At right, Carol Gregson spins alpaca fur.
Minerva residents took to the sunny streets Saturday, June 30, for the town’s 25th annual Minerva Day celebration.
A variety of activities awaited both locals and visitors.
Minerva Day began as a way to promote the town’s businesses, and though the event has evolved into something much bigger, it hasn’t lost its commercial roots.
Twenty-seven garage sales operated throughout the day and Mountain Ink, owned by Jessica Coyle, sold custom printed Minerva Day T-shirts and hats in Courtney Park.
The park also hosted St Joseph’s Church, whose officials sold baked goods and hot dogs, and local artist Jimmy Daniels. Operating under the name “Joji’s Art,” Daniels sold hand-carved and painted walking sticks, mirrors and glass bottles.
To provide background music for the celebration, Laura King performed on her cello in the morning.
The Irishtown Schoolhouse also hosted a collection of local artistic talent for Minerva Day’s third annual art show.
Several local women submitted small painted cabinets and Kate McCormick displayed six hand-sculpted puppets featuring characters from Swedish folktales.
Sonia Emelianoff and Carol Gregson gave demonstrations of their own crafts; Emelianoff was felting and Gregson spun alpaca fur into thread on a spinning wheel.
The fishing derby at Donnelly Beach hit a record high for participation this year with 44 kids aged 3-15 entering.
“It’s stiff competition,” said judge Mike Corey. “We’ve got a lot of kids and everyone’s catching fish.”
The competition was split into three ages groups, with first-, second- and third-place winners based on the weight of the fish.
Justice LaPell took first, Tristen Hitchcock took second and Alex Mather took third in the 7 and younger bracket. In the 8 to 11 bracket, Audrey Fish placed first, Anneke Troelstra second and Rachel Seaman third. Finally, in the 12 to 16 bracket, Alex Rusbacki took placed first, Brandon Baker second and Kira Seaman third.
Other awards were given out. Jasmine Jenks walked away with the monster fish award — she caught a bass weighing in at more than a pound. Teyah Graves won the prettiest fish award, Noah Dukat won the feistiest fish award, Marina Baker won the smallest fish award, and Alex Ruzbacki won the most fish caught award.
The winners received fishing poles and tackle donated by local businesses.
At 1 p.m. the Minerva Service Organization held a memorial service for Robert Morrison, who was part of the MSO for four years and died last fall.
Nancy Shaw presented a heartfelt speech highlighting Morrison’s years of service to both the MSO and Minerva Historical Society. Morrison’s children — Rob, Patty and Christine — attended the memorial.
The Minerva Historical Society Museum opened at 2 p.m. and was preceded by a series of speeches by Shaw, Robert Savarie and museum director Susan Rawson.
Savarie spoke about Minerva Day’s history and contributions to the town.
“It’s a special day for special efforts,” said Savarie. “A day to say welcome to visitors to Minerva.”
Town Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey presented the Citizen of the Year award to Kathy Halloran. Halloran ended the ceremony by cutting the ribbon across the museum steps, officially opening the Historical Society to the public.
Morning events also included a breakfast at the Minerva Firehouse and the Pant, Pedal, Paddle race. In the evening, there was the Minerva Day parade, a community potluck dinner, activities at Donnelly Beach and fireworks.