LEWISTON — The 10 senior graduates of the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council this year wanted to do something special, especially after the past two years during a pandemic have made event planning nearly impossible.
“This is our last hurrah, and we really want to leave our mark on Lewiston,” said board member Kiera Potvin.
So, for weeks, the youth council has been planning an event celebrating all things Lewiston, as well as its brand new recreation area, Mike McGraw Park, at 280 Bartlett St.
The Saturday, June 25 celebration will feature a packed program of “offers for all ages,” according to a city press release this week.
Dottie Perham-Whitter, community relations coordinator and youth council adviser, said the youth council had “diligently planned” the celebration to showcase music, art, history, businesses, career opportunities, leisure opportunities and more. The goal is to help educate people about what Lewiston has to offer, she said.
“This event involves youth and adults in what we do here,” said Youth Advisor Hannah Arsenault. “Sometimes people make a habit of going or being involved in the same things over and over again, but this event can show what other things are available. They might be surprised what else they would like to Lewiston.
The list of activities confirmed to date — the schedule of which is still being finalized — is dizzying.
The 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. event will feature music by Josie French as well as percussion by former board member Damon DeWitt. It will include presentations on Somali and Abenaki history; a ‘Why I Do Business in Lewiston’ panel and Q&A with Geiger, Forage and Mother India; a “painting night” of images of Lewiston hosted by artist Melanie Therrien of Wicked Illustrations; and an interactive offering from the Lewiston Public Library.
St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Good Food mobile bus and the “Mini Farmers’ Market” will also be on site, as will the Lewiston Fire Department with Engine 7. There will be yoga offered by The Sanctuary, and the Lewiston Career Center will be on site from noon to 5 p.m.
The youth council also set up an “I Love Lewiston” selfie backdrop, and a dunk tank will feature Lewiston High School vice-principal Doug Dumont and some teachers, compliments of Recovery Connections of Maine .
“It was very exciting to see LYAC members planning this event,” said Perham-Whittier. “The creativity and energy of the meetings is uplifting and their teamwork is impressive. They clearly set the bar high as positive ambassadors for the City of Lewiston.
Youth advisor Brea Mathieu hopes the event will “bring people together after two tough years.”
“It will be nice to show what is happening here and to show that unity exists in Lewiston,” she said.
The event will conclude with the announcement of a 10-year sponsor for the ground at Mike McGraw Park. The board has selected a pitch sponsor after an application process, and the name of the sponsor, along with the name of the pitch will be announced at the event. The city held a ribbon cutting for the new field and winter toboggan run in February.
Mayor Carl Sheline, who will be there on June 25, said the youth council’s effort was inspiring, as was the fact that “these young people are proud of their city and want others to know that it’s a dynamic place with many opportunities. .”
Councilor Linda Scott, who liaises with the youth council, said: ‘Lewiston’s future is in those bright, creative students who have shown their passion and commitment to celebrating and contributing to our community every day. make a better place for everything that lives here. I couldn’t be prouder to stand by them and promote everything they do.
Ahead of the event, the youth council also launched a Lewiston-themed scavenger hunt, an interactive Google-based hunt with 17 clues. According to the press release, interested people can read the clues, start the hunt, and review the interactive submission process at lewistonmaine.gov/lewscavenger.
Site tours can be uploaded over a period of time, but all responses and photos must be uploaded and submitted as one submission, the statement said. All submissions will be part of a raffle at the June 25 event, with entrants eligible to win a $100 Mother India Gift Card, $50 Forage Gift Card or an Italian Gift Card $50 Bakery.
For more information and a full calendar of events, visit lewistonmaine.gov/lyac.
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