LOWELL - Will it rain for this year's Springfest?
Organizers and vendors are keeping their fingers crossed that the 27th annual early May festival in Lowell will have two days of great weather despite the tradition to the contrary.
Springfest is a fundraiser for the village. Money raised helps the village buy new playground equipment, pool items, or it adds to the village's general fund," Lowell Mayor David Pitzer said.
"It's gotta rain at least one day, or it's not the Springfest," said Dan Lang, owner of Uncle Dan's Old Fashioned Ice Cream LLC, which has been operating for several years. The company has been coming to the spring event since 2008.
Uncle Dan's features homemade ice cream churned with the help of a 3-horsepower John Deere hit-and-miss engine. The business travels around the region, offering a variety of flavors, including perennial favorites vanilla, chocolate and strawberry served in cones, waffle bowls or floats.
Dan said he enjoys the festival "because it's our hometown. We love going to the Springfest."
If You Go
* What: 27th annual Lowell Springfest.
* Where: Buell Island Park, Lowell.
* When: Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; vendors open at 10 a.m. both days. The festival concludes at about 5 p.m. Sunday with raffle drawings. Saturday's parade starts at 10 a.m.
* Cost: No charge for admission or parking.
For him, the best part of the event is visiting with different folks, many they might not have seen since the previous year. He also said he tries to patronize the local organizations' food booths to sample what they have to offer.
Besides Lang's ice cream-making engine, the display of antique steam engines and tractors will return to Springfest this weekend. Many of them are coming from outside Washington County, Pitzer said.
For Judy Gilham, one of the organizers of the event, it is the arts and crafts that pique her interest during the Spingfest's two-day flea market.
"My favorite part is going around looking at all the arts and crafts," Gilham said.
Doing that, she said she finds ideas for new projects for herself and to give as gifts.
Gilham has been involved with the event for about 10 years. She is in charge of parking the vendors who will sell their wares in the flea market. She's concerned about the weather, too.
"It seems like we have one day better than the other," she said.
So far, the National Weather Service is predicting partly cloudy skies with a high in the 70s Saturday and Sunday and a chance of rain Sunday.
Pitzer said the Springfest Committee expects about 30 vendors for the flea market.
Festivalgoers can expect a variety of food and items for sale, including noodles, kettle corn, jewelry and collectibles.
"It's an opportunity to visit our park and spend time in the village," Pitzer said.
Also on Saturday and Sunday, the Beverly-Waterford Chamber of Commerce has organized its third annual community yard sales in Beverly, Waterford and Lowell. Businesses are encouraged to have special sales or promotions.
Residents are invited to have their own yard or garage sales at their homes. Organizations can make arrangements to fundraise or to promote their groups at businesses.
A list of community sale participants will be available at The Citizens Bank Co., Waterford Bank and B&W Pharmacy.
Elizabeth Tennent, chamber president, said she hopes the community sales will draw more people to the Springfest and vice versa.
"We encourage people to shop local anytime of the year to promote our local area," Tennent said. "The first weekend in May, our local shops have specials to get people 'out and about'."