Baileyville Police Chief Closes Street for Winter Fun

Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons along with W.E.S. Principal Jane Smith race a sled of smiling children down the Fourth Avenue Hill. (Photo by Jayna Smith).

By Jayna Smith

The lower end of Fourth Avenue near the elementary school in Baileyville was closed off last Sunday. Typically streets are closed for road construction or accidents, but Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons executed a fun-filled morning on the street instead with what he called Sunday Funday.  

In an effort to get local kids to put away their electronic devices and games and get out and get active, Chief Fitzsimmons invited all area children to go sliding down the Fourth Avenue hill.  Nearly 80 children of all ages showed up with sleds, tubes, and snowboards, and, as requested by the Chief, with their parents or guardians. 

The weather conditions could not have been more perfect for a Maine winter morning.  Clear, sunny skies and no wind made the day’s event a satisfying one for all ages.  W.E.S. Principal Jane Smith, along with staff member Miss Dean, ensured the school was open with free hot chocolate.  Additionally, Down East EMS staff was on stand-by if needed, and the public works department employees volunteered to help prepare the street to make perfect sliding conditions.  Some of the public works department employees then volunteered their time to clean up the street for its re-opening in the afternoon.

Chief Fitzsimmons proved that sliding is not just for kids, having participated in the sliding fun himself for the duration of the event.  With the fastest sled on the hill, he granted every child’s request for a chance to ride down with him.  Because of the success of the event, Chief Fitzsimmons plans to organize more throughout the winter months.