There was no “shushing” during the New Gloucester Public Library’s 134th birthday party on March 19. Among the 64 guests were Jen and Peter Bragdon in the back row and Deb Chandler and former Library Director Suzan Hawkins in the front, Former librarian Peg Becksvoort is at the lectern. Patti Mikkelsen/ For Lakes Region Weekly

Maple Weekend: How sweet it is

Smother your pancakes with maple syrup tapped and boiled at Royal River Orchards, 201 Peacock Hill Road, during Maine Maple Weekend March 26 and 27. Owners David and Leslee Clark are your hosts for this al fresco event.

Pancake breakfasts with all the fixings take place both days from 9 a.m. to noon, or until they sell out. Outdoor seating and to-go options are available. The menu includes made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes with syrup, maple baked beans, ham, applesauce and hot chocolate or coffee. The cost is $10 per person.

Boiling demonstrations will occur on both days from 9 a.m. until late afternoon, or until the sap runs out. The barn store will be open for maple sales from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to plenty of syrup, there are maple baked goods, jars of applesauce and apple butter for sale. For more information, call 625-4756.

Celebrating a local legacy

Members of the First Congregational Christian Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, invite you to celebrate the ministry of the Rev. Linda Gard upon her retirement after having served as the local pastor for 21 years. Those who can’t join the worship service in the sanctuary at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 27, are invited to join via Zoom through https://us06web.zoom.us/j/5298114094. The meeting ID is 529 811 4094.

Parishioners will be presenting Gard with a monetary gift in gratitude for her ministry and to wish her well upon her retirement. Checks can be mailed to First Congregational Christian Church, P.O. Box 114, New Gloucester, ME 04260 with “Linda’s Retirement” noted in the memo line.

A book of pictures, as well as notes of gratitude and memories of Gard’s tenure in New Gloucester, is being assembled. Email a photo, memory, or note of thanks to [email protected] by April 1.

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Livable Community Group

Livable Community Group – with a tagline of Building Livability in New Gloucester, or BLING – has recently been formed in town. The fledgling group is diminutive in size but brimming with enthusiasm, and they invite others to get involved.

Their first step is finding out what residents believe are the most pressing issues and priorities. A subset of the group is developing a community needs assessment survey they hope to make available to the community in the coming months.

Group members also want to discover more about what neighboring towns with similar initiatives are doing: the lessons they’ve learned, how they have organized and the challenges and opportunities they have encountered. To that end, a community info Zoom session is being planned this spring to obtain input from some area aging in place and livable community volunteers.

Local citizens have been working with the town’s library and recreation directors to find some easy action ideas to implement, and a few have already begun. To discover more about BLING, email [email protected]

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