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UMFK's 125th Anniversary to take center stage during annual "Come to Campus Days" and Scarecrow Festival.

August 29, 2003

NR03130

The University of Maine at Fort Kent is preparing to celebrate the institution's 125th anniversary during its annual alumni and friends weekend, which is being held in conjunction with Fort Kent's annual Scarecrow Festival on September 19, 20, 21.

"Come to Campus Days" and the tenth annual Scarecrow Festival will feature a good mix of university and community events, including a parade, gala banquet, soccer games, and an afternoon of music.

Festivities will get underway on Friday, September 19, at 11:00 a.m. with the inauguration ceremony of UMFK's ninth president, Richard W. Cost in the university's Fox Auditorium. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a luncheon.

The public is invited to attend both events. Individuals interested in attending the luncheon should contact Diane Nadeau-Saucier in the inaugural office at 834-7800.

At 2:30 p.m. on Friday, a symposium entitled "Higher Education in Rural America" will be held in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room. The event will feature a number of leaders in the field of higher education.

An art show opening, featuring the works of numerous local artists who are faculty, students, staff, alumni or friends of UMFK, will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Blake Library Art Gallery. The public is invited to attend the wine and cheese reception and meet the artists.

On Friday evening, the public is encouraged to attend "UMFK: A 125th Birthday Bash", a social gathering at 6:00 p.m. in the University SportsCenter. The birthday party will feature free refreshments and an opportunity to enjoy the sounds of jazz music performed by the UMFK Jazz Ensemble.

Saturday's events will get underway at 8:00 a.m. with a free Geographic Information Systems (GIS) workshop in Cyr Hall. The session will be followed at 9:30 a.m. with a second informational seminar on Geographic Positioning System. Interested individuals should reserve their space with Dave Hobbins by calling 834-7614.

The Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce will host the second annual recreational vehicle swap and sell Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. under a tent beside the 24-hour Irving Mainway in downtown Fort Kent. Snowmobile and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) dealers will be on site to accept offers.

At 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the "Come to Campus Days" and Scarecrow Festival parade will depart from the courthouse and make its way down Market and Main Streets, up Hall Street, across Elm Street and up Pleasant Street to the university where it will end. The themes for the parade are UMFK 125 and Scarecrow.

Businesses, individuals and organizations interested in placing an entry in the parade are encouraged to contact the UMFK university relations office at 834-7557.

Fort Kent will take a step back to the early days of the Madawaska Training School (a forerunner of UMFK) with horse drawn wagon rides from the campus through downtown immediately following the parade.

Two back-to-back soccer matches between the University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengals and Fighting Saints of St. Joseph's College in Vermont will be held on Alumni Memorial Field at the university. The women's teams from both schools will play at 1:00 p.m., followed by the men's squads at 3:00 p.m.

Country Cottage Bookstore in downtown Fort Kent will host a children's storytelling hour at 2:30 p.m.

A highlight event of the weekend, UMFK's 125th anniversary gala banquet, will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a social in the University SportsCenter. The banquet will feature a meal, ceremony and dance.

Individuals being honored at the event include UMFK alumni Father David Raymond and Ryan Pelletier, St. Agatha Town Manager. Also receiving awards will be current university student Meranda Hafford of Washburn and State Senator John L. Martin.

Music for the event will be provided by the Jerry T. Band of Madawaska.

The dinner/dance is open to the public. Tickets are $15 each and must be reserved before September 11, from members of the UMFK Alumni Association or through the university relations office by calling 834-7557.

Events will continue on Sunday, September 21, with two back-to-back soccer matches between the UMFK Bengals and the Hornets of Vermont's Lyndon State College at Alumni Memorial Field. The women will take the field at 12:00 noon and the men's teams will do battle at 2:00 p.m.

The community will celebrate the Scarecrow Festival with "Music in the Park", an open-air concert and family fun day in Fort Kent's Riverside Park at 1:30 p.m.

For more information on the events or for a complete schedule, contact UMFK at 834-7557 or the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce at 834-5354.