Everybody Loves Raymond, ME is back for a third year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year, the event coincides with the fifth annual UCAN 5K, which will be held on Saturday July 22, 2017. Both events take place at Sheri Gagnon Memorial Park on Mill Street in Raymond.
The fun kicks off with a decorated boat parade on Friday, July 21, and then continues throughout the day on Saturday, July 22 with the 5K, a parade down Main Street, games, food, live music, petting zoo and more.
This year, the event is being organized by the Raymond Village Library. Sheila Bourque, President of the Board of Trustees at the Raymond Village Library, said that after being approached by the Raymond Business Revitalization Committee, who put the event together last year, the library board decided to take it on. “We feel the library is kind of a community center,” Bourque said. The goal is to provide a fun celebration for the community. “It’s not a fundraiser, it’s just a fun day,” she said.
The library board has added a number of new elements to the event in an effort to draw more people; including the boat parade, live music throughout the day, children’s events and fun activities for all ages. The concession stand at the park will be open all afternoon offering: lunch items, and sno-cones, cotton candy, popcorn and a bake sale will also be offered. Craft vendors will offer a variety of wares, and any non-profit organization that wants to, can set up a table at no cost.
Featured children’s events are: a bike decorating contest, the opportunity for any child to wear a costume and march in the parade, face painting, a bounce house and slide, Smiling Hill Farm petting zoo, and an activity with Tin Mountain Conservation.
Activities for all ages include: a dunk tank, tug of war, pie eating contest, water balloon toss and sack races. Another silly addition is the cheese doodle toss; this is a two-person event involving one person wearing a shower cap covered in whipped cream and having cheese doodles tossed at them by a partner. The team that sticks the most cheese doodles to the whipped cream will be declared the winner.
The UCAN 5K will kick off the events on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. “In an effort to make this event even more memorable, we have joined with the kind volunteers of Everybody Loves Raymond Day,” said Ed Gagne, one of the UCAN 5K organizers. “Following the UCAN, you can enjoy live bands, a parade, and plenty of fun for the entire family.”
The annual UCAN 5K is held in memory of Candace Woolston. “Candace was involved in our community in so many ways. This is our way of giving back to her family and friends,” said Gagne. Money raised at the race will be used for playground upgrades at the park.
Participants can register for the race at www.runsignup.com or www.runinarace.com. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the race can contact Gagne at 207-252-5112 or Ed.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live bands will bring a wide variety of musical styles to the festival beginning at 9 a.m. with The Flavors. At 10:30 a.m., The Rubber Band will perform. At noon, Emily and Phil Allen take the stage, and at 1:30 p.m. the live music wraps up with Sleep for the Satisfied. In between live bands, music will be played over the PA system to enhance the festive environment.
The library has tried to reach out to the whole community to see what they’d like to do for the event, Bourque said. This kind of event is important, she adds, because Raymond doesn’t have a downtown or a community center. “There’s no central place for people,” said Bourque.
Taking on the organization of this event aligns with the strategic plan of the library, Bourque said. “We do believe that we have a responsibility to bring the community together. Something like this, we feel is just a fun event to get people from different parts of town in the same place.”
Bringing people together is what makes an event like this successful. “What I find here in Raymond, is that if you reach out and ask, most people will help,” said Bourque. The Raymond Fire Department is a big help for the event, as is the Public Works Department, she said. Many community groups, including Raymond Rec, the PTO, Scout groups and the library will march in the parade. “It’s not a big fancy parade. There’s no marching band, there’s no floats, but to have everybody get together on one day, we just think it’s a good idea,” said Bourque.
To register for the boat parade, sign up to be a vendor, become a sponsor, or for more information on Everybody Loves Raymond, ME visit www.raymondvillagelibrary.org.