Family activities will highlight the 17th Annual Strawberry Festival and Parade in Lincolnville Center on Saturday, July 9. A balloon twister; artistic crafts and active games for children; a band concert and other live music, traditional sales, and the serving of everything strawberry are planned so there’s something for everyone.

This year’s festive parade again includes a large children’s unit, a miniature horse, the Lincolnville Band, antique cars, fire trucks, contingents from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Masons and other annual favorites, all led by bagpiper Ross Faneuf.

The parade begins 10 a.m. at Drake Corner and proceeds north on Main Street (Routes 52 and 173) to the Community Building and United Christian Church, sponsor of the event. All additional activities, including the serving of strawberry shortcake, will take place there and on the grounds.

Children are invited to gather across from the old fire station on Main Street at 9:30 a.m. to decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons or strollers. (Parents are invited to parade with their children.) Participants may come with their own creations or use crepe paper streamers that will be provided. Last year’s unit included 50 children, and organizers are hoping even more will enjoy being in the parade this year. They can view the first half before joining it midway and see the last half from the church grounds.

Diverse activities mark the 17th annual festival, but it is homemade strawberry shortcake that reigns supreme. The strawberries were hand-picked and prepared by church members and are served traditionally on fresh homemade biscuits. The cost is $4 for a full serving and $2 for a half cake for children and those not prepared to tackle a full serving. Berry pies will also be available by the piece. They will be sold until about 2 p.m. or until the berries are depleted.

Hot dogs, vegetarian wraps and popcorn will also be available.

The Lincolnville Band will play in concert from its float after the parade (about 10:30 a.m.), followed by the Breezemere Bottom Boys playing under the apple trees about 11 a.m.

Children’s crafts and games begin after the parade, and those under the age of 8 must have adult supervision to participate. There is no charge for any children’s activity, but parental donations are welcomed to help offset expenses.

Teenager Kyle Edgerly of Belfast began twisting balloons when a clown showed him a simple dog design. He then studied more complex creations and now manipulates balloons into many fun and fanciful creatures. He is known locally for bringing as much fun to adults watching him as to the children who are waiting for their balloons. He will be on site 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Other outdoor activities for children include three games with pocket prizes, a strawberry beanbag toss; roving clown Marie Berry; and miniature horse Annie Sue, courtesy of Alexandra Doan of Moose Ridge Farm. A children’s raffle of toy baskets is through tickets that are awarded to each child after they play a game and also by purchase.

Indoor children’s arts and crafts include face painting, crown making, yarn collages, fan painting, fabric bracelet decorating—and a bug house.

There are many attractions to keep adults busy too: a tent full of good used books, movies and CDs; a sale of knitted, crocheted and sewn items from local artists; a White Elephant sale of collectibles—including signed and dated Victorian dolls by Sandy Callahan and old fire engine replicas—and other gently used household items and toys; specialty food items including baked goods, jams, jellies and relishes; prints from watercolor artist Marcia Anderson; plants from local gardeners; and a 50-50 raffle

To keep the children safe, there will be no parking on the church grounds, but handicapped parking is next door, behind the telephone company garage. A walker or wheelchair can be supplied at the drop-off point upon request for access to seating. Other parking is in the lot across from the church and on-street.

The Strawberry Festival benefits the United Church of Christ of Lincolnville, which maintains the historic Old Meeting House and the Community Building next door.

Visitors are encouraged to tour the church and view historical displays. It was built in 1821 by Joshua Lamb and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Federalist-style building retains original features such as individual boxed pews with doors, a pulpit in the balcony, and a lower pulpit flanked by the original entrance doors. The structure has been disturbed as little as possible, though a parish room now provides a rear entrance to the sanctuary and a small meeting place.

The United Christian Church of Lincolnville is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It is open year round and welcomes people of all faiths. For more information, see ucclincolnville.org.

The community celebration is held rain or shine. Doors open at 9 a.m. Indoor seating and some outdoor seating are provided. For more information call Lois at 763-4170 or Lola at 236-2525 or email EventsLincolnvilleUCC@gmail.com.