BANGOR, Maine — Organizations in Penobscot County are coming together now to engage neighborhoods in the fight against drugs.
According to the Maine Monthly Overdose Report, in 2022, drugs claimed 106 lives in that county and 130 in Cumberland County. But Penobscot County is two times smaller than Cumberland.
Organizers are staging a festival in Bangor to encourage folks to get help and to be of help.
The Coe Park Fun and Run Festival will be held on June 10 and feature a 3K run, free food, horse and wagon rides, games, and the start of a communal garden.
“To me, it’s a great civic value that's kind of underplayed — as far as something that we need to really emphasize as a whole community," stated Sean Faircloth, executive director for the Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center.
Food and Medicine, the Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center, and the Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness are the festival organizers. They say it takes a community to preserve our streets.
“That's why I'm hoping this effort will really help people understand the asset that this neighborhood is. You know it's one thing to complain about folks who have overdoses or folks who are unhomed. We are going to have people who are in recovery helping with this event,” explained Faircloth.
The festival will also highlight Maine artists and writers. That includes guest speaker Morgan Talty, an award-winning author, and a performance from Wabanaki’s entertainer, Firefly.
The festival is free and open to the public. In addition, the county will facilitate public bus rides that day. The Route 1 Capehart line will be used as a community connector to Coe Park.
Free rides, free food, and free entertainment are promised to families in exchange for open hearts and hands willing to make a difference in their neighborhoods.