10th PeaksFest to celebrate 'nutty' side of island life in Portland

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PORTLAND — The annual PeaksFest will take place this weekend all over Peaks Island.

Resident David Cohan said the original concept was for a block party on Peaks Island about decade ago. But what he discovered was that islanders were hungry for an all-island party to celebrate their community, talents and, of course, the summer weather.

“It just mushroomed,” Cohan said. “There was a pent-up demand on the island.”

Cohan said the event has always been an opportunity for residents to showcase their talents, businesses and organizations.

But it’s also a chance put politics aside, even when divisive issues such secession are on everyone’s mind.

“Whether you have strong beliefs one way or the other, this one weekend you’re a Peaks Islander,” Cohan said. “We revel in the fact that we’re a little whacked out, that we’re a little nutty. And it’s just sort of fun to be Peaks Islanders.”

The three-day event kicks off with the community “schmoozefest” and Bingo starting at 6 p.m. at the Trefethen Evergreen Improvement Association clubhouse. Some refreshments will be provided, but attendees should bring their own food and drinks.

A Scottish ceilidh dance and concert will take place from 8-10 p.m. at the Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial.

More than two dozen different events are scheduled between 8 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Island organizations, artists, authors, craftspeople and business people will be set up on the dock alongside the ferry terminal from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Other events include hula-hooping, a puppet show and a costume parade that departs from Welch Street at 1:30 p.m.

There will also be a “traditional ham and bean suppah” from 5:30-7 p.m. and a Excelsior Cornet Band concert from 4-6 p.m. at the Fifth Maine. A PeaksFest jam session is scheduled from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Eighth Maine Regiment.

Open houses and tours of municipal facilities will also be offered.

And the “anything goes so decorate your bike, scooter, stroller, skateboard, golf cart, grocery cart, pick-up truck, rolley-suitcase or wheelbarrow pie parade” is at 1 p.m. on the Legion Lawn.

“It’s really kind of cool that everyone gets involved,” Cohan said.

More meals, events and tours are scheduled for Sunday. For a complete list of events, go to PeaksFest.com.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @randybillings

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