Raymond held its first every Everyone hearts Raymond, ME festival this past Saturday with a Medal of Honor ceremony, a parade and a carnival like event at Sherri Gagnon Park.
“It went awesome. It exceeded our expectations,” said Danielle Loring, director of development for the Town of Raymond and co-organizer.
It was estimated that between all of the events approximately 300 people turned out to share their love of Raymond. “For our size, that’s really good,” said Loring. There were also amazing volunteers, according to Carrie Colby, the other co-organizer.
Although the day was overcast, people were still willing to be in the dunk tank, eat snacks from the snack shack and have cotton candy. Loring also thought the vendors we pleased with the turn out. The committee also brought in $500 in donations toward next year’s event. They did not charge for cotton candy or slushies, but donations were accepted.
Loring felt the parade was the greatest success of the day because of the ability to close down the roads and have positive support of the parade. Although the parade was small, the spectators lined the roads.
“When we saw that parade come down the road toward the ball field, we could have cried,” said Loring of herself and Colby.
Colby was pleased that the Raymond Fire/Safety Department and the Sherriff’s Department ran the whole parade, from setting the pace to making sure everyone was safe.
The feedback so far has been positive with many people volunteering to help next year.
“We couldn’t ask for a better result for the first year,” Loring concluded. “Carrie was a wonderful co-coordinator and I will continue to work with the revitalization committee with this.”
On July 16 at 8 a.m. at The Donut Shop on Route 302 in Raymond, anyone interested in giving feedback and helping with next year’s event should be in attendance. They will discuss what didn’t work and how to improve the event.
One suggestion they will work on is attempting to bring together more community events into this one. If they are under one umbrella it will add diversity, said Loring.