Mapleton Lions prep for balloons

4 years ago

The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce and the Mapleton Lions Club, host sponsors, welcome all to the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest through this weekend, a family-friendly made possible by 29 donor sponsors, additional support organizations and a host of volunteers.   

The Mapleton Lions are excited to see the return of the walk-through balloon.  Several years back, kids and adults enjoyed going in and seeing what the inside of a balloon was like.  This year the COMBF committee was able to obtain a balloon that was no longer certified to fly. With sewing work of Milt Smith, a hopper balloon owner and pilot, the balloon was outfitted with fan ports that allow the balloon to be inflated while lying on its side on the ground.  A fabric door was added to the balloon to hold the air inside.  

There will be many activities over the four-day event. A complete schedule can be found in the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest insert in last week’s Star-Herald or at the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest’s website,  

There is a major change in the 2019 COMBF Photography Contest.  For the first time, contestants will be able to submit contest photos online using the email address “’.  Actual 8-by-10 photos may be submitted at the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce Office at 3 Houlton Road, Presque Isle.  Please go to to view the contest rules and obtain the forms that must be submitted with the photos. 

The Crown of Maine Balloon Fest will open tomorrow evening, Aug. 22, at 5 p.m. with a ribbon burning ceremony followed by the first official mass ascension, weather permitting, at 5:30 p.m.  Do keep in mind there are only six official mass ascensions during the balloon fest. The morning flights flights will be 5:30 a.m. and the evening flights at 5:30 p.m. The last flights will occur on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 5:30 a.m.  

In addition to the launches, the festival will feature live music concerts, two night balloon glows,  a walk-through balloon, tethered balloon rides, children’s activities and a youth firefighter muster. This year more than 50 craft and business vendors will show their wares from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. 

The Lions Club will sell your favorite fair foods on site (Sausage sandwiches, doughboys, burgers, red hot dogs and fresh-cut fries Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Come out and support the work of the club that includes support of the Mapleton Boy Scout Troop, Mapleton Christmas lighting and Mapleton Recreation Department, purchase of eyeglasses for the needy, Mapleton Daze, club college scholarships and more.

Rec holds picnic 

The Mapleton Recreation Program held their end-of-summer picnic on Sunday, Aug. 11, after the picnic was moved from Saturday due to poor weather.  The annual Little League championship game involved the Ground Perfection Specialists (GPS) team and the Buck Construction team. 

This year’s 2019 Mapleton Little League runner-up team is Ground Perfection Specialists (GPS). The team went 9-3 on the season, and finished the regular season in the number-one spot.  The Buck Construction team won the championship game and are the 2019 Mapleton Little League Champions. This team went 7-5 on the season and finished the regular season in the number-two spot. Buck Construction’s win is their second championship win in a row.

Additional recognition went to the individuals who were named Most Valuable Player for each of the Mapleton Little League teams this summer.  MVP’s named this year were Hunter for Mapleton Lions, Mason Oakes for Doyen Farms, Wyatt Young for Buck Farms, Lane Carmichael for Ground Perfection Specialists (GPS), and Brandon Porter for Buck Construction.  Jacob Graham, Mapleton Recreation Program Director, congratulated the championship and runner-up teams and the five MVPs.

Graham announce the results of the Little League’s second annual “Cereal Bowl” Challenge.

“Our five teams competed against each other to collect the most boxes of cereal.  Together they brought in a total of 446 boxes/bags,” Graham said.   

The cereal will be added to the Community Cupboard at the Town Office in Mapleton, a donation-based cupboard that supports people in the area who are in need of food.

The Little League Buck Construction team won the challenge this year, collecting 131 containers of cereal. Each member of the winning team won a gift certificate to the Braden Theatre. The team will keep the coveted “Cereal Bowl” trophy for the year and will have their team name added to the plaque of winners located at the Town Office in Mapleton.

Graham thanked the Mapleton Lions Club for providing and roasting the hot dogs for the picnic and for the use of the Mapleton Lions Hall for some recreation programs and activities.   

Terry Sandusky is the Star-Herald correspondent for Mapleton, Chapman and Castle Hill and can be reached at 764-4916 or at