EVENTS: Oakfest scheduled for July 26-28, 2024

Gerry Butler rides a chicken during the 2023 Oakfest parade. (contributed photo)

Come experience a weekend of family fun Friday through Sunday, July 26 – July 28, and see why Oakfest is rated among the “10 Best Outdoor Festivals in Maine” this summer!

This year’s Oakfest theme is “Christmas in July” with three days of family entertainment beginning Friday evening with food, music, and a parade on Main Street, in Oakland. The day starts at 4 p.m., with a children’s Lions Club Safari “Bowling with Coconuts “at the Camden National Bank parking lot and tours at Memorial Hall, on Church Street. Food trucks are available from 5 – 11 p.m., and the American Legion Beer Tent will be open for over 21 years old until 11 p.m. The evening events kick off with a performance by the Highland Bag Pipes at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Christmas in July Parade at 6 p.m. Enjoy music by “RJ the DJ” Richard Jandreau, and come out for a street dance to live music by the Roy Hudson Band from 8 to 11 p.m., sponsored by the American Legion.

Saturday’s ShineOn Oakland festivities start at 9 a.m. behind Williams Elementary School, at 55 Pleasant Street, in Oakland, with an expansive, 75-booth ShineOn Oakland Open Air Market. The day-long event features Maine-made artisans and crafters, an extensive variety of food vendors, dozens of fun children’s activities, including bounce houses, water activities, a climbing wall, and carnival games, sponsored by Kingdom Life Church. Have your children choose a free book, as part of the ShineOnCass Literacy Project. Plus there will be a Cruise-In Classic Car Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy live music until 3 p.m., at the ShineOn Oakland Stage, plus much more.

Claire Slevinsky shows the free book she received at the 2023 Oakfest. (contributed photo)

At dusk, bring the kids to an Outdoor Movie Night presentation of Migration presented by Kingdom Life Church. Please bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch the movie. In case of inclement weather, Movie Night will be held at Kingdom Life Church, 191 High Street, in Oakland.

Rise and Shine on Sunday at 10 a.m., at the Oakland Gazebo, 22 Old Belgrade Road, in Oakland, to watch the Oakfest Christmas in July Boat Parade, led by Eric Seekins. Then enjoy live music from 1 to 3 p.m., by Ryan Michaud, grab lunch at Hero’s On Wheels Food Truck from 2:30 to 5 p.m., and stay for a free Elvis In Concert with Don Boudreau from 3 to 5 p.m., all overlooking beautiful Messalonskee Lake.

Oakfest is proudly sponsored by the Town of Oakland, Oakland American Legion, Oakland Lions Club, Kingdom Life Church, First Park, Kennebec Valley Federal Credit Union, Hometown Auto, Bri By Designs, Valley Beverage, Oakland Waterfront Park Summer Concert Series and the ShineOnCass Foundation.

Oakfest is pleased to partner with the ShineOnCass Foundation to provide an annual community support project to the summer festival. This year Oakfest will “Shine a Light on Literacy” by providing free books to children who attend ShineOn Oakland Day on Saturday. For more information about the project, visit

“We are excited to welcome back hundreds of attendees to Oakfest 2024, offering food, music and family-friendly activities for all ages. Oakfest is the place to be this summer in Maine,” says Oakfest Committee Chairman Kathy Paradis, who along with a committee of volunteers, coordinates the annual community festival.

For more information about Oakfest 2024, call Kathy Paradis at 207-465-7357, visit the Town of Oakland Facebook Page or

Griffin Brown named to the College of Charleston president’s list

Griffin Brown, of Oakland, was named to the College of Charleston Spring 2024 president’s list, in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown is majoring in physics.





Local students named to president’s list at Plymouth State University

Local students have been named to the Plymouth State University president’s list for the spring 2024 semester, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Named were:

Dylan Flewelling, of Oakland. Flewelling is a exercise and sport physiology major.
Joscelyn Gagnon, of Benton. Gagnon is a music education (K-12) major.
Kaiden Kelley, of South China. Kelley is an art and design major.
Abigail Sewall, of Jefferson. Sewall is a nursing major.

Oakland American Legion busy with official ceremonies (2024)

Paying tribute

Oakland American Legion Post #51 paying tribute to the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, at Memorial Hall, during the Memorial Day parade on May 27. From left to right, Patrick Linehan, Colin Clifford, Brian King, Jeff Stevens, John Palmer and Sgt. at Arms Dave Germain.
(photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)

New flag & pole dedication

On May 14, members of American Legion Decker-Simmons Post #51 gathered with Legion Riders to dedicate a new flag and pole at veteran Brian Danforth’s home, on Fairfield St., in Oakland. The veterans who live there had lost their flag and pole during a windstorm this past winter. Legion Riders were notified, took action and replaced both the pole and flag. (photo by Wally McKenney)

Memorial Day observance

The rain stopped just in time for the American Legion Decker-Simmons Post #51 parade to get underway. With a ceremony to honor all who gave their lives at Lakeview Cemetery, Commander Jeffrey Flye gave a speech that was followed by the honor guard performing a rifle salute to the fallen. Left to right, Mark Spencer, Winslow VFW Commander Mike Dumont, Tina Zelberek, John Palmer, Jeff Stevens, Brian King, Colin Clifford, Jeffrey Flye, Patric Linehan, Winslow VFW Quartermaster Chris Soucy and Tom Dechaine. (photo by Wally McKenney)


American Legion Riders of Post #51, in Oakland, recently held a fundraiser, hosting a Pebble Art class. There were 25 students who managed to raise $385 for veterans through donations and a 50/50 raffle. The members of Legion Riders were very pleased with the turnout. Overall, it was well-received, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Numerous attendees inquired about the next class, so they are looking into organizing another one soon. (photo by Wally McKenney)

Flag retirement

Photo by Wally McKenney

American Legion Decker-Simmons Post #51 Oakland, with Grover-Hinckley Post #14, held a ceremony retiring many U.S. flags. A moment of silence was observed for the 80th anniversary of the 153,000 men who lost their lives on D-Day. Above, Post #51 Commander Jeffrey Flye begins disposal process.

Photo by Wally McKenney

If anyone has a flag that is faded, tattered, or torn you can bring the flag to any American Legion Post to have it properly disposed.

Bodhi Littlefield named to Ohio University dean’s list

Ohio University Patton College of Education, in Athens, Ohio, student Bodhi Littlefield, of Oakland, has been named to Ohio’s Fall 2023 dean’s list.

Oakland Memorial Day parade and ceremony go on despite rain (2024)

The weather did not hamper crowd enthusiasm. (photo by Wally McKenney)

by Mark Huard

For the past three years since the pandemic, the Oakland American Legion Post #51 has directed the Annual Memorial Day parade which is one of the largest in Central Maine. Veterans lined the front of the parade to local school bands, classic cars, military vehicles, Police and Fire departments, Shriners and among many others. Each year they are looking for more to participate. Any groups are encouraged to contact the post for next year’s attendance.

The Kora Drifters are a parade unit of the Kora Shrine, in Lewiston. The Drifters were started by Bernie Fortin, of Vassalboro, in 2018, and have since expanded to 14 members. They raise funds for the Shriners hospitals, in Massachusetts, and all money raised goes to those charities. Any other expenses they pay out-of-pocket. They are known for their distinctive bright green colors and love to entertain. The Shriners are currently scheduled to parade in 27 different events this year, to include Maine’s largest festivals such as the Clam Festival, the Moxie Festival, and the Lobster Festival. Really what you have is 14 guys dedicated to supporting child patients at the hospitals. With the added bonus of making people happy at the same time. On Memorial Day they participated in parades in Oakland, Skowhegan, and Old Orchard Beach.

Tracey Frost riding in the Memorial Day Parade. (photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)

SNHU announces winter 2024 honors

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), in Manchester, New Hampshire,  announces the following students being named to the Winter 2024 President’s List.
Justin Drescher, of Augusta,  Ivette Hernandez Cortez, of Augusta, Grant Brown, of Augusta,  Matthew Bandyk, of Jefferson, Jennifer Anastasio, of Jefferson, Talon Mosher, of Winslow,  Quincy Giustra, of Winslow,  Candice Eaton, of Waterville, Sierra Winson, of Winslow, Andre Coachman, of Waterville, Carrielee Harvey, of Waterville, Heather Hall, of Canaan, Stormy Wentworth, of Fairfield, Misty Ray, of Montville, Zachary Eggen, of Liberty, Christopher Beaman, of Madison, Emily Hernandez, of Embden, Blake Laweryson, of North Anson, and Van Boardman, of Oakland.
The following students were named to the Winter 2024 dean’s list:
Brandon Stinson, of Augusta, Nicholas Stutler, of Sidney, Jaimie Thomas, of Sidney, Grace Marshall, of Waterville, and Ashley Parks, of Anson.

EVENTS: Memorial Day ceremonies in Oakland

Memorial Day activities in Oakland will include the following:

A ceremony will be held at Lakeview Cemetery at 11 a.m., before the parade, and at Memorial Hall during the parade

The parade will begin at noon, traveling down Pleasant Street, right onto Main St., continuing to Memorial Hall for the ceremony on Water St. and ending at the Post Office.

The Sons of the American Legion, along with the American Legion Auxiliary will be having a BBQ at 11 a.m., until sold out at the Decker-Simmons American Legion Post #51, in Oakland. Hamburgers and hot dogs and more will be served.

If you have a group that is still interested in being in the Memorial Day Parade, contact Bonnie at the Legion, 207-465-2446.

This year’s parade will be the largest in the area.

Grand marshal will be Charlie Gorman.

Messalonskee senior graduates college before high school

Ella Buck

submitted by Tania Buck

Ella Buck, is a senior at Messalonskee High School, in Oakland. Since the age of eight, Ella has known that she wanted to be a nurse. When Ella was a sophomore, just 14 years old, she took her first “college” class through the Early College Program. This program allows high school students to take courses that are not offered at their high school, through colleges/universities. Students can take up to 12 credits a year for free. With a passion for nursing, Ella began taking general education courses required for a degree in the field. She took online courses from four Maine community colleges (KVCC, YCCC, EMMC, AND SMCC). More recently, she has taken nursing classes through University of Southern Maine, where she has been accepted into the nursing program for the 2024-2025 school year.

Ella graduated from Kennebec Valley Community College, in Fairfield, with an associates degree in general studies on Saturday, May 11, 2024. She will graduate from Messalonskee High School on June 6, 2024. According to the college, she will be the first high school student in the school’s history, to receive an associates degree before graduating high school. She graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.

Ella will have completed approximately 71 college credits, taking classes year-round for the past couple of years. Because of the agreement between Maine’s Community Colleges and its universities, all of Ella’s college credits transferred allowing her to attend USM, in September 2024, as a third year college student.

If all of this wasn’t enough, while Ella was taking her high school classes, and college courses, she played sports and has been working at the Maine Veterans Home (MVH) for 10 months now. She began with MVH in June 2023 where she enrolled in a CNA certification program. In August, she received her certification, and has been working per diem on the weekends at MVH.

Ella chose not to take AP classes at her high school, as she wanted to take classes that pertained to nursing. Messalonskee only weights AP classes, so none of her college classes were weighted. As a result, despite having a 99.4 G.P.A, she will not graduate in the top 10 of her class. Initially this was hard for Ella to accept, but she knew she wanted to take classes that interested her and ultimately would help her achieve her end goal of becoming a nurse. As a high school student taking a non-traditional path, she had to overcome many obstacles along the way. She was determined, and never gave up.

According to her mother, “Ella does not like being in the spotlight. She doesn’t seek recognition or attention! However, I do believe by sharing her story, it will help others to see that hard work and determination do pay off, and perhaps even more importantly. It’s OK to deviate from the norm and chart your own path.”

EVENTS: Parade organizers seek participants

The American Legion Post #51 Parade Committee is busy preparing for this year’s Memorial Day events . The parade committee is requesting your assistance in making this year’s parade the best ever. They are inviting you to enter and be part of the event. As always they will hold their yearly S.A.L. BBQ, starting at 11 a.m., until sold out .

The parade this year will take place on Monday May 27, 2024, at noon. The parade lineup will be at the Messalonskee Middle School. All participants are expected to arrive and line up beginning at 11 a m.

The parade will begin traveling down, Pleasant Street right onto Main Street, continuing to Memorial Hall for ceremony and ending up at the Oakland Post Office.

If your organization class or group is interested in participating, please contact Bonnie Audet, or Holly Burgess, You can also call the Post #51 at 465-2446.

Deadline for entry Wednesday, May 1, 2024.