Week Of July 4th Events In Full Swing In Winslow 

Folks in central Maine are already in the swing of the July 4th holiday.In Winslow, July 3rd is as much cause for celebration as July 4th, which has become a week long celebration that takes the entire year to plan. Wednesday if Fort Halifax Park is all about families.”It’s become a destination for people to come here,” said Kevin Douglass, Chairman of the Winslow 4th of July Family Celebration. “Families don’t have to spend a lot of money to come here anymore. They don’t pay to get in. They don’t pay for the bounce houses. They pay if they want to eat but besides that it’s all free. We take care of the cost of it through volunteers who go out and do fundraising throughout the year.”It’s a day unlike any other where there’s no shortage of things for kids to do.”We got the 2000 pound camel in here. We’ve got an alligator. We have a petting zoo, pony rides. We have games. We have bounce houses. We have touch a truck, a fire truck a police cruiser. You name it we have it down here.”And of course the famous hot dog eating contest and entertainment that this year includes legendary Maine comedian Tim Sample.”Hey nice to be back in Winslow. I lived in Winslow for a few years back in the 80’s and always liked it here,” Sample said before doing two shows for the crowd.Douglass said 50,000-70,000 people will descend upon Winslow over the next two days. The cost to put this event on is roughly $70,000-$100,000 with most of that cost being picked up by the Town of Winslow and donations from local businesses. This year folks are being asked to put $1 in one of these buckets if you see one to help alleviate some of that cost.More than 70 volunteers work year round to make this week happen, including Dan Quirion who’s been at it for 20 years.”It started with a one day event back when the guys came back from desert storm,” he said. “It’s just grown from there. Here we are five days now.”It’s that sense of community that will hopefully keep the Winslow Family 4th of July Celebration around for future generations to enjoy.The parade kicks off at 10:00 Thursday morning and fireworks at 9:00 Wednesday night.