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Pumpkins In The Park set for new venue

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UCP staff and volunteers set up the Pumpkins in the Park event at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor in October, 2015. This year, the event will be held at the Anah Shriner's building at 1404 Broadway in Bangor. UCP staff and volunteers set up the Pumpkins in the Park event at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor in October, 2015. This year, the event will be held at the Anah Shriner's building at 1404 Broadway in Bangor. (photo courtesy of UCP of Maine)

UCP fundraising event marks 14th year on October 23

BANGOR - An October tradition will continue in a new location on Sunday, Oct. 23 when UCP of Maine presents their 14th annual Pumpkins in the Park event at the Anah Shriner's building at 1404 Broadway in Bangor from noon to 5 p.m.

Organizers promise hundreds of glowing jack o'lanterns, trick-or-treating, the friendly and funny Anah Shriner clowns, a photo booth, face painting, prizes and (weather permitting) a bounce house.

For the first time, a theme is involved for this fun family event. According to Andrew Lohman, Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator for UCP of Maine, movies have played a role in past Pumpkins events so it was decided that the event's first-ever theme would be 'Pumpkins in the Park Goes to the Movies.'

'In past years, people had based their pumpkin patches on movies like 'Frozen,' 'Minions' and 'Harry Potter' so we figured goes to the movies' would make a great first theme for the spirit of this event,' Lohman said.

According to Lohman, the inside of the Anah Shriner's building will be transformed by many creatively decorated pumpkin patches.

'Each patch will be sponsored by a local business,' said Lohman. 'There will be someone at each patch handing out candy, either a representative of the sponsor or a person from the community who wants to have some good-spirited Halloween fun.'

The indoor community event is a fundraiser for UCP of Maine.

'The funds help us in our efforts to help children and adults in need in our community with physical and intellectual disabilities,' Lohman said.

Admission for Pumpkins in the Park is $3.00 per person or $10.00 per family and free for children three and under. Pre-sale will-call tickets are available for people who want to avoid standing in line on the day of the event by calling Brenda Wilson-Denning at 941-2952 ext. 308, or by stopping by UCP of Maine at 700 Mt. Hope Ave. Suite 320. Cash-only tickets will be available at the door on the day of the event.

Lohman says that the morning of Pumpkins in the Park will be a busy one inside the Anah Shriner's building when the pumpkin patches are being set up by participants.

'There is an event scheduled there on the previous day so everyone will be setting up their patches on Sunday morning before the doors open,' he said.

'It's a great Halloween event for the whole community but at the same time, it helps raise awareness of what UCP of Maine does,' Lohman said. 'UCP is in our name which stands for United Cerebral Palsy but only about 10 percent of our business comes from working with clients that have CP. We work with people who have a wide variety of disabilities. We help waiver homes where people with long-term care services live. They have support in the home to help them live a normal life.'

UCP of Maine also oversees the Elizabeth Levinson Center, a 14-bed 24-hour care facility intended to help create a home for medically fragile children and adults with significant cognitive and medical needs. Residents attend school and community programming and enjoy community activities like concerts and sporting events. According to their website, the center promotes a happy, safe and festive lifestyle for the residents.

'We're much more than just our name,' Lohman continues. 'So we hope to inform the public about what UCP of Maine is all about while enjoying an awesome Halloween event like Pumpkins in the Park.'

According to Jodi Fadrigon, chair of Pumpkins in the Park, 'We listened to feedback from attendees last year and are excited to announce that we are at a new venue this year with much more space and ample parking to accommodate our crowd which continues to grow each year. With the larger space, we will have a defined path than families can take while visiting each pumpkin patch and separate rooms for all other activities.'

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