The 22nd annual Great Falls Balloon Festival, set for August 15 through 17 in Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston, will feature a pirate-themed weekend. Visitors and area residents will enjoy the sight of dozens of hot air balloons – including featured entries Pegleg Pete and Sunny Boy – as they take to the skies over the Androscoggin River and Great Falls. Balloon launches will take place Friday through Sunday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting. Balloon rides will be available; arrange in advance at www.greatfallsballoonfestival.org.
Hebron Academy is launching a hockey team for students entering grades 6 through 8. As part of the Southern Maine Middle School Hockey League (SMMSHL), the team will be open to male and female students attending Hebron Academy and for students in the local community who live in towns which are not already supported by a SMMSHL team.
Located in Hebron, Hebron Academy is an independent college preparatory boarding and day school for boys and girls in grades six through postgraduate. Hebron’s small population consisting of students from around the world are challenged and inspired to reach their highest potential through small classes, knowledgeable and caring teachers who provide individual attention, and a friendly, respectful, family atmosphere. For more information, call (207) 966-2100 or see www.hebronacademy.org.
The Poland Fire Rescue Department recently became the first buyer of a new, amphibious vehicle that the Department’s Chief feels will help them save lives in cold water and ice rescue emergencies.
The AIR Responder, a new vehicle produced by WISE Technology, is capable of carrying multiple people (up to 900 pounds combined) across solid and broken ice as well as open water, reducing the risk to rescue personal who, using traditional methods, might otherwise become victims themselves.
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Freeport Players will present a lavish production of “The Wizard of Oz” from July 17 through 27. Audiences can expect to see fabulous costumes and sets, a giant talking Wizard head, a tornado, the Wicked Witch melting into the floor, the exciting revelation of “Technicolor” when Dorothy arrives in Oz, and more.
Making a special appearance on Sunday, July 20, at 12:30 p.m., before the 2 p.m. matinee performance, will be Willard Carroll, the world’s premier collector of original Wizard of Oz memorabilia and founding partner of the soon-to-open National Oz Museum.
Carroll will answer questions about his collection and the museum and will show a brief video. He began collecting Oz memorabilia as a child and now owns thousands of rare and one-of-a-kind items, including the hourglass used by the Wicked Witch, an original costume worn by one of the Lollipop Guild Munchkins, and a dress worn by Judy Garland.
For the second year in a row, The Public Theatre in Lewiston has been voted “Best Theatre in Maine” by readers of Down East Magazine in its annual readers’ poll.
“To be included in this list, selected by the readers of Down East or its editorial team, means that you are truly part of what makes Maine great,” said Down East editor-in-chief Kathleen Fleury. “Our readers and team take the task of selecting this annual ‘Best Of” list very seriously. It really is an honor.”
“Winning this award two years in a row is a great victory for us and for Lewiston-Auburn,” said Artistic Director Christopher Schario, who also acknowledged another Lewiston business, The Vault, on their award for “Best Wine Store.” “We’re located a few blocks away from each other on Lisbon Street in downtown Lewiston, and I think this award is indicative of the exciting and positive things happening in our community.”
On Saturday, July 19 at 8 p.m., Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris will present a special second-cut screening of Michael Miclon’s original comic feature film, “Richard3.”
Founder of BooDog Films and the Oddfellow Theater, Miclon has created several videos and short films over the last eleven years. A veteran of live performance, he’s perhaps best known locally for “The Early Evening Show,” the longest running variety show in Maine history.
A concert to benefit former Franco Center Director Louis Morin, who suffered a life-threatening stroke in March, will take place at the Franco Center on Saturday, July 19 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The event will feature live performances by several of Maine’s finest bands, including Rustic Overtones, the Grateful Dead tribute band Lazy Lightning, the Phish tribute band Pardon Me Doug, and The Kind. Getting the night started will be local favorite $2 Pistol.
The Franco Center is donating the use of its Heritage Hall for the event and all the bands are performing gratis. Prior to taking the Director’s position at the Franco Center, Morin spent many years working for and with MPBN and has been a lifelong supporter of local music and the arts. He was one of the original members of the bands Lazy Lightning and The Kind.
The 32nd annual Moxie Festival, running Friday through Sunday, July 11 through 13 at various Lisbon venues, will feature three new events for 2014.
The Kavanaugh Amusement Carnival will run from Thursday through Sunday at Don’s Automotive on Capital Avenue, just off of Route 196. Featuring 10 to 12 rides, games, food vendors, and other activities for all ages, the Carnival will operate on Thursday from 5:30 to 10:00, Friday from 5:30 to 11:00, Saturday from noon to 11:00, and Sunday from 11 to 5:00. A $16 bracelet will provide unlimited access to rides on Thursday and Sunday; rides on Friday and Saturday will be by ticket only.
The Franco Center in Lewiston has selected Mitchell Clyde Thomas of Durham to be its new Executive Director. Thomas will join the Center’s staff as the third director in its 14-year history. He replaces Louis Morin, who suffered a severe stroke in March. Board Chairman and Interim Executive Director Raymond Lagueux made the announcement last week on behalf of the Board of Directors.