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Maine Fiddlehead Festival slated for May 4

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UMF and Farmington community celebrate local foods

FARMINGTON The University of Maine at Farmington and an exciting partnership of community businesses and organizations is pleased to announce the second annual Maine Fiddlehead Festival: Local Food Day to be held on Saturday, May 4, on the UMF campus and throughout downtown Farmington. Parade and information sessions are free and open to the public.

The festival celebrates local foods, both wild and cultivated, and promotes community involvement in enhancing the area's local food system and supporting local farmers. The collaborative effort includes the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition and Partnership for Civic Advancement, the Farmington Downtown Association, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Franklin Savings Bank, Homestead Bakery, University Credit Union and Western Mountains Alliance.

An antique tractor parade down Main Street will kick off the day's festivities at 9 a.m., with farmers showing off their favorite farm machinery, accompanied by musicians and other parade marchers.

Locations and other details for events will available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the information table in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF Campus, where most activities will occur. At 10 a.m., John Jemison, of the UMaine Cooperative Extension, will present a keynote address in the Emery Community Arts Center entitled Local Food Production: The Promise and the Reality.

From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Fiddlehead Market will take place in and around the Emery Community Arts Center, offering a collection of dozens of local food vendors who will display and sell local foods and crafts. In addition, fiddlehead cooking demonstrations will showcase safe and delicious fiddlehead recipes.

Festival goers are encouraged to go downtown for lunch, where the Homestead Restaurant will feature a lunchtime buffet incorporating local foods and fiddleheads. The local eatery will also be hosting a walk-through fashion revue put on by downtown businesses, accompanied by the acclaimed Mt. Blue High School Franklin County Fiddlers. Downtown shops will also offer all-day specials in recognition of the Fiddlehead Festival.

From 2 to 4 p.m., participants will be able to choose from among four simultaneous sessions held at UMF venues, including a fiddlehead talk and walk, a local food foraging demonstration workshop, a small business workshop exploring small scale food processing and permaculture-style gardening workshop.

Free supervised children's activities will be offered by UMF students on campus from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m., which will include sidewalk art, face painting, games and crafts. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Farmington Historical Society's Titcomb House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Nordica Homestead on Holley Road, both of which are opening their doors for the festival.

The event will conclude with a festival wrap-up reception at the Homestead Bakery from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Organizers envision the yearly Maine Fiddlehead Festival: Local Food Day gaining popularity both locally and throughout the state, as people come to appreciate the rapidly-growing local food network in the Farmington area. For more information on the festival, please contact Luke Kellett, UMF sustainability coordinator, at (207) 778-7096 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit the event website at http://www.mainefiddleheadfestival.com/.

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