Inside Bridgton

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Happy Birthday, Bridgton!

Bridgton is gearing up to celebrate its 250th anniversary this year and both the Historical Society and the Rufus Porter Museum have planned special events throughout the summer.

The Historical Society received a grant from the Davis Family Foundation and a sponsorship from Norway Savings Bank to support anniversary activities, such as upgrading the Gibbs Avenue Museum and mounting an exhibition about the town’s founders. Town walking tours and Narramissic tours will be available, and the society will kick off the summer on Saturday, July 7, with commemorative events at the Community Center on Depot Street. Those events will include the opening of the 1968 time capsule, which was set aside by the Bicentennial Committee to be revealed this year.

Bridgton in Art and Artifact is the summer’s exhibit at the Rufus Porter Museum on Main Street (across from the library). It features artworks and objects made and used in daily life in Bridgton over two centuries ago. The museum will also be offering a series of “Curious Arts Classes and Lectures” during the summer, as well as guided tours and a gift shop stocked with unique and handmade items. Volunteers are also sought to help out in a variety of positions. A preview of the exhibition will be held on Friday, June 22, from 5-7 p.m. The annual plant sale will take place on the lawn from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

For more information about the Historical Society call 647-3699 or visit www.bridgtonhistory.com. To learn more about the Rufus Porter Museum and events go to www.rufusportermuseum.com or call volunteer coordinator Judy Alderman at 583-9112.

Summer ping pong

Ping pong at the Old Town Hall on North High Street is now on its summer schedule of Tuesdays (except July 3) from 5-8 p.m. The schedule will be in place until the end of August.

Book signing

Local author Robert Spencer will sign copies of his debut novel, “The Spinster’s Hope Chest,” at Bridgton Books, 140 Main St., on Saturday, June 23, from 1-3 p.m.

The book, inspired by a letter found in an old scrapbook at the Waterford Historical Society, is the fictionalized story of Lizzie Millet, who lived in the area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The story begins in Waterford, where Spencer now lives, and contains descriptions of many familiar places as well as the realities of a woman’s life in rural Maine at that time. For more information, call the bookstore at 647-2122.

‘Weathering Shame’

Former Channel 6 weatherman Kevin Mannix and his wife, Linda Rota, will be at the Community Center on Depot Street from 5:30-7 p.m.Monday, June 25, to speak about “Weathering Shame,” the book they co-wrote.

The two will share their stories about growing up in dysfunctional families with mental illness issues. They will also lead a discussion about the impact of mental illness on families and individuals, and recount experiences on their journey to wellness and recovery.

This program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Lake Region Substance Abuse Coalition. Child care is available. Please RSVP with number and ages of children to Jana.Richards@opportunity.alliance.org

New walking map

A new walking map of downtown Bridgton has been developed by Nate Sunday of Tasteful Things on Depot Street with illustrations by local artist Cheryl Johnson. Loon Echo Land Trust, also based on Depot Street, assisted in designing and producing the full-color map. Pick one up at Tasteful Things and other venues around town.

Fourth festivities

Summer officially begins with the annual 4 on the Fourth road race, the parade down Main Street and, of course, the fireworks.

This year the town fireworks display will actually take place at dusk (around 9 p.m.) on Tuesday, July 3, at Stevens Brook Elementary School.

On the following day, the actual 4th of July, the 42nd annual 4 on the Fourth Road Race will begin at 8 a.m. For more information and to register for the race go to www.fouronthefourth.com/registration.asp There will be no registration after 8 p.m. Monday, July 2.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the Rotary Club’s 15th Annual Great Bridgton Duck Race on Stevens Brook that follows the road race. First place duck wins $500! Tickets are available at Renys on the weekends and at the fireworks on July 3. They will also be available by the brook on Main Street on the day of the event.

The annual town parade, with the theme “Happy Birthday Bridgton 250 Years,” will take place on Wednesday, July 4. Participants line up at Hancock Lumber on Portland Road at 9 a.m. Floats will be judged at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to take part in the fun.

Call Bob McHatton at 647-4280 for more information.

Black bear show

On Tuesday, June 26, at 6 p.m., biologist Deb Perkins will join the Lakes Environmental Association  at the Maine Lake Science Center on Willett Road (behind Hannaford) to give a slide show presentation on her field experiences in the Maine woods researching black bears.

Perkins will also share stories of black bears in New Mexico and Tennessee and grizzlies in Yellowstone and Alaska. Learn about bear behavior and biology and the challenges facing bear conservation and management. The cost for LEA members  is $5, non-members $10.

Other upcoming LEA events include a free Family Nature Club Walk in Sebago on Monday, July 2 (meet 4 p.m. at the Spaulding Memorial Library); an Orchid Walk with Ursula Duve on Friday, July 6 (Holt Pond, 9 a.m.), and the 2nd Annual Paddle Battle on Saturday July 7.

For more information about any of these events please contact alanna@leamaine.org

Kevin Mannix and Linda Rota, co-authors of “Weathering Shame,” will speak from 5:30-7 p.m.Monday, June 25, at the Community Center.

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