Thorndike Day features a parade, food, crafts and live music –

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READFIELD — The weather couldn’t have been better Saturday for a parade, chicken barbecue, live music and outdoor shopping featuring everything from fresh vegetables to wood crafts.

The sun was warm but the air was cool for Thorndike Day, hosted by the town’s Parks & Recreation Committee as a way for residents and visitors to get out, meet and greet others and enjoy some food and fun.

Marie McCormick, 85, stood on the side of Gordon Hill Road with her daughter, Maureen Haley, watching the parade, which included lots of area fire trucks, their lights flashing and horns blaring, antique cars, tractors and big trucks.

“I thought the parade was very nice — nice and long,” McCormick said, smiling. “It’s great to see people getting out to Thorndike. It’s been a long time coming.”

Haley, wife of Unity’s assistant fire chief, Pat Haley, had a more personal reason for watching the parade.

“I came to see my husband in the fire truck,” she said.

About 200 people of all ages lined either side of Gordon Hill to watch the parade, organized by Waldo County Sheriff Jeff Trafton. Children scurried to fetch candy that parade participants tossed their way.

Tom Roberts, with the Thorndike Masons, grills 300 half chickens Saturday on an open fire as part of Thorndike Day. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

In a grassy field off the road, vendors sold food, fresh vegetables and crafts and the Masonic Lodge No. 58 was preparing for its chicken barbecue meal. Mason Tom Roberts, moving quickly in a haze of smoke, turned racks of chickens cut in half over and over as the fowl browned to perfection.

“This is 300 halves,” he said, spraying the chicken with a big bottle of oil and vinegar.

Lodge Master Rusty Mayo said the organization has been hosting barbecues for about 10 years and this is the second year it has done so at Thorndike Day.

Irene Searight of Palmyra stands among her crafts Saturday at her vendor’s table representing her business, Moose Cakes from Maine, during Thorndike Day. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Irene Searight of Palmyra was standing at a table featuring her “Campfire Jug Lights,” hand-painted, one-gallon wine jugs in all sorts of colors. Each jug featured a plastic cork with a switch attached to a 6 1/2-foot string of fairy lights inside the bottle. When switched on, the jugs light up.

“This is my invention,” Searight said. “I was bored one day and invented it. Long winters in Maine.”

Searight, whose business is called Moose Cakes from Maine, also was selling colorful handmade rice bags that may be heated or frozen to place on sore body parts. Her double-crocheted fingerless mittens in myriad colors also were being offered for sale.

Liz Cioe, a member of the Thorndike Parks & Recreation Committee, said the event started more than 30 years ago as Harvest Day.

“We took a long break before we started another event in 2019 when we did the bicentennial,” she said. “I was involved in it 30 years ago and I came back to help.”

Cioe said with everyone so busy, they don’t necessarily get to gather and see friends and neighbors. Thorndike Day is a way to promote that.

“It is a rural area and people have their own lives, so we wanted to have people come together and see friends,” she said.

Cal’s Food Truck sold burgers and fries, River Roots sold wooden benches, teeter-totters and other items. Various other booths touted political candidates, offered alternative health resources and sold metal sculptures.

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