Princeton Freshwater Festival

Town News
Jamie Bohanon, with Rick Crowe presenting the dedication to Jon Speed. (Photo by Sandra Smith)

By Sandra Smith


The third annual revival of Princeton’s Fresh Water Festival started off with breakfast at the Lewey’s Island Masonic Hall at 7 a.m. and a 5K race at 8. Ernest Carle managed the race and Machias Savings Bank was the sponsor. Dylan Thompson and Melinda Paul were the winners of the three-mile run, Cole Arsenault was runner-up, and Jason Cilley and his son of the one-mile walk. The parade lined up on the Eastern Cutoff Road and started at 9 a.m. Being sensitive to the needs of our community so that those with aversions to loud noises may enjoy the parade, the first third of the route was a “siren free zone”. All the fire departments agreed not start their sirens until passing the zone. Fire trucks participating were from Baileyville, Grand Lake Stream, Danforth and Princeton as well as Brad Potter and his antique truck. Those entering floats were the Princeton Food Mart and Variety, Machias Savings Bank and the winner was the St. Croix Regional Family Heath Center.

The activities at Brewer Andrews Field started at 9:30 which included numerous children’s games; the bounce house, face painting (Tiffany O’Loughlin and family), popcorn and Down East Raffle all sponsored by PPRC. The Princeton Fire Department’s crew, headed by Fire Chief Tony Ramsdell, had hot dogs and the always fun dunk tank. The Rod & Gun Club sponsored the snow cones, paint ball games and later the skeet shooting at the club managed by Rick Crowe and the horseshoe tournament managed by Craig Cilley. Music entertainment was provided by the Huntley Brook Singers drumming group from Indian Township was enjoyed and appreciated by attendees. Everyone had fun watching the blueberry pie eating contest. The winner was Braden Richard.

Meredith Carle organized the basketball shootout. Wyatt MacArthur was best in the three-point shoot out senior division and Ayden Cochran best junior. Luke Macdonald was senior winner of the knockout and Ayden Cochran best junior.

Along with vendors, local groups had their own displays. The Machias Savings Bank offered a raffle of two bicycles, there was information from the Washington County Beekeepers Association, the Sunrise Christian Church, the Princeton Library had a book sale and the Bellmard Inn sponsored a history booth featuring photographs of the Princeton railroad station with information on forming a group to save the historic station.

Every year PPRC recognizes a resident of Princeton by dedicating the festival to them. This year Jon Speed was honored for all of his years working for the youth of the community at Greenland Point. He was presented with a certificate and a chair featuring a painting of the illustration that he did for the festival many years ago.

The final event was the drawing for the Princeton Fire Station kayak and the winner is Butch Cilley. Last was the Rubber Ducky Race and Tony Oberst’s duck was first and Owen Arsenault’s was second.


The Fresh Water Festival requires many months of planning and effort. Jan Campbell, whose grandmother initiated the first festival many years ago, was determined to bring it back and keep it going. For anyone who thinks they do not have time to help out, Jan has a young daughter and works full time. The other person who deserves credit is Meredith Carle. She also is a working mom who has two teenage daughters. Without all their energy in planning, recruiting and carrying out the final plans this event would never have happened. They do deserve recognition for making this event so special for their community.