Lack of Lodging in Houlton for Shriners Convention

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 4:42 PM EDT
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - The Anah Temple Shriners will be hosting the summer ceremonial later this month in Houlton. But with the lack of lodging in the area, it has caused issues for Shriners finding a place to stay. Our WAGM reporter Isaac Potter has the story.

Many Shriners will be gathering together in the town of Houlton for the Anah Temple Shriners Summer Ceremonial from June 16th-18th to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The ceremonial happens every year in the current potentate’s hometown. Galen White of Houlton, was selected as the 100th potentate, and this will be the first time the event will be held in the County in a decade.

There will be lots of events planned including a golf tournament, a parade, a DJ dance for the Shriners and guests, and the ceremonial to induct 15-25 new shriners. But planning the event has caused issues for the more than 250 people trying to find a place to stay. Houlton only has three hotels in the area, Ivey’s Motor Lodge, the Shiretown Inn and Suites, and the Stardust Motel. Most of the rooms were booked by construction workers and contractors from Louisiana Pacific working on a major plant renovation. While it was chaotic trying to find places to stay, since then White says he is glad that things have worked out.

Galen White, the Current Potentate of Anah Temple Shriners, says “They finished one phase of the construction, a lot of the people had left and has freed up a lot of rooms. And last time I checked, we only had 3-5 people on a waiting list for cancellations.”

White says they have every room that they could possibly get booked in Houlton, Mars Hill, Presque Isle, Medway, and Smyrna. He also mentions The Houlton Town Council has also allowed Shriners to park campers up beside the Miller Arena in Houlton.

White mentions “And that’s just to handle the overflow, which I expect less than half a dozen campers. We do have that option for the people, but they have to know they are restricted to what is called dry camping. They can’t dump anything, everything has to be self-contained, they got to have water, and all that stuff.”

White says that he is excited for the event, and finds it an honor to serve as the sitting potentate. White says he hopes to see a good crowd for the parade in Houlton on June 18th at 2:00 p.m.

White also says “Nothing worse than showing up for a Shrine parade with a whole bunch of Shrine units, and a whole bunch of people that show off what we do, and have nobody standing on the sidelines. I would like to see the streets lined like they are for the fourth of July.”

Isaac Potter, News Source 8

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