, dance and musical events, and the now-infamous annual Burlesque Bash. This year’s performance sold out so fast there were dozens of people begging to get in and trying to buy tickets from lucky attendees.

The DamJam will be held in the beautiful Bicentennial Park right on Route 160 in downtown Denmark, and will feature many entertaining bands and performers. They will also have a Beer Garden with Maine craft brewers, and lots of locally made food. Check out their page on Facebook, or go to www.denmarkarts.org for more information.

Vicki Victorious

Congratulations to local dynamo and fellow Lakes Region Weekly columnist Vicki Toole on her newest endeavor, the Fountain of You. Toole has led workout classes around the area for years, and has finally consolidated her fitness studio and event space. Join Vicki and her team for their open house and ribbon cutting at her new spot at 703 Roosevelt Trail in Naples, formerly Causeway Family Fitness.

The big night is Friday, July 25, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and will feature my darling friend Rijah Newell, Jen Klein, and Fountain of You Fitness for a Middle Eastern-themed open house. Refreshments, belly dancing mini classes and performance, and tarot card reading will be all part of the fun. Come check out the space and celebrate with these lovely ladies. For more information, call 939-2436 or check out www.fountainofyoufitness.com.

Plan for the Future

The future of development in Bridgton is an issue all home and business owners should care about. Should we revisit our zoning laws? Should we encourage specific architectural standards on future buildings? The Comprehensive Plan Committee has been meeting faithfully every week for three years to discuss these and many other issues, and they are ready to put their findings to the test: a local vote.

Please join the committee, town officers and Economic Development Director Anne Krieg at the Depot Street Tap House on Monday, July 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. for a spirited discussion. For the sake of full disclosure, I am a co-owner of the Tap House but this special event is not-for-profit, we aren’t open on Mondays. I have followed the efforts of the Comp Committee since its inception and am offering the use of the space as a resident of Bridgton. The meeting is open to everyone, year-round residents, “summer” people or just those visiting us who might be interested in the dynamics of a small Maine town’s politics. See you there!

Sensational

The Magic Lantern, our local gem of a movie theater, has long supported Maine filmmakers, small indies, and charitable causes. Now they are reaching out to those people who live with autism, ADHD and other sensory issues.

Join them on the last Wednesday of every month for a “Sensory-Friendly Feature” at 10 a.m. Much of today’s CGI, 3-D and WrapAround Sound can be terrifying for those with certain conditions, so these movies will be shown in a comfortable environment with the lights turned up slightly and the sound lowered. Please check their website at www.magiclanternmovies.com or call 647-9326.

Porter Paints

With today’s technology and mass-produced goods conspiring to relegate domestic arts to the past, the Rufus Porter Museum is offering classes to ensure their survival.

The museum’s eighth annual Cultural Heritage Series will be held from Aug. 6-8, and features a wide range of classes including Theorem Stenciling, Rug Braiding and Rufus Porter Style Painting. Porter was an itinerant artist famous for earning his room and board by painting realistic pastoral murals on the walls of inns and private homes. If you are interested in attending this fascinating program, check out www.rufusportermuseum.org to register and for more information.

The DamJam lineup at Denmark Arts Center for Aug. 2 is extensive, and its advertising flyer beautifully decorated by Lisa Pixley. 


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