August 12, 2005
The town of Fort Kent will come alive next month with a series of events billed as "September to Remember".
A community-wide activity calendar is being developed through the coordinated efforts of the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Northern Maine Medical Center, The St. John Valley Partnership, the 10th Mountain Division Ski Club, and the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.
Featured events include a community festival, bicycle rally, half-marathon, merchant promotions, and dozens of other activities.
Festivities kick-off on September 1, with the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce annual Green Ribbon merchant promotion at participating area businesses. The event, which is being coordinated with the return of students to the UMFK campus for a new academic year, will run through September 7.
The University will celebrate the arrival of new students to the campus community with a two-day orientation, on September 6 and 7. Activities will include a comedy night on Wednesday, September 7 featuring comedian Chris "Boom Boom" Johnson. The event will be held in the Fox Auditorium at 7:00 p.m., and is open to the public at a cost of $5 per person.
On the morning of Saturday, September 10, the St. John Valley Partnership will sponsor a community diabetes awareness walk that will begin at the Fort Kent Elementary School. For more information, contact the partnership at 834-4187.
Sunday, September 11 will feature the first-ever "Rally in the Valley" Bicycle Festival at the world class 10th Mountain Ski Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The daylong festival for youth ages five through 17 will feature a variety of fun filled events where everyone will have an opportunity to learn and try out a variety of skills at age appropriate levels. Rally participants will be able to select pursuits in such areas in the speed, power, distance riding, sprints, hill climb, and balance, as well as bike maintenance.
The "Rally in the Valley" event is sponsored by Northern Maine Medical Center in collaboration with the 10th Mountain Ski Center. For more information or to register, call 834-4186.
The following weekend of September 16, 17 and 18 will bring to the area the annual Greater Fort Kent Area Scarecrow Festival and University of Maine at Fort Kent Come to Campus Days celebrations.
The three-days of festivities feature many events, including a dance with the popular Northern Maine band the "Rock Dox", a parade and the first-ever Downtown Fort Kent Street Festival.
The street festival, planned for Friday evening, September 16, will feature four different areas of live entertainment, as well as food and amusements set up on West Main Street, which will be blocked off to vehicle traffic.
For more information on Scarecrow Festival events, contact the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce at 834-5354. Fore more information on Come to Campus Days events, contact the UMFK university relations office at 834-7557.
During the final weekend of the month, Northern Maine Medical Center and the Edgar J. (Guy) Paradis Cancer Fund will present another first, the Fall Foliage Classic, a half marathon to be held Sunday, September 25, beginning at the Frenchville Community Center.
For more information on this event, call Northern Maine Medical Center at 834-3195, ext: 3135.
The final event of the month will occur on Friday, September 30, when the University of Maine at Fort Kent and Northern Maine Medical Center present a Business Networking Breakfast on the future of rural health care in the St. John Valley.
The breakfast will be held at UMFK with presenters from NMMC. More information on this event will be released in the coming weeks.
In addition to the community-wide events, numerous local businesses will be hosting events and running special promotions during "September to Remember".
A media campaign to promote the special month will be launched in the coming days.
The concept for the idea of collaborating events into a single promotion came during a meeting held earlier this summer between representatives of UMFK, NMMC, the Chamber, St. John Valley Partnership and 10th Mountain Division Ski Club, all of which had planned events in September.
The collaborative promotion was modeled after a similar community-wide initiative launched last March during a very active month for Fort Kent, which included the Can-Am Sled Dog Races and IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships.