Patten Pioneer Days gearing up for Monday opening day

10 months ago

PATTEN, Maine — For more than two decades, Pioneer Days has pulled the community together the second week of August to celebrate their heritage and each other.

This year, the event is slated for Aug. 7-13, with events scheduled around the area. 

“I’m really excited the community is pulling together to do this event,” said organizer Terry Hill. 

Every July and August, Mainers have a long list of local events to choose from and this year, Patten organizers hope to see more area residents return to Pioneer Days. Hill said it is more difficult to get people back together since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, with events like the famed progressive lunch, a color run at Mt. Chase Lodge, the frog jumping contest and a sunset parade of boats at lower Shin Pond, there’s a bit of something for everyone, she said.

The progressive lunch started in 2010 when the Katahdin Valley Health Center, Katahdin Trust Co. and Eastmill Federal Credit Union decided to combine their free lunch offerings and join with other town businesses for the event.  This year’s progressive lunch, with a limited number of tickets, is at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11, along with the children’s bike parade in the Patten Park.

Following the Bike Parade, the Patten Community Playground will be rededicated as the Stephen Yates Community Playground, according to Patten Town Manager Gail Albert. 

For 25 years, Yates, 74, has quietly taken care of the playground, raising funds for new equipment. When he noticed the parents didn’t have anywhere to sit, he raised the money to add a covered Amish building with tables and a large swing, Yates said.

“There were so many people who helped,” Yates said. “I loved kids and it prompted me to do this in my spare time. The little ones needed something.”

The Patten Lumbermen’s Museum’s historic Bean Hole Bean Dinner will celebrate its 60th anniversary during Pioneer Days right after the Main Street Parade on Saturday, Aug. 12. There will be all the dinner’s traditional offerings of beans cooked on-site, reflector oven biscuits and more. 

George Liberty is bringing back the horse pulls on Saturday, also at the museum, organizers said.The packed schedule of events is posted on the Patten Pioneer Days Facebook page.