Chamber of Commerce
MAY - AUGUST 2003 NEWSLETTER

Piscataquis Heritage Festival
The Second Annual Piscataquis Heritage Festival promises to be bigger and better then last year. The Regional Events Committee of the Chamber has been meeting since January, making plans and getting everything in place to create an exciting event for all to enjoy.

To date we have seven BBQ teams registered to compete in the Second Annual Maine State BBQ Championship. Winners earns points towards competing in the Kansas City BBQ Societies Annual Cook-off. We offer trophies and cash prizes in each category.

This year we have added a grilling and BBQ sauce contest, encouraging all backyard cooks to enter, display their special talents and have a great deal of fun doing so. We have also added a chili cook-off, giving participants a chance to spice up the day with their expertise in creating a flavorful pot of chili, guaranteed to warm us all up.

The eight bands we have scheduled to appear are Evergreen, Yankee Soul Revue, Doughty Hill, Midnight Flyer, Cambridge Community Orchestra, Union River Band, Katahdin Valley Boys, and Abbott Hill Ramblers. Lovers of Bluegrass will certainly enjoy the talents of these wonderful musicians.

The crafters and artisans are continuing to sign up for the two day event. We have approximately twenty commitments,, many returning from last year. This year we are requesting that all items be handcrafted. Since we have labeled ourselves a "heritage" festival, it seems appropriate that everything should be made by the exhibitor.

We are happy to have Matt Holland participate with his Flying Dutchman Paintball Gallery, the local Army recruiter with the climbing wall and the newly formed Highland Farm Products Promotional Group.

The Piscataquis Heritage Festival has the potential to become a significant event for this area. The committee that plans the festival continues to learn more about what the people want and are working towards making the Piscataquis Heritage Festival better each year.

Workers are still needed to help on the day of the festival. Support your Chamber and offer your services for a few hours, either on Saturday or on Sunday. Please call Dennis at 564-7533 and tell him when you will be available to help. All of this is to help make the Chamber more visible, which can only help to bring more people into our area, which in turn, brings more business for us all.

Channel Five to Sponsor The Piscataquis Heritage Festival
The Chamber is happy to announce that WABI-TV Channel 5 in Bangor will be the main sponsor for the Piscataquis Heritage Festival scheduled for September 27-28 at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds.

The Chamber is pleased and excited to add Channel 5 as the festival's sponsor. The goal of the festival is to improve local economy by bringing a regional wide audience to the area.

The Chamber believes that by emphasizing food and music the Piscataquis Heritage Festival will become one of northern New England's major festivals in the next five years. The Channel 5 sponsorship will go a long way towards helping us reach that goal.

Our other sponsors include: The Piscataquis Observer, Mayo Regional Hospital, Bangor Savings Bank, Dexter Credit Union, Penquis Rental, Penquis Higher Education Center, Maine's Best.com, and WDME Radio

The Chamber would like to thank these businesses for their help!
Your support is important to the success of this event!

Chamber to Introduce Region Wide Gift Certificate Program
In an effort to promote local shopping in our region, the Southern Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce will introduce a region wide Chamber Gift Certificate program in time for the 2003 holiday season.

In 2002 the Chamber introduced the Chamber Gift Certificate as a pilot program in Dover-Foxcroft. This program proved more than successful with $3,000 in certificates being sold during the holidays.

In June of 2003 the SPCCC Board of Directors voted to expand the program throughout the Chamber's service area. The Chamber plans to have the Chamber Gift Certificates available in the fall of 2003.

The Chamber discovered in the Dover-Foxcroft pilot program that many companies purchased certificates to give to their employees during the holidays. In an effort to promote the sale of 2003 Chamber Gift Checks the Chamber has mailed a letter to all major employers in the region informing them of the prograin.

In order to take part in the gift certificate program the Chamber asks that a modest fee of $ 10.00 be paid to cover the printing and advertising expenses. The Chamber Gift Certificates will be available in tendollar ($10.00) denominations and will be available for sale locally with a list of participating businesses. These certificates will be redeemable at participating businesses for merchandise or services. Once a business has accepted a Chamber Gift Certificate, it simply contacts the Chamber office and we will reimburse you $10.00 for each certificate.

If there are any questions regarding this program please contact Dennis Lyford at 564-7533.

Penquis Valley Expo 2003
The 20th Penquis Valley Expo held at the Piscataquis Community High School in April was attended by approximately one thousand people. Seventy-five business displays offered something of interest to everyone. Spring Creek BBQ offered samples of their award winning recipes to warm up folks coming in from the bitter cold that accompanied them through the door.

The Expo is important to our region because it exposes many people to the wide range of businesses in our area.

The Chamber would like to thank all of the businesses for their participation, the door prize donations from New England Outdoor Center, Moosehead Furniture and Bay Ferries Company.

We would also like to thank the volunteers who helped make the Expo a success.

Update on Snowmobile Loop
Local snowmobile clubs have been meeting with the Chamber to discuss forming a snowmobile trail loop for the region.

The goal of the proposed snowmobile loop trail will be to attract snowmobilers to the region to ride a well defined and marked loop trail. It would use existing snowmobile trails, with links to all communities and snowmobile clubs who wish to take part in the loop project. The proposed loop would be shaped like a figure eight and would include the towns of Dexter, Charleston, Atkinson, Milo, Brownville, Brownville Jct., Monson, Abbott, Guilford, Sangerville, Sebec, and Dover-Foxcroft.

More information is available by contacting the Chamber office at 564-7533.

National Television Show Visits Our County
The Public Television travel show "Weekend Explorer" visited Southern Piscataquis County on June 2 1 st as part of 30-minute show featuring The Maine Highlands. The California film crew spent three days in The Maine Highlands (Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties) filming whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking, float planes rides and much more.

In Southern Piscataquis County the television show did a feature on Northwood Canoe Company in Atkinson, Lowe's Bridge in Guilford and Breakneck Ridge Farm in Blanchard. The film crew was impressed with our region. One of the cameramen remarked about Lowe's Bridge "it was like looking at a Norman Rockwell Painting".

The Maine Highlands Corporation Tourism Coalition, made up of nine regional organizations including the Southern Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce, sponsored the film.

The Week End Explorer Show featuring Maine Highlands is expected to air to a national audience in February of 2004 on most Public Television stations.

The Southern Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following members for renewing their memberships in 2003
AMB Signs
Discount Mattress & Furniture
McKusick Petroleum
Prouty Ford
A.E. Robinson Oil
Green Door Gallery
Down Home B&B
Milo Farmers Union
Peaks Kenny Motor Lodge
Town of Milo
Town of Monson
Breakneck Ridge Farm
Town of Guilford
Mainly Rent to Own
Nelson Guest Rooms
Eastern Main Healthcare
Taylor Floral
D-F Mainway
Bangor Daily News
Brewster Inn
Snows AG and Saw Shop
Covered Bridge Restaurant & Motel
PQ Controls
Trebor Manion Inn
Maine Savings
Bob's Sugar House
WDME Radio
Lary Funeral Home
North Country Properties
Pleasant River Lumber
Flying Dutchman
Bailey Lumber Co.
Chase & Kimball
Family Eyecare
George Howard and Co.
Webber Hardware
Bangor Savings Bank
Foxbrook Variety
Moosehead Manufacturing
Piscataquis Observer
Rowells Garage
Skowhegan Savings Bank
Ellen DeWitt Real-estate
Hill Top Manor
Town & Country Realtors
Town of Brownville
Town of Sangerville
Mid Maine Historical Society
Bears Den
Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis
Hearts Desire
Juliana Plummer
Judy Craig Consulting
Penquis Cap
Foss Enterprises
Northern Lights
Cat Trax
Community Pharmacy
Goulettes IGA
Mallet Real Estate
Penquis Valley Company
Lake Shore House
Foxcroft Golf Course
Piscataquis Democratic Party
Mayo Regional Hospital
McDonald's Cafe
Tillson True Value
Unicell
United Kingfield Bank
Dover True Value
Eaton Peabody Attorneys
Graves Shop-N-Save

The Southern Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome 11 new members
The Maine Highlands Farm Products Promotion Group
Edward Jones
Sebec Village Shops
Foss Enterprises
New England Outdoor Center
Mid Maine Home Inspection Inc.
Red Earth
Campstahcometo
Mainly Seasilver
Mainly Embroidery
Esther Aldrich

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