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Milbridge Days Festival offers economic boost to local vendors, businesses

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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MILBRIDGE, Maine (WABI) - Milbridge Days is back, Saturday was the big finale with the parade and later on, fireworks.

After missing last year, the event returned with record numbers.

“Typically we start planning with a year in advance. We only had two and a half to three months to plan this. However the community came together. There was so much pent up energy, people wanting to get outdoors. Couldn’t ask for a better day than this by the way. It never rains on Milbridge Days, that’s the old statement,” said Richard Bondurant, Volunteer Organizer.

The streets are lined with games and activities for kids.

“People are excited. We printed up almost 700 schedules and maps. They were gone in the first hour so that’s pretty exciting,” said Bondurant.

“It means a lot to us. I’ve been attending Milbridge Days since I was a kid. Obviously since I was a kid and it’s so much fun to watch it grow. It kind of had dwindled down and then especially with COVID everything dwindled down. So to watch it comeback as big as it is today is really awesome,” said Kristen Nabarrete, Owner of the Milbridge House Restaurant.

Not only are the streets packed, vendors and local businesses are too.

“This is a huge economic impact for Washington County and Eastern Hancock County. Especially for the vendors this year because last year almost every event was cancelled. So these vendors have not been able to sell items,” said Bondurant.

“It’s life! I mean being able to go to each booth and being able to talk with people again. Being able to interact and boost the economy that way. Like you said we do have a lot of independent artists and vendors in our area. It’s kind of what our area thrives off of,” said Nabarrete.

Cherryfield Ambulance has struggled to fundraise through the pandemic.

Saturday they auctioned off a Maine Made quilt to help towards their charitable causes.

“The proceeds go to helping kids and animals. You can’t get out there and sell. Even like we did at the ball games at the high schools and stuff,” said Cherry Trafton with Cherryfield Ambulance.

“We’ve been promoting buy locally, spend locally. I expect we’ll have by far the largest crowd here in town that we’ve ever had,” said Bondurant.

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