BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The sixth annual Maine Harvest Festival took place Saturday and sponsors said it drew in an unprecedented number of people.
“It’s great," vendor Heron Breen said. "I am very enthusiastic that people are enjoying themselves. Everybody is eating delicious food and pawing through all kinds of cool crafts. It's just a great celebration of Maine talent."
But this year there was another reason to celebrate.
Sen. Susan Collins said it was an exciting day because the Maine potato board revealed a new kind of potato: the Caribou Russet.
“I’m particularly excited that it is named after my hometown,” she said.
It is the result of a collaboration between the Aroostook county potato farmers and the University of Maine.
After a 15-year process and securing the funding for the research, Sen. Collins and her team said they could not be happier with the final product. Not only are they tasty, she said, but this new potato will also be a benefit the economy.
“It provides good jobs and it helps to continue a way of life that is very special,” Collins said.
But the Caribou Russet wasn't the only item drawing a large crowd.
“Out of the three years that we've been here, the first part of the day has been tremendous," vendor Norman Barris said. "It's very active, a lot of people and a great flow. It's been really nice."
Getting through 55,000-square-feet of Maine-grown and -produced products can be exhausting, but vendor Amy Kenney said it is well worth the reward.
"It's events like this that allow people and business owners to get out there and really meet the community … meet their audience,” she said.
The festival will continue Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.