Fun Run a highlight of Fiddlehead Festival

2 months ago

Just like ostrich ferns on the riverbanks, bright green fiddlehead replicas popped up on Presque Isle’s Main Street last week to signal The County’s Fiddlehead Festival, which took place Saturday.

Planted smack in the middle of fiddlehead gathering time, the daylong event took place at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds in Presque Isle. 

The third annual festival, sponsored by the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, included children’s games, food trucks and live music. Local artists joined in a timed art battle and live auction at The Forum. 

With warm temperatures and mild wind, the day was perfect for the annual Aroostook River Fun Run. Sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Washburn, Caribou and Presque Isle, the adventure featured a canoe and kayak race, a 5K walk/run and a bicycle ride.

Thirteen canoeists and kayakers gathered at Thomas Brewer Memorial Park in Washburn. Fittingly, people could be seen foraging for fiddleheads along the bank as participants hauled their watercraft and donned their gear. 

Paddlers take off from Thomas Brewer Memorial Park on May 18 for the annual Aroostook Fun Run River Race. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

Announcer Leo Flewelling declared the water would be good running that morning, with only a few swirls in places caused by light wind. After safety instructions, paddlers put in and a cannon boom started them off toward Presque Isle’s Aroostook River boat landing. 

Nichole Ward of Presque Isle and her father, Fran Cyr of Caribou, were the overall winners and also won the double male/female adult category with their time of 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Other winners were: Sharon Guiggey, single kayak female adult, 1 hour 49 minutes 30 seconds; Justin Bell, single kayak male adult, 1 hour 25 minutes; Mark Shea and Brady Miller, double canoe male adult, 1 hour 34 minutes; and Jim Park, single canoe male adult, 1 hour 28 minutes.

Runners, walkers and cyclists formed at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds in Presque Isle.

Organizers reported the 5K had the biggest turnout ever with 85 entrants. Participants traveled to the sun sculpture at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and back.

Westley Dyer was the overall winner and top male finisher with a time of 19:14, while Lori Scovil was the second overall and top female finisher with a time of 20:54.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Mandy Draper, 21:12; Stacy Shaw, 22:05; Harrison Kilpatrick, 22:52; Aleah Rideout, 23:16; Sue Fox, 23:56; Andrew Bouchard and Bria Bouchard, tied at 24:16; Betsey York, 24:36; and Ellen Bemis, 26:04.

For full results and a list of participants, visit the Aroostook River Fun Run Facebook page.

Two cyclists travel along the Parsons Road in Presque Isle on May 18 during the Aroostook River Run Run, part of the Fiddlehead Festival in Presque Isle. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

The third leg of the Fun Run was a bicycle ride. The non-timed event allowed participants to choose either a 16-mile ride out the Parsons Road and back to the Fairgrounds, or a 23-mile ride around the Aroostook River and back.  

Six gift baskets were raffled off as a fundraiser for the three Rotary Clubs. Winners were Tammy McKenzie, gardening basket; Brecken Bouchard, ‘90s Kids’ Basket; Mary Desy, Pics or it Didn’t Happen basket; James Gardiner, Rotary Makes an Impact basket; Jennifer Cyr, Taste of the Town; and Tanya Stubbs, Backyard Fun.