Patti’s April 17 “Inside New Gloucester” Column


crowd watching Bald Hill Band

A large crowd enjoys the music of the Bald Hill Band, a local favorite, at an April 12 concert to benefit the Dorothy Larrabee Youth Development Fund at New Beginnings, serving at-risk, runaway and homeless youth in the Lewiston area.  Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Sheep Shearing Festival

Pineland Farms will be hosting a Sheep Shearing Festival on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, April 26.

Sheep shearing demonstrations will be presented by Jeff Burchstead of Buckwheat Blossom Farm in Wiscasset at 10:30 a.m., 12:20 p.m., and 2:15 p.m. Sheep dog demonstrations will be given by Joe Grady of Two Coves Farm in Harpswell at 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Ongoing activities include wash wool, spin wool, race-the-clock shearing, face painting, sheep-themed crafts, and fiber artisan displays.

Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, for $5 per person, then take a trolley bus ride to the Family Farmyard, site of the festival.

Examine a Vernal Pool

Come explore your back yard by joining the Rain or Shine Club, sponsored by the Royal River Conservation Trust, for a no-cost, guided mini-adventure of its preserves and trails every Thursday, starting at 10 a.m.

Members of the public are welcome to meet on Winsaw Road in New Gloucester, under the power lines, 10 a.m., Thursday, April 23. This excursion will be lead by RRCT Naturalist, and long standing Board executive, Eugenie Francine, who will focus on vernal pool examination.

The duration of Rain or Shine Club outings is typically an hour or so. The goal is to make them accessible for most everyone, even young children (self-ambulatory or lugged by a caretaker). Adventurers planning to join in should bring their tallest rubber boots, polarized sunglasses, and a sense of wonder at witnessing life springing from these amazing little pools of primordial ooze. This is a quiet, gentle style of observation, so dogs are not welcome on this outing. Contact RRCT Stewardship Director Kyle Warren at 632-6112, or, for more details.

Discard Your Unused Medications Safely

Beth Blakeman-Pohl, of New Gloucester, who is the Drug-Free Communities Director at Casco Bay Create Awareness Now, is informing the public of the next Drug Take Back Day from 10-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, at the Cumberland, Freeport, Falmouth, and Yarmouth police stations. She reports that this is a statewide effort and residents can bring items to dispose of at any location. Contact her at 865-3985 ext. 208 for more information.

Taking Steps to End Hunger

Fight hunger in our community and around the world by participating in the CROP Hunger Walk, Sunday, May 3. Register now to walk or to sponsor a walker. Funds raised through sponsorships support both the New Gloucester Food Pantry and critical disaster and refugee work around the world through Church World Service.

The registration time is 10:45 a.m., and the 6.2-mile walk starts at 11 a.m., at the First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester. The trek will be held rain or shine.

Walkers are asked to pick up a sponsor sheet at the First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester. Those not planning to partake in the trek can sponsor a walker by coordinating through the church office. Another alternative is to register or donate online at, click on the state of Maine, then New Gloucester CROP Hunger Walk. Per usual, contributions may be made to the New Gloucester Food Pantry at any time:  P.O. Box 114, New Gloucester, 04260. For more information, call the church office at 926-3260.

Tickets Now Available for Shaker Music Festival

Tickets are now on sale for The Maine Festival of American Music, hosted by the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. All of the concerts will take place in the Shaker’s 1794 Meeting House, one of Maineʼs most beautiful and acoustically superb venues for vocal and instrumental performances. The tenth anniversary of The Maine Festival of American Music: Its Roots and Traditions is set for Wednesday, June 24 through Saturday, June 27.

Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m., “Celebrating Our Musical Heritage” – Matthew Szemela, fusion violinist/violist, performs contemporary interpretations of classical composers and incorporates tradition Shaker music through his unique improvisational style.

Thursday, June 25, 7 p.m., “Land of Pure Delight” – Composer Kevin Siegfried leads The Portsmouth Singers in a program of Shaker songs. Brother Arnold Hadd shares insights about the Shaker songwriters.

Friday, June 26, 7 p.m., “Engaging the Spirit of Shaker Music” – Led by Chris Moore of 317 Main Community Music Center, students perform folk music.

Saturday, June 27, 7 p.m., “Exploring Our Roots and Dreams” – The Portland String Quartet continues its 40-year-long history of performing in the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Meeting House.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults; students age 21 or under are admitted free with reservation. See for payment information and more concert details, or call 926-4597.

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