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Hampden's Children's Day and parade return

Community members said they're thrilled to bring back the 40-year-long tradition this year.

HAMPDEN, Maine — The annual Hampden Children's Day returned this year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Many members of the community lined the sidewalks in anticipation of the parade that kicked off at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

The parade route started at Reeds Brook Middle school and ended at Hampden Academy.

Amy Ryder, Hampden's economic development director, organized the parade portion of the event. Ryder said 26 organizations signed up to be part of the parade.

"It's really just about community. The theme this year is grow your community. With everything in the world we just want to all come together and have a good time and celebrate our community, our town, our kids, and our residents," Ryder said.

The parade was followed by a day filled with food and activities from a couple dozen vendors at George B. Weatherbee elementary school. Some of the food truck options included JJ's Jerk Shack, CraveME, Poppies Kettle Corn, Blue Smoke BBQ, Little Red Snack Shack, Withams Ice Cream, The Italy Bus, and Chick-fil-A.

There is also a live band and fireworks show starting at 7 p.m.

Ryder said Hampden Children's Day is a 40-year tradition for the town.

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