Casco Days is celebrating 82 years of festival history next weekend.

A poster advertising the first Casco Days, in 1935, shows in a number of ways how the event has changed (and how it hasn’t).

The timing of the parade (2 p.m.) and free concerts and attractions on the midway remain untouched.

A horse show and ox pulling have since been left off the list of activities. The grand prizes have gotten a bit of an update. I 1935, the featured prize was a “home radio” with $100 value.

The poster, displayed on the Casco Days website, is among a collection of historic posters preserved by Harry Perry and donated to the Casco Fire Association.

One thing that has remained the same is Casco Days’ committment to raising money for local organizations, including the fire department and the Casco Village Church. In its first year, Casco Days raised $374. Last year, $120,000 was raised from the three-day festival.

From Thursday, July 28-Saturday, July 30, Casco Days Park will feature games, entertainment and activities. Games for adults include beano, numerals, Bars and Bells, and Beat the Dealer. Younger people may enjoy the coin toss, sports world games, antique carousel, ferris wheel, and fire truck rides.

Games in the park in Casco Village on Route 121 will be open from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to close on Saturday. The festivities kick off Thursday with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Local acoustic folk group Bold Riley will play at 5 p.m. on Friday, with a chicken barbecue starting at the same time. Tickets for the barbecue are $9. The children’s parade starts at 7 p.m. Families interested in participating should arrive at the Village Green outside the Casco Public Library at 5 Leach Hill Road at 6:30 p.m. There is no set theme for the parade, so children are welcome to wear whatever get-up they want.

On Saturday, the high school’s Project Graduation helps kick off a full schedule of events on the right foot – a carbo-loaded pancake breakfast. Starting at 8 a.m., attendees can stack up on pancakes for $6, or $20 for a family of four, and all proceeds will benefit the high school’s end-of-year celebration.

A 4-mile road race to benefit the Casco Fire Association starts at 9:30 a.m. The course is a one-way trip along Mayberry Hill Road, ending at the Casco Days grounds. Bus transportation is provided from the Village Green to the starting line at Powhawtan Road and Coon Road. Pre-registration is available online, and day-of registration is from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. at the Casco Community Center. Runners are required to check in at registration prior to the starting gun, even if they’re pre-registered. The registration fee is $18 until July 22, and $23 starting July 23.

Games on the midway start at 10 a.m. Saturday, with a break from 4:30 p.m- 6 p.m. for a volunteer supper break. The Casco Village Church will also hold a supper starting at 4:30 p.m. Meals for adults are $8, $5 for children under 8 and $21 for families with young children.

Local children’s musical act Rick Charette & the Bubble Gum Band will play at 7 p.m., followed by rock-country band Halfway Rock at 8.

Every night of the festival, the grand prize drawings will start at 10 p.m. On Thursday, the grand prize is 10 lift tickets to Mt. Abrams Ski Resort. Friday, the grand prizes are Norton’s Adirondack Chairs or a weekend getaway at Point Sebago. The final evening grand prizes are a paddleboard or a two-night stay at Migis Lodge.

In addition to the grand prizes, 200 prizes to be given away in 16 drawings spread throughout the weekend. Tickets to enter the bonus prize raffle are $1 each or six for $5.

Although Casco Days staff member Melissa Kluge spends most of the festival occupied with logistics, she still finds time to enjoy the event.

The most rewarding part, she said, “is the fact everybody comes together. You get to see a ton of people you don’t see the rest of the year because we’re busy working and living our lives.”

Casco Days festivities will continue for the 82nd year from July 27-29. The festival is held at Casco Days Park, on Route 121. 

For a schedule of events and more information on Casco Days, visit their website at www.cascodays.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CascoDays


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