Casco Days in 2016. Contributed / Kevin Murphy

Casco residents are looking forward to the return of the annual Casco Days celebration next week.

After a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival will be back in full swing July 29-31 for its 86th annual celebration.

“It’s an event that’s been a family tradition for lots of people over the years,” said Erin Plummer, Casco Days’ event manager. “Last year was hard on so many fronts, but without some of those signature pieces that people look forward to every year, the overwhelming response has been really positive. People cannot wait for Casco Days.”

Casco Days is sponsored by the Casco Day Fair Association and located at Casco Day Park. The event will kick off Thursday, with the midway opening at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. and the grand prize drawing at 10 p.m. On Friday, there will be a chicken barbecue and live music at 5 p.m., followed by the midway opening, a children’s parade at 7 p.m. and a grand prize drawing later in the evening.

“It has this small-town, unique, family-oriented, festival-feel because it’s all volunteer run. The Casco Bay fair Association owns and operates all of the rides, and we just have a few signature events that people really look forward to,” Plummer said.

The celebration concludes Saturday with a full day of activities, beginning with the Benefit Pancake Breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by the 42nd Annual Road Race at 9:30 a.m. The midway will open at 10 a.m. and the Grand Parade will step off at 2 p.m. There will be a Midway Volunteer Supper and Church Supper, both starting at 4:30 p.m., a Children’s Concert at 7 p.m. and, at 10 p.m., the final Grand Prize drawing will occur.

To see the full Casco Days schedule, visit cascodays.com.

The festival continues to draw families and friends from around the area to the celebration.

“I’ve lived in different place and make it back when I can, but now that I live in Maine, it’s definitely something we always have on the calendar,” said Alaina LeBlanc Tridente, membership and tourism manager for the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce.

“I have a 2-year-old now, and he wasn’t able to experience it last year,” Tridente said. “I think it’s been a very long year and a half, and families have been cooped up and there hasn’t been much to look forward to, and knowing that I can start making this tradition with my little guy means the world to me.”

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