THORNDIKE — The sunny weather was near perfect for Thorndike’s Harvest Day Sept. 18, crisp in the morning but warm in the afternoon. The town celebrated its bicentennial in 2019 and the Park and Recreational Committee committed to planning a town event every year following. The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19, according to Select Board Member Jeff Trafton.

There were fewer attendees this year compared to 2019, but Trafton, who is also a member of the Park and Recreational Committee, said it was to be expected because of rising case rates of the coronavirus.

Many vendors and people who had floats in the parade canceled because of coronavirus concerns, but the town decided to go ahead with the event because it was completely outside and people could easily socially distance. It was sponsored by Nova Farms with food donated from Lori’s Café in Liberty.

The event kicked off with a parade featuring several different floats from area businesses and emergency response departments with people onboard throwing candy out to children, who were still picking it up off the road even after the parade ended. Many children had full bags of candy and smiles on their faces.

Children rush to collect candy thrown by parade floats during Thorndike’s Harvest Day Sept. 18. Photo by Kendra Caruso

Afterward, residents meandered along Gordon Hill Road between Route 220 and Thorndike Congregational Church, enjoying the church’s yard sale, the Masons’ chicken barbecue at the Fire Station, train rides offered by Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad and a handful of vendors set up in a field behind Boxcar Books bookstore. There was live music from local performers Sam Ladd, Doug Nye and The Rock and Roots Band.

Proceeds collected by the Park and Recreational Committee went toward funding the development of Mary Gloh Park across from the Post Office on Route 220. Girl Scout Troop 1887 volunteered during the event, running children’s games set up by the committee.

Maria and Ron Valles, both of Thorndike, brought their 3-year-old grandson, Vincent Valles of Winterport, to the event. Vincent’s parents were still in the hospital because his baby sister had been born the day before. His favorite parts of the event included collecting candy and watching the Bryant’s bubble machine in the parade.

Trafton said the town intends to continue the holding event into the foreseeable future and hopes that COVID-19 case counts go down soon so it can host other seasonal events. Select Board members have been trying to make more of an effort over the last couple of years to bring residents closer through such events.

It is about “getting everyone together and just having fun and not worrying about the mundane stuff in life,” Trafton said.

People visit vendors set up in Thorndike during the town’s Harvest Day Sept. 18. Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

Photo by Kendra Caruso

filed under: