Celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of Sanford, a barn dance on July 20 had families, friends and neighbors getting down to everything from bluegrass to the Macarena.

“There’s a lot of events this year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sanford in 1768,” said Randy White, a city employee who is also on the historical committee. “It’s kind of cool because Sanford has had the U.S. flag flying over it, and it used to have the British flag flying over it prior to 1776.”

Ellen and Jack McAdam, the seventh generation to own and run McDougal Orchards, opened up their barn to celebrate the anniversary of a town-turned-city that has been around just one generation longer than their family-run apple orchards. In 1779, Ellen’s family bought the farm, which was then part of Massachusetts, for 52 British pounds and 10 shillings.

“This brings people up here, and it’s good for the city,” said Jack McAdam, whose barn twinkled with strings of white lights as the Bootcut Boys played country favorites and Emily’s Woodfired Pizza, Gotta Be Frank and Capt. Jack’s Cider Donuts kept everyone satisfied.

“This is a great occasion to get out with neighbors and friends to have a great time,” said Mayor Tom Cote, catching up with city residents alongside his wife, Pam.

“We wanted to do some different events that we haven’t done in the past to bring the community together,” said Sherry Lord, executive assistant to the city manager. “And we wanted to make the events cheap enough that whole families would come.”

Upcoming events include a summer block party and antique/classic car show on Main Street on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., the Great Pumpkin Festival on Sept. 29 and the Sanford International Film Festival Oct. 16-21. Meanwhile, McDougal Orchards’ apple-picking season has opened.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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