New playground open

Children in the area now have another recreational option – a playground located at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds, 106 Bald Hill Road. The facility is open during daylight hours and closes at dusk.

The town’s Parks and Recreation Committee, headed up by Director Harvey Price Jr., devoted many years to the planning process, from the financing, including a federal grant, to erecting the equipment. The playground project finished up on Aug. 10.

“We had a great group of volunteers who put in significant hours. Some are on the Parks and Recreation Committee, some aren’t. A few don’t even have kids or grandkids. They were there because it’s a community project,” Price said.

Another undertaking at the fairgrounds is building a pavilion. Price estimated that the framework should be in place by the end of August, and volunteers will be sought for a community build of the roof afterward. Once the pavilion, which is adjacent to the fairgrounds, is done, hopefully in mid-September, there will be a ribbon cutting/grand opening to showcase the two projects.

Summer reading wrap-up

The New Gloucester Public Library will host its end of the summer reading program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22. The evening includes the Library Players’ presentation of an original work, “NGPL Guy + RedRay: Perspective,” written by Jobin Terranova, a local student. Actors range in age from 4 to 14.

Following the play, there will be an awarding of certificates for those that have participated in the summer reading program. There also will be a presentation by Josh Sparks, of Sparks Ark, based in New Gloucester. Rumor has it that Baxter the Library Cat also will be visiting.

Light refreshments will be served. You don’t have to be a part of the summer reading program to come; everyone is welcome. There will be a limited amount of chairs, so attendees may want to bring blankets or lawn chairs.

G-NG Rallies for Ava

On Saturday, Aug. 26, there will be a fundraiser for Ava Winslow, 10, of New Gloucester, who has been waging a courageous battle against osteosarcoma (bone cancer) since her diagnosis March 1. She is currently undergoing an extensive chemotherapy treatment.

Gray-New Gloucester Rallies for Ava will take place from 3-7 p.m. at American Legion Post 86, 15 Lewiston Road, Gray. The entry fee of $5 per person includes kids’ activities – a slime table, bounce house, dunk tank, touch a truck/monster fire truck and face painting, as well as Mr. Drew and His Animals Too from 4-6 p.m.

Items not included in the entry fee will be Ava Strong T-shirts, a silent auction, popcorn/cotton candy, food, beverages, bake sale and 50/50 raffle. All proceeds will go to Ava’s family to help with some of the expenses associated with her treatment.

Native American Summer Market

The ninth annual festival of Maine’s finest, award-winning Native American artists will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road. The Maine Native American Summer Market provides a rare opportunity to purchase museum-quality crafts directly from Maine’s finest Wabanaki artists. A wide selection of crafts is offered for a range of prices from a few dollars to several hundred. Cash or personal checks are accepted by all of the artists.

More than 40 members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes will demonstrate traditional Wabanaki art forms including basket making, stone carving, bark etching, beadwork and jewelry, in addition to featured performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling by the Burnurwurbskek Singers and Dancers from the Penobscot Nation. This is the southernmost gathering of Wabanaki artists in the state of Maine. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn about and experience first-hand Maine’s Native American culture.

Barbecue dinner plates will be for sale to the public, while supplies last. Admission is free, and the event will occur rain or shine.

USM Dean’s List

The following New Gloucester students were named to the University of Southern Maine Spring Semester 2017 Dean’s List: Ashley Comeau, Joanna Densmore,  Collin Skilling, Stacy Burton, Bryce Skilling, Caroline Verrill and Emilee Chammings.

Ellie Jean Cosgrove, 5, of Freeport, left, Nicholas Pinette, 6, of Westbrook, and Reilly Lund, 4, of New Gloucester, try out the new playground at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds, 106 Bald Hill Road.