Kittery Block Party builds on Foreside success

from the Portsmouth Herald


Sen. Collins praises Kittery’s success at annual celebration

By Suzanne Laurent
June 22, 2014 2:00 AM

KITTERY, Maine — Davey the Clown juggled and entertained the crowd with his antics, while inside a large tent Jungle Jim was using balloons to demonstrate the scientific principles of building a mousetrap.

Laughter was heard from all corners of the Kittery Foreside as thousands mingled at the fourth annual Kittery Block Party.

A quintet of middle schoolers from Portsmouth, all members of New Heights, teeter-tottered on stilts up Walker Street. And the tractor-pulled train was again a hit in the children’s area of the block party.

Around 11:45, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, made a stop in the center of Wallingford Square and was greeted by a group of small children carrying a welcoming sign.

Collins was introduced to the crowd by Maine humorist Tim Sample and restaurateur Michael Landgarten handed her a glazed cruller from Lil’s.

“What a day, Kittery,” Collins exclaimed. She had been biting off bits of the cruller and said if Sample’s introduction was any longer, she would have eaten the whole thing.


“I am so impressed with the renaissance of the Kittery Foreside,” Collins said. She congratulated Landgarten and the others who have been key in renovating the part of town also known as Wallingford Square.

“I understand today raised $20,000 that will go to many nonprofits,” she said.

She added it was also nice to be so close to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

“Well, we call it the Kittery Naval Shipyard,” Sample joked.

Near the entrance to the shipyard, a pool had been set up for students in Doug Bertrand’s sixth-grade class at Shapleigh Middle School to show off the remote operated vehicles they made over five days through an outreach program with the shipyard.


“This is my third year doing this program,” Bertrand said. “We had 88 kids participate this time.”

Ben Lord, one of the owners of the Black Birch restaurant and a co-chairman of the Kittery Block Party, said 125 vendors signed up for the event this year.

“We’re off to a great start,” he said when the block party kicked off at 10 a.m.

Kevin and Erin Trainer of Kittery brought their two children, Linnea, 2, and Dean, 4.

“There are a lot of things for the kids to do,” Erin Trainer said. “It’s also great to see what’s going on in the community.”

The event continued into the evening with “The Block’s Got Talent” at The Dance Hall, and the Foreside Music Fest taking place at various venues throughout the square.