By Mike LaBella
---- — GROVELAND — The town will throw a big bash this weekend when it holds its annual Groveland Day celebration.
The festivities will kick off tonight at 6 in Perry Park with a 1-mile Fun Run for kids 18 and under, followed at 6:30 by the second annual Groveland 5K Road Race and Walk. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Registration for the Fun Run is $20 and registration for the 5K Run is $30.
A family oriented event, Groveland Day is designed to offer something for every age, said Steve Merrill, a member of the Groveland Day Committee.
“The day’s events bring the town together and give local youth and adult organizations some helpful exposure,” Merrill said.
The festivities kick into high gear tomorrow with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. at The Pines Recreation Area, 227 Main St.
New to Groveland Day this year is a Cow Pie Bingo game on Saturday that offers a grand prize of $1,000. Squares are $10 each and are available until sold out.
Other new events taking place on Saturday include a chili contest, a pie baking contest and a dog costume contest.
“We’re trying out new things in hopes of enticing more people to come to Groveland Day,” Merrill said.
The Pines will have inflatable rides, carnival rides, a safety area, pony rides as well as over 40 vendors, including crafters, growers, artists, and painters. Face and body painting, a dunk tank, entertainers, demonstrations, shows, food and more are just part of the fun. Seacoast United Soccer Club juggling contest and speed contest are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A softball tournament is from 2 to 5 at The Pines. The PTA at the Bagnall Elementary School will host a “Cake Walk,” a game where participants compete in a variant of musical chairs in hopes of winning cakes donated to the event.
Events on Saturday evening include a beer and wine tent featuring The Tap Brewery in Haverhill and Mill River Winery in Rowley, as well as live music with Garfish from Gloucester, a fire pit and a barbecue featuring pulled pork sandwiches, lobster rolls, hot-dogs and clam chowder. A new classic/cool cars night, mechanical bull riding and kids’ fun night round out the evening.
For more information or to register for the road race, visit www.grovelandrec.org and click on “Groveland Day.”