Highlights include flash mob dance

Thousands celebrate Summer Solstice soiree

Updated with video
By Larry Di Giovanni | Jun 21, 2014
Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni A flash mob dance formed June 21 during the annual Summer Solstice celebration, its members starting their entertainment at 6 p.m. near The Grasshopper Shop at 400 Main St.

Rockland — People gathered in downtown Rockland June 21 for the Annual Summer Solstice Celebration, enjoying good food, live bands, and activities including the traditional Whoopie Pie-Eating Contest and an audience-pleasing flash mob dance.

The event, produced by Rockland Main Street, Inc., and sponsored by Camden National Bank, closed Main Street to traffic for four hours so that families, friends --many of them the four-legged variety -- and all gathered could enjoy a sunny afternoon during the first day of summer.

Rockland Main Street Inc. Executive Director Gordon Page Sr. said he was appreciative of all vendors and merchants involved in Summer Solstice, as well as more than 20 volunteers who make the event happen. He emphasized that it was smoke-free this year.

Page gave a special thanks to volunteers Karyn Rizzo and Deena Carafelli, whom he said handled the event's advance planning.

Courier Publications reporter Larry Di Giovanni can be reached at 594-4401 x. 117, or by email at: ldigiovanni@villagesoup.com.

Flash Mob
(Video by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Many onlookers decided to join the flash mob dance. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
The audience viewing the annual Whoopie-Pie Eating Contest, sponsored by Rockland Cafe, witnessed a very close finish in the last contest. Alex Young of Rockland, left, a Husson College student and football player, prevailed by eating two whoopie pies first. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
Whoopie Pie-Eating contest winner Alex Young of Rockland received a $25 gift certificate from Auto Zone — plus a very large whoopie pie to take home and enjoy later. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
The Juke Rockets, one five live bands performing during Summer Solstice, consists of members, from left, Ron Casillo, lead guitar; Carlene Thornton, lead vocalist; Tim Woitowitz, drummer; and Steve Mellor on bass. The "high octane blues" band has won the honor of being Maine's top blues band the past two years, and has represented the state to compete against other bands in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
"Iron Orchid," otherwise known as Erin Darnell of Rockland, and a member of The Rock Coast Rollers roller derby league, practices her roller skating before a team demonstration. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
The Rock Coast Rollers, giving a roller derby demonstration to Summer Solstice onlookers, consist of two local teams — The Perfect Storm, their "A" team, and The Breakwater Blackhearts, their "B" team. Both will compete in a six-team roller derby competition July 12 at Rockport's Midcoast Recreation Center starting at 4 p.m. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
Autumn Deabler, 9, of Rockland, waits patiently as Oceanside High School East student and Key Club member Becca Boggs paints a rainbow on her face. Watching intently is Autumn's sister, Jordan. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
Members of VK Studio Red, an organization that educates children through dance performance, pleased the crowd with their moves. From left, dancers Phoebe Acker, Ava Brooks,and Ella Knause perform in bridesmaids' attire. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
Jamie Gallagher of The Pixel Fund, a non-profit organization in Maine that saves the lives of shelter pets through rescue, education,and advocacy, was on hand at Summer Solstice to sign up applicants who will foster pets — and possibly own them some day. Also pictured is Charlie, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever mix who is available for future adoption. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
HoopME, a group Hula-Hoop enthusiasts, perform during Summer Soltice. They are, from left, Beth Heidemann of Rockland, Tristan Korpinen of Warren,and HoopME business owner Maria Randolph. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
From left, sisters Sydney Wallace, 9, and Hudson, 4, of Rockland, wait on fries, hot dogs, and lemonade in the company of their mother, Jamie Wallace, and English retriever, Goose. (Photo by: Larry Di Giovanni)
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Staff Profile

Larry Di Giovanni
207 594-4401 ext. 117
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Larry Di Giovanni, a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, is returning to his daily reporting roots in order to cover the city of Rockland for The Courier-Gazette. Originally from Athens, Ohio, his family includes one son, Tony.

Di Giovanni has covered news beats ranging from the city of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to the largest tribal government in the United States — the Navajo Nation. He has also worked as a writer in the public education and higher education fields. He's an animal enthusiast and loves dogs.

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