Downtown Houlton plays host to two festivals over the weekend

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:52 AM EDT
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Houlton, Maine (WAGM) - Downtown Houlton was bustling with people on Saturday as the town hosted two festivals--one of them brand new. News Source 8′s Sherry Karabin was there.

From uniquely designed crafts and fresh produce to a chance to enjoy some live music, downtown Houlton came alive on Saturday as the annual Harvest Festival returned to Market Square and the Houlton Music & Arts Festival made its debut right down the street.

Dustin Hartnett, co-founder of the Houlton Music & Arts Festival, “My wife and I own the UnContained Art Center down here on the left and basically we were thinking about trying to have an arts and music festival here in town. Months ago, my wife did speak to the chamber and they gave us this date to do it. We’re hoping to do it every year. Hopefully it’ll grow every year. We are personally doing it for the purpose of raising money for local art-music scholarships. There are other organizations here like the dog salon was raising money for the Ark Animal Shelter; the music store here is working with the lunch cart over here and they are selling Kielbasa to raise money for the Houlton Animal Society.”

The festival featured a variety of groups and solo performers, as well as a chalk art competition and other activities for younger patrons to enjoy.

Rachel Mazzella, patron “So you came out specifically for this? Yeah, yeah. They have a lot of stuff and we have a lot of kids so I came down for the pumpkin painting and the music and it’s been a real blast.”

Peter Mazzella, patron “I love this spot we’ve been here for hours today and they provide such a nice day for the kids and as my daughter said there are so many parties around here. I love it.”

For others like this Bridgewater couple, it’s their first time at both events, although the Harvest Festival is what caught their attention initially.

Tonya Edmunds, patron “It’s really nice; a good presentation of everything here...vegetables and fresh breads and crafts.”

Ebbie Edmunds, patron, “I think it’s good for the town; a little bit of excitement.”

Sherry Karabin Reporting “Organizers of both events say things couldn’t have worked out any better, with the two festivals piggybacking off one another, right down to some of the musicians who performed.”

Rosalind Morgan band member “Herding Unicorns,” “The Harvest Fest asked us to played here, the new music fest asked us to play there.”

A double performance request, they were excited to accommodate. As for the name Herding Unicorns, let’s just say just say it was well thought out.

Rosalind Morgan, band member, “Herding Unicorns, “I think our name says a lot because if you’ve ever tried herding cats, so getting us all on the same page is frequently a little more trying than cats, so we’re Herding Unicorns. Unique, magical, all that fun stuff we have a fairly eclectic music list; we play some stuff from the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s.”

Just a sampling of some of the sounds patrons enjoyed throughout the day and into the evening. In Houlton, this is Sherry Karabin reporting for News Source 8.>