CARIBOU, Maine — A nod to Aroostook County’s agricultural heritage, Hilltop School kicked off the season last week with their annual Harvest Hoedown.
A collaboration between the school and the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department, with help from Caribou FFA, the girls varsity soccer team and the Maine Agri-Women, hundreds of community members enjoyed a fun afternoon filled with games, arts and crafts, baked potatoes and apple cider and, of course, hay rides courtesy of Crown Equipment and the rec department.
Six-year-old Liv Adams liked painting the pumpkins at the Harvest Hoedown. Her second favorite part of the day was running the obstacle course but Liv said that the very best part of the day was getting to spend time with her mom.
Helping youths like Liv paint their pumpkins were members of the girls varsity soccer team, like Molly Adams.
Adams noted that this year’s pumpkin painting trend involved really filling the pumpkin with paint.
“They go for coverage,” she emphasized of the young artists.
This was her third year helping out at the Harvest Hoedown, and she was very happy to spend an afternoon with the kids.
“It’s good to see them so happy and getting a fun day, and it’s good for us to be around them because we’re usually the kids they kinda look up to,” she noted.
Title One teacher at Hilltop Marty Belanger has been participating in the Hoedown since its very first year, and she noted that this year’s event seemed to come earlier than usual due to the timing of Harvest Break.
“That may be a blessing in disguise because the weather is so beautiful,” she said of the warm, sunny afternoon.
Belanger said that the primary purpose for the annual hoedown is to bring parents and the community to the school.
“This shows how well we all work together for our kids here in Caribou,” she said. “There are so many people here, it’s wonderful to see all these parents — and even younger siblings who aren’t students yet.”
Belanger also credited the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department for their work with the hoedown.
“They came up and organized so much for us,” she mentioned. “They really support us.”