Union Founders Day draws hundreds over weekend
Union — Hundreds gathered the weekend of July 20-22 for Founders Day in Union to celebrate the 238th anniversary of the settling of the town.
“It was founded as Sterlingtown after the Scottish town of Stirling,” said John Gibbons, a former selectman in charge of the program, schedule and publicity.
Festivities began Friday morning with a pie social and music on the Common, followed by a Come Spring Bus Tour by the Union Historical Society to review the sites featured in the historical novel, “Come Spring,” by Ben Ames Williams.
“It features a lot of the old families in Union,” Gibbons said of “Come Spring.”
“It’s a good book to read on a few winter nights, when everything is quiet,” he added. “It’s more than 500 pages.”
Maine Guide Lyle Kramer conducted a two-hour canoe trip on Round Pond to cap the first day of the celebration.
Highlighting the second day was a community parade that began in the front of the fire station on Common Road and went into the village center. The theme of the parade and the whole weekend was “Welcome Home Troops” in honor of veterans, said Gibbons.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Midcoast Community Band, several floats, veterans’ groups, fire trucks, a Maine State Police cruiser, an ambulance, a public works truck, antique vehicles, farm vehicles, motorcycles, and local businesses took part in the parade.
At the end of the day, a scaled-down replica of the cabin in the book “Come Spring” was awarded first prize in the float contest. Local builders Herb Griffin and the late John Dewilde built the replica 15 years ago, said Gibbons.
Meanwhile, throughout the day, festivalgoers enjoyed music, drama, demonstrations, games and other entertainment on the Common and ate hot dogs or chicken dinners with fresh corn.
“Come Spring” was featured again, this time with a play, “The Come Spring Chronicles,” adapted from the book, acted by local actors.
Selectman Greg Grotton used his tractor to pull Jeff McCormick’s hay wagon carrying children and adults.
The Midcoast Community Band at the bandstand provided music followed by Joe Murphy and his guitar and Richard and Trish Peek with their unique repertoire. Earlier, Gene Kirkpatrick and his guitar entertained before the parade.
The weekend concluded on Sunday with golf at the Union Country Club and an outdoor worship service on the Common with gospel music by Phil Clement, Ginny Palmer and Sybil Wentworth, and the service conducted by the Rev. George Hodgkins of the Peoples United Methodist Church.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.