Caribou events coordinator has plenty in store for the New Year
CARIBOU, Maine — Christina Kane-Gibson began working as Caribou’s marketing and events coordinator last March and has already planned out many of the new year’s events.
Recreation Department staff are working to open Collins Pond for ice skating later this month.
“We will be opening the pond for skating very soon,” Kane-Gibson said. “The cold weather set us back a little bit with removing all the snow on top of the ice.”
The next big event for the city will be the Winter Carnival on Feb. 16 and 17. The carnival will also feature ice-skating at the pond, and will be one of the last events to take place at Teague Park, where a new school is set to be built in 2020.
“We’re still working on all the logistics of exactly what we’re going to do,” Kane-Gibson said. “We’re planning on building a giant sledding hill, an ice castle, having a snowman competition, snowmobile rides, and having a “Frozen” sing-along with [people dressed as] the characters. The location for the sing-along is to be determined.”
She said she’s hoping the weather isn’t “negative 30,” and that she has talked to the Fire Department about setting up warming tents for attendants.
“We want people to get a break from the cold if they’re outside,” she said, “but we’re from Caribou so we can tough it out.”
The rest of the year will include many events from 2017, including the City Wide Yard Sale on May 19 and 20, Thursdays on Sweden (which will start on June 7 and continue every other Thursday until August 30), the third annual Caribou Marathon on Sept. 16, the Arts and Crafts Fair on Oct. 20 and 21, Halloween at the Rec on Oct. 31, and Gingerbread House Decorating with Santa’s Workshop on Dec. 7.
Kane-Gibson said the list of events for this year is preliminary, with a good possibility of more events to come. She plans to add at least two new events this year, the first of which will be a “Caribou Community Cleanup” on June 2.
“We want the community cleanup event to coincide with the City Wide Yard Sale,” Kane-Gibson said. “It will be a way for people to get rid of things they didn’t sell during the yard sale, or anything else they don’t need, like brush. We’ll have dumpsters where people can put things they don’t need, and also have people picking up litter.”
The other event is still in the conceptual phase, but Kane-Gibson said it will be a “Christmas event for kids in mid-December.”
While Kane-Gibson said she’s excited for all of the upcoming events, she said she’s probably most excited for the upcoming Winter Carnival.
“I think my last Winter Carnival was back when I was in high school,” she said, “so I’m super excited about that.”
With almost a year of experience as the city’s events coordinator, Kane-Gibson says she’s been busy and that she’s looking for new ways to incorporate economic development into upcoming events.
“There’s a lot for me to do in the economic development realm, looking at the bigger picture of how the tourism industry fits in with Caribou and Aroostook County,” she said, adding she has been figuring out why some events do better than others.
“It’s always good to keep a fresh perspective, even for events that have been running for a long time,” she said. To do this, she has welcomed suggestions from local community members as well as people from neighboring towns.
“This is just a preliminary list for the year,” she said, “ but if anyone has any ideas they can always call me. I would love to hear their ideas, and we’ll add new events to the list as they pop up.”
Kane-Gibson can be reached by calling the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center at 493-4224.
“2017 was a really great year, and I’m looking forward to 2018,” she said. “I think this is going to be an even bigger year. We put Caribou in the spotlight [last year], and in 2018 we might do it even more.”