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Alyce Maragus

The "First" Annual Trails End Festival?
By Alyce Maragus
Aug 28, 2008 - 7:41:43 AM

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In the latest article by Shelley Farrington that appeared in the 8/21/08 edition of the Lincoln News, she states "The First Annual Trail's End Festival" will be held Sept. 13-14. The festival will celebrate "the Katahdin region's place along the Appalachian Trail, etc.".

If I recall correctly, Hidden Springs Campground, just outside of Millinocket on Route 157 held a number of Trail's End festivals. Therefore I take exception to this new one being billed a First. Of course, this publicity is coming from Marsha Donahue who, along with her husband Wayne Curlew, are continually searching for their 15 minutes of fame, and customers for her art gallery.

Not only did Hidden Springs host a number of Trail's End festivals but they also provided those attending with entertainment in the form of guest speakers. Don Fendler (the boy who was lost many years ago on the mountain), and Bill Irwin the blind man along witih his seeing-eye dog Orient, were among them. After about three years, participation dropped off and the gatherings ceased to be.

I only mention all of this because, for this new group to bill themselves as the "first" seems to be a slap in the face to the work done by the Seile family to encourage visitors to the area. They (the group) should be ashamed of themselves for trying to project something that isn't true - but then what else is new?

In the same article by Ms. Farrington, we hear how instrumental Wendy Polstein has been in arranging the "HOG" rally scheduled for next summer. Oh! Whoop-dee-do!

The "estimate" (seems I recently did an article on "estimates") is projected to be 1,000 motorcyclists and fans converging on our town. Now this may be your idea of economoic development but it sure isn't mine.

I have no problem with motorcyclists. In fact many people, from all walks of life, have chosen to take advantage of that particular mode of transportation, in addition to bicycles, to help alleviate the exorbitant gasoline prices.

But to anticipate approximately 1,000 motorcyclists and their fans roaring into our towns just doesn't excite me. I'm sure we have all heard negative stories pertaining to motorcycle clubs and though I certainly hope most will behave themselves, it is almost guaranteed there will be problems. But let's give credit where credit is due, especially to Marcia McKeague and Wendy Polstein. Let's thank them both.

I can't understand the thinking of Marcia McKeague who has been ever vigilant in protecting Katahdin Timerlands' holdings. Nor can I understand why Wendy Polstein would be taking on this project.

Here, the Polstein's intend to establish, in essence, a gated community, where daily rates will range from $250.00 to $300.00 a night. They have also embraced a non-motorized vehicle concept for their project and will be located far enough outside of town so as not to expose themselves or their clientele to the noise, fumes or congestion.

Why then would both of these people turn around and subject our residents to this noisy and possibly undesirable entourage. Could it be to encourage more people to move out of the area, which would further their own agendas?

Going a step further, can anyone explain how this is going to be a boon for economic development in the area. Yes! perhaps it will generate some additional income for the restaurants and motels, at least for a couple of days, but will it be worth the problems that most certainly will occur? Will it be beneficial to those of us who live in the area and will have to cope with the influx of approximately 1,000 bikers and fans.

Though a certain group of people have labeled me as being negative, I truly believe that instead of parties and festivals, what we need in our town and the surrounding areas are JOBS and, unfortunately, I fail to see where a Trail's End Festival or a "HOG" rally are going to produce them.

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