OAKLAND — Humid weather and the threat of rain didn’t deter hundreds of people from turning out for the fourth annual OakFest on Saturday, to enjoy live music, visit vendors and watch a parade, among other events.

OakFest, which concludes Sunday, kicked off on Friday with local artisans displaying their work under a tent, which was followed by a parade. The 25 floats began their journey at Williams Elementary School and wove down Pleasant, Main and Church streets, ending at the boat landing on Old Belgrade Road. The parade honored first responders, including police officers, firefighters and Delta emergency medical technicians.

The annual street dance followed the parade, with live music from RJ the DJ and The Rockit Band.

Saturday’s event also featured live music, with spectators packed underneath tents to keep cool. Several vendor tents also peppered the lawn of the Williams school, where the event was held.

Kathy Paradis, chair of OakFest, said every year the turnout grows. This year, she said three bands were playing– a first for OakFest, as was having the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment present to fire off their cannon.

Also new to the festivities on Saturday was a classic car show.

The festival will conclude with the Paddle, Pedal, Pound the Pavement triathlon Sunday morning. The course begins with a 2.5-mile canoe or kayak paddle loop on Messalonskee Lake, continues on a 12-mile bike loop from the boat landing to Route 23 and back to Oak Street, and ends with a 3.1-mile run from the boat landing, through town and around trails behind the middle school back to the boat landing.

Town Manager Gary Bowman said OakFest is a huge plus for the community, as it brings many people to Oakland. “Things are changing,” he said.

 


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