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Circus-themed Caribou Days event coming in August

CARIBOU, Maine — The city of Caribou is preparing to host its annual “Caribou Days” event Aug. 1- 3 featuring a circus, parade, live music, and numerous activities for kids and families.

The festivities will kick off on the first of the month with a Thursdays on Sweden street festival featuring music from the Adam Ezra Group and an outdoor cafe hosted by the Par & Grill. 

“He’s a local favorite from the Boston area,” said Caribou Marketing and Events Coordinator Christina Kane-Gibson. “We’ve had him for three or four years in a row and everyone loves him.”

The Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center will offer a free hot dog lunch 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Aug. 2, along with the opportunity for kids to create their own tie-dye T-shirts. Parade lineup begins at 5 p.m. at Skyway Plaza and the parade will go from 6 to 7 p.m., ending at the courthouse on Sweden Street.

Kane-Gibson said anyone interested in joining the parade needs to be at the Skyway Plaza for the lineup and they should be able to join in.

“This year the parade is completely sponsored by Machias Savings Bank,” said Kane-Gibson. “They’re going to be giving away three different trophies — one for business, non-profit and community.”

Both the Thursdays on Sweden and parade will have a circus theme, as the Zerbini Family Circus will put on a show directly after the parade at 7 p.m. along with 3 and 6 p.m. shows on Saturday.

City officials recommend that anyone planning to attend the Friday showing of the circus park along the recreation center, as the circus tent will be set up in the overflow parking lot. 

“It’s a really cool, old-fashioned, big top circus,” said Kane-Gibson. “They’ve been a family-owned and operated circus for 200 years, so they know what they’re doing. They have very few animals; there’s a dog show and camel and pony rides. They do a lot of acrobatics, too.”

Before the Saturday showings, families can come to the rec center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to enjoy an inflatable playland and activities before the show.

Aside from hosting a circus, something Caribou has not done for several years, Kane-Gibson said the Caribou Days event, which has evolved from the city’s annual “Caribou Cares About Kids” parade, will be mostly similar to events from previous years.

“We’re sticking to what works for us,” said Kane-Gibson. “The inflatable playland is a big hit, and we’ll have a few tables for crafts and have some local groups such as churches and Girl Scouts there [at the rec center on Saturday].” 

The events coordinator said Machias Savings Bank deserves special recognition for sponsoring the parade, along with members of the Caribou Parks and Recreation department, who have been working hard to prepare for the three-day event.

“It’s their event,” she said. “I just help coordinate it and promote it. It’s something they’ve been doing for decades, and the tie-dying in particular has been going on forever. Kids love it; it’s a little messy, but it’s fun.”

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