The summer between 4th and 5th grade, I was in the Children's Day parade.

I can't for the life of me remember why. Might have been summer camp, or the church mom made us go to when we were kids. She claims we asked, I say she made us go. Nothing against people who go to church, but I like Sundays off. Anyway, I remember riding around on the back of a flatbed truck with a bunch of other kids.

We were throwing candy off the back, and for some reason, I feel like I had some kind of monkey puppet that I was brandishing towards parade watchers. And that's just one of a million Children's Day memories from when I was a kid. There's some pretty cryptic posts on the Living in Hampden Facebook page, as well as the Hampden Children's Day page, that are cause for concern.

Is Children's Day going away?

attachment-RS28841_fireworks istockphoto

With the exception of the early part of the pandemic, Hampden Children's Day has been an annual tradition in Hampden since 1979. It's always feature a parade, all sorts of games in different places all day long, and it all ended with a huge fireworks display that even rivaled Bangor's 4th of July celebration.


These days however, getting volunteers to join in making the event happen are becoming fewer and farther between. It seems the event requires about 30 volunteers, and the last several years, they've had less than a dozen. Committee members have had to seek more backup from the town, who doesn't seem to be able to add any more support than they already do, according to screen shots shared in the posts.

multi-ethnic volunteer group hands together

There's a meeting happening this week of the Hampden Children's Day committee members. It would appear they're ready to file a motion to dissolve said committee, and and the event permanently. The public is invited to the meeting, being held tonight at 6:00pm, at the Reeds Brook Middle School library.

What would happen if it went away?

Hopefully it won't, but who knows? It looks like the committee will listen to ideas about forward movement, if enough people were to volunteer. But there's been a lot of abuse towards volunteers in recent years, from event-goers who haven't always been quick to follow rules and safety hazards. Many people don't want to return to volunteer after that.

So many people who grew up in Hampden have as many memories of the past as I do. But, the world is also changing, and people aren't as quick to help out as they used to be. Hopefully, something can be worked out for parties involved, but this may just indeed be the end of a 45-year run. That, would be sad.

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