By John Anderson
While most of Sunday evening was about having fun, there were a few serious moments at the Riley – Pappas Performance Pavilion. At 6:15pm, a short processional entered the Complex escorted by an Auburn Police Department Motorcycle. The American Legion Tuttle Post Color Guard followed, and the Worcester County Vietnam Veterans Wall came next. Local and state politicians concluded the parade.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, Christine Taylor sang a wonderful version of The Star Spangled Banner. Reverend Brian Grover from the First Congregational Church delivered the invocation. Town Manager Julie Jacobson emceed the event including the group photograph to celebrate Flag Town USA. Political speakers were Representative Paul Frost, District 7 Governor’s Councilor Jennie Caissie, Worcester County Register of Probate Stephen Abraham, and Auburn Board of Selectmen Chair Doreen Goodrich.
The town gave away all of the 1,000 flags secured for the event. Unfortunately, many walked past the pavilion to find some food or fun up near the baseball fields. About 600 remained by the pavilion for the group photograph at 8:00pm. The Outriggers halted their concert to allow the photograph from Auburn Fire Rescue’s Tower One.
Kristen Pappas, Auburn’s Director of Recreation and Culture, said about 30 vendors set up booths for the event. Many were very pleased with their success, which may indicate a good site location. Things will get adjusted for next year, and constructive comments would be useful. In all, attendance estimates range between 6,000 and 7,000. People streamed off the WRTA shuttles all evening, and area streets and parking lots were filled.
All in all, this was a great town event, and credit goes out to all who organized, worked, and participated. Auburn remains Flag Town USA.