WATERVILLE — Crowds filled sun-splashed Head of Falls on Wednesday for the annual Taste of Waterville festival that featured plenty of food trucks, beer and wine tasting, a cornhole tournament and musical acts performing from noon to nightfall.

The celebration has been held for more than 30 years and has become one of the city’s most popular events. Its purpose is simple: celebrate Waterville as a community and support local vendors and businesses.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is the primary organizer of the festival and the head of the Chamber said its primary goal is to remind residents and tourists of what the city has to offer.

“We’re trying to celebrate the restaurants and retailers in our region and draw more people here to dine, shop and live,” said Kimberly Lindlof, president and CEO of the Chamber.

Taste of Waterville, like many other festivals, faltered during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it saw resurgent numbers last year, both in terms of vendors and visitors. Approximately 10,000 people were expected to turn out Wednesday along the banks of the Kennebec River downtown.

Temperatures last year for the event were oppressive but this year people walked about under sunny skies with temperatures comfortably in the 70s.

“I’m fond of going around and sampling food from the different vendors,” Lindlof said. “I mean, that’s why it was originally created and that’s probably my favorite part of it.”

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