When I finally got home last Saturday night, put my feet up and took stock of the success of the 15th Annual Bethel Harvestfest, Chowdah Cook-off and Apple Pie Contest – the thing that resounded most is how the combined efforts of ALL who were involved in some way with the day’s events is what made it GREAT! The Chamber is so pleased that Hancock Lumber agreed to be our Presenting Sponsor this year. As a strong Maine company, and a major employer here in Bethel, Hancock Lumber’s commitment to our community is exemplary! They hosted a tour of their Bethel mill facility on Friday that was impressive – as well as having a wonderful presence on the Bethel Common on Saturday. Thank you to Mike Halle who coordinated all of that.
Congratulations to the winners of the Chowdah Cook-off and the Apple Pie contest! Judges’ Choice on the best chowder are: First place, Sudbury Inn; second place, Erin’s Café and Honorable Mention, Funky Red Barn. Peoples’ Choice winners were: First place, Sudbury Inn; Second Place, Good Food Store and Honorable Mention, Rooster’s Roadhouse. The Cook-off was sponsored once again by Sysco Foodservices of Northern New England and Oakhurst Dairy. Additional restaurant participants to thank are: 22 Broad Street, The Bethel Inn Resort, and the Black Diamond Steakhouse. Thanks also to our judges, Brian Scheidegger and Larry Risko. The pies were delicious again this year – many thanks to the bakers! Congratulations to Fred Coseglia, the winner of the Best Traditional Pie, to the Sudbury Inn for the Best Professional Pie and to Deb Luxton and Sheila Klatsky for a Tie in the Best Non-Traditional pie. Many thanks to the Good Food Store for their sponsorship of the event and to the other pie bakers: Kelsie Hanscom, Tmana Toennis, Ben Etheridge, Madaline Hallett, Joan Westfall, and Kristia Baily. Thanks to our apple pie volunteers: Rene McGrew, Joan Westfall, Cindy Fraher, Mary McVey, Lynn Kulik, Leah Dickinson, and Freda Davis.
Thanks to Allen’s Coffee Brandy for being the Entertainment Sponsor once again and to Jewel Clark who agreed to both coordinate the musicians and Emcee the event. We enjoyed music provided by Max Ater, Jewel Clark, Don Katlin, Sam and Brady Chapman, Just Us 2, Paul Farrar and Nettie & Jenn.
Oxford Networks provided the free wagon rides provided by Deepwood Farm and Mahoosuc Realty and Rentals, Pepsi Beverages Company, Dunkin’ Donuts and WOXO Radio and the Bethel Citizen also provided support to help make the event successful.
Many thanks to Sunday River Farms for the donation of the potatoes for the baked potato booth and to Gary Szpara, Steve Etheridge and the crew at the Rooster’s Roadhouse who washed, prepped, and baked them for us. The food booth was filled with enthusiastic volunteers that need to be recognized. Thanks to: Jim Graley, Glenna Oliver, Bill Strauss, Ben Etheridge, Dave Fraher, Bob and Barb Dion, Bob Westfall, Adriene Carorio, Lloyd Sweetser and Susan Isham. The booth was coordinated by Steve Etheridge. Valued cashiers were Fran Etheridge and Judy McGrath.
Other extremely valuable volunteers did a lot to ensure the smooth operation of the event. Many thanks to our set-up and clean-up crews: Doug and Matt Zinchuk, Amanda Moran, Laurie Herron-Knowles, Dave Freiday, Scott Hynek, Lloyd Sweetser, Jim Graley: our chowder cook-off volunteers: Joyce Roma, Sarah Glasfeld, Shelley Bowen, Karen McElroy, Carol Bourque, Read Dickinson, and our chamber booth volunteers: Maggie Kroenke, Cynthia Moran-Laux, and Cathryn Lovejoy.
Tables and chairs were provided by Gould Academy and the Bethel Firemen. The dumpster was provided by D & E Sanitation and the tents by Atlantic Tent Company. Many thanks to all the arts and crafts vendors, to Stone’s Chainsaw Art Creations, to the Bethel Historical Society for their added events, to the Local Food Connection for their participation, to Michael Newsom from WJ Wheeler & Co, and Norway Savings Bank for coordinating the First Annual Bethel Cash Mob and After Party, to the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance for the Drift-boat Championship and the Two-Fly Contest, to Bethel Bicycle for coordinating the après Harvestfest bike ride and last, but not least, the Harvestfest Committee members: Sara Hemeon, Rene McGrew, Steve Etheridge, and Lloyd Sweetser for all your help and insight into making this event possible.
A hearty congratulations to Mahoosuc Realty and Rentals for winning the Scarcrow/Harvest exhibit contest. Their patriotic “Olympic Spirit” exhibit is wonderful.
As we look forward to next year’s event on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, please let us know if you or your organization would like to be involved in making the 16th Annual Bethel Harvestfest & Chowdah Cook-off even more successful.
Executive Director, Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce