Hadley Johnson plays on the swing set at Riverbank Park in Westbrook Monday with her mom close by. Erica Johnson said she and Hadley are excited about the return of Together Days this June. Chance Viles / American Journal

After not being held for two years because of the pandemic, Westbrook’s Together Days is coming back in full force this year, complete with fireworks and the traditional parade.

“We are coming on strong,” said Suzanne Joyce, president of the Westbrook-Gorham Community Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the popular family festival. “A lot of things won’t skip a beat from three years ago.”

Based at Riverbank Park, Together Days has drawn upward of 10,000-15,000 people to the city in past years. In addition to the big community parade, the festival features music, food and other vendors, carnival rides, games and more. When COVID-19 forced the cancellation in 2020, it was the first time in 41 years the festival hadn’t been held. An abbreviated version was planned for last year, but bad weather shut that down, too.

The festival will begin on the afternoon of June 3 and continue throughout the next day.

Mina Khilwati plays with her daughter Muskan Monday at Riverbank Park, where Together Days will be held the first weekend in June. Khilwati said she looks forward to the return of the family festival, especially because Muskan will be able to enjoy it more. They attended the last time the festival was held, when her daughter was only 1. Chance Viles / American Journal

“We are getting so much positive feedback, it’s unbelievable,” Joyce said.

Parents are among those happy about the the festival’s return.

Advertisement

“I am excited, I can’t wait to take (my daughter), it’ll be fun,” Mina Khilwati said this week during an outing at Riverbank Park. “She was only 1 last time the parade happened, with the pandemic derailing everything, so it’ll be like her first year.”

Parent Erica Johnson agreed.

“It’ll just be a great thing for us,” said Johnson, playing with her daughter Hadley at the park.

Mayor Mike Foley, who has been attending the event since he was a child, said he looks “forward to being there to support the event and helping the community return to normalcy.”

“I think the pent-up demand for something like this to happen in the community is evident. We are excited it is able to return to its full potential and that we are able to have this celebration in our community again,” Foley said Tuesday. 

Together Days will kick off at 4:30 p.m. June 3 with a performance by the award-winning Westbrook High School Jazz Ensemble, followed on stage by other local musical favorites, including Motor Booty Affair and Recycled Percussion. Other music groups also have been lined up for Friday evening and Saturday.

Advertisement

Saturday’s activities will start at 10 a.m. with the parade, themed “Together Again,” with a contest for best float. A fireworks show will cap off the festival that evening.

“We really want to drive up interest, because we really want this to be the best year ever,” Joyce said.

Organizers are looking for additional sponsors and volunteers. Sponsor money goes directly to the cost of operating Together Days, with any leftover funds going towards scholarships for Gorham and Westbrook students, Joyce said. Volunteers help with everything from crowd control to dismantling booths and other equipment after the festival comes to a close.

To sponsor the event or volunteer, reach out to Joyce at 831-6705 or email her at [email protected]

Westbrook Together Days draws thousands of visitors and will make a full return this year. File photo

A young ballplayer takes a throw at the dunk tank in hopes of sinking his coach in the cold water at 2019’s Together Days at Riverbank Park. File photo

Comments are not available on this story.