BERLIN – By all accounts this weekend’s Fourth Annual Jericho Lake Festival was a roaring success.
“Awesome,” was the word Paula Kinney, from the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce said. “We’re getting a lot of good feedback. People loved the area and felt welcome,” she said. “They loved to be able to ride, and park, on Main Street.”
Although it rained during part of the downtown block party, Kinney said ATVers don’t seem to mind the rain. “They were still pulling in as the rain was coming down,” she said.
The downtown block party was possible through a grant by Citizen’s Bank and they were handing out ponchos during the event. The Chamber is estimating about 2,000 attended the event, up by about 500 from last year.
Also being held last weekend was the Feast of Saint Anne and Pilgrimage. The two events meshed nicely with Bishop Peter Libosci even going up to Jericho Lake Park to bless the ATVs Saturday morning. He accepted the offer of a ride through the mud and seemed to enjoy it.
Although there were many more ATVs around over the number last year, it doesn’t appear there were any serious issues. The Berlin Police will be holding a debriefing Wednesday for police, chamber and others involved during which they’ll go over any issues, but Chief Peter Morency told the Daily Sun he wasn’t aware of anything major. There was only minor things on the police log for the weekend.
It was Gorham’s first year of allowing ATVs to ride on the roads and Police Chief PJ Cyr said overall things went pretty well. “From a law enforcement standpoint, we were pleased with the little amount of enforcement we had,” he said.
There were a few complaints. Probably the most serious was a complaint of ATVs being washed in the Androscoggin River, near the trestle. Cyr said he responded to that complaint, made on Saturday, but the ATVs were gone when he arrived. There were tracks into the river and one of the signs there had actually been run over. Cyr said they would have received a $300-400 fine if they had been caught.
Other complaints fell in four basic categories in Gorham; speed, unregistered, traveling after dark, and traveling on the Berlin/Gorham Road.
One speeding ticket was given, the rest were warnings, he said. Fish and Game gave out at least one ticket in Gorham for unregistered OHRV. There were several complaints about ATVs on the Berlin/Gorham road. One complaint resulted in an arrest when a group was stopped and one of them had a suspended license as a result of being convicted of DWI. Cyr said next year he would like to get together with Berlin and set the same hours as to when they could be on the road. Berlin allowed them on the road up to 11 p.m. Gorham did not allow them on the roads after dark.
Overall though, Cyr said he thought the event went well.
“Ninety-nine percent were doing reasonable speeds and were driving safely,” he said.
ATV's came in droves to the Berlin Main
Street Block Party. They lined both sides of the street.
(Gail Scott Photo)
Main Street in Berlin on Saturday