The 10th annual Bacon Street Festival returns Sunday, with a host of activities available for family members of all ages. SUBMITTED PHOTO/Courtesy of Linda Waters

The 10th annual Bacon Street Festival returns Sunday, with a host of activities available for family members of all ages. SUBMITTED PHOTO/Courtesy of Linda Waters

BIDDEFORD — August is just around the corner, and Biddeford residents know that means the return of the Bacon Street Festival.

The festival, held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, is the 10th anniversary of the block party intended to celebrate the Bacon Street neighborhood, which in recent years has seen significant revitalization and rehabilitation.

Part of National Night Out, a nationwide anti-crime, drug and violence event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, the event is designed to bring the community together while highlighting that progress, said Linda Waters, the city’s community development coordinator.

“This is an annual grassroots neighborhood event,” Waters said in a prepared statement. “The participation from the neighborhood, organizations and businesses is incredible. We are looking forward to having a great time again this year.”

This year’s festival promises to please all who attend and partake in the free — yes, free — events, many of them geared toward family members of all ages.

Featured will be a petting zoo sponsored by Saco and Biddeford Savings Institution, games and food, a beach-themed play area, an interactive puppet show, radio controlled car races, a bounce house, pedal car races, and more activities for all ages.

Live music will also be available. The Ketch Fish Band and BillyBilly will be performing live throughout the afternoon. The ArtVan Program, which provides a summer art program for children, will be supplying the recyclable decorations for the festival, Waters said.

And, yes, the Bacon Street Fairy will make an appearance.

“I always enjoy everybody at the festival coming together: the neighborhood and especially the families,” Waters said by phone Wednesday morning. “It’s all free and anybody from anywhere can come to the festival. We want to showcase Biddeford.”

The city recevied awards in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for its participation in National Night Out and its revitalization efforts in the Bacon Street neighborhood, according to Waters. The city has annually competed with more than 15,000 communities across the country. for this recognition, and it has been the only community awarded in Maine.

National Night Out is Tuesday, but communities across the country will celebrate the awareness event all week long. The event, Waters has said, invites people to take a pride in their neighborhood and stand against negative connotations of where they might live.

The redevelopment of the Bacon Street neighborhood has done just that, she said.

Among the projects are the rehabilitation efforts of a former complex of four buildings previously owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Among them, the former rectory, was purchased by the Biddeford Housing Authority and Southern Maine Affordable Housing for $100,000 in 2014. Since then, the first floor has been converted into a community center, and housing has been installed in the complex as well.

Waters said those developments have made the neighborhood more family-friendly, and livened up the community.

“It certainly of a beautiful jewel of the neighborhood,” she said. “We’ve seen a total revitalization.”

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]

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