'The show will go on': North Yarmouth Fun Day is back, despite Wescustogo Hall fire
NORTH YARMOUTH — After flames claimed the town's landmark Wescustogo Hall the night of Aug. 29, some people probably wondered whether Fun Day, the town's annual celebration held on the adjoining grounds, would still take place just weeks later.
But North Yarmouth is showing that the tragedy won't keep it down, and that there's still much to celebrate.
The annual gathering, in the works since January by the town's Events Committee, will be held on schedule this Saturday, Sept. 21. It's the first day of autumn, and this year's Fun Day theme is "Summersault into Fall."
"We'll be squeezing things in," committee Chairman Jason Raven said in a press release. "But the show will go on."
The Events Committee will incorporate a remembrance of the 1950s Grange hall as part of Fun Day, and its members want the community to enjoy the day while reflecting on the loss. The North Yarmouth Historical Society also plans to start gathering images of the hall that residents may have in their private collections. More information on that project will be available at Fun Day.
Wescustogo's expansive interior had been the place for presentations and children's activities in prior Fun Days, and it was reserved as the rain location for events planned for the bandstand. Although most of the committee's supplies for the event – such as tables and chairs for vendors and games pieces – had been stored in the building and were destroyed, some were kept in a nearby shed and were preserved.
The town and committee have been working together to rent replacements for what was lost. A games area for children, adjacent to the building, will be moved to a place on the opposite side of the Village Green.
Raven, who was a firefighter at the Wescustogo blaze, said Sunday that without Wescustogo serving as a rain location, the use of North Yarmouth Memorial School is one alternative being considered.
There would have to be "pretty serious rain to not have us to (Fun Day)," he said.
Raven said he will also be interested to see how the fire will affect attendance, and said he hopes the community "will rally around" and use the event to show its solidarity.
A parade kicks off Saturday's celebration at 9 a.m., from Fat Andy's on Route 115 to the Village Green. An opening ceremony, where Bob Geyer and Ursula Baier will be presented with the 2013 North Yarmouth Distinguished Citizen awards, will start at 9:30 a.m.
Other events throughout the day include DJ Mixx and karaoke, a diaper derby, somersault races, live music, and games and food. Log onto northyarmouthevents.org for a full schedule.