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The Hallowell Woodstock and Arts Festival will be held Sunday at Granite City Park from noon to 6 p.m.

The Hallowell Woodstock and Arts Festival returns Sunday after two years of pandemic-related cancellations. Courtesy of Ruth LaChance

HALLOWELL – Woodstock returns to Maine this weekend as the Hallowell Woodstock and Arts Festival returns after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Hosted by the Hallowell Area Chamber of Commerce, the event features an art walk with 28 craft vendors and an exclusive presentation of music performed at the original 1969 event, an ode to the famous music festival in Bethel, New York.

This year’s Hallowell Woodstock and Arts Festival poster was designed by Chris Cart. Ruth LaChance

Event co-founder Ruth LaChance said she and her husband came up with the idea in 2015 after a conversation with their friend Bob Collwell, who had just returned from Quebec City. Collwell was amazed at the number of events that took place in the Canadian city on a daily and weekly basis.

They decided to bring a similar spirit to Hallowell, but after Old Hallowell Day, which is held every year in July.

“We knew the original (Woodstock) in 1969 was on the third Saturday in August, so that was the date, and we wanted the middle of August so the town could rest after Old Hallowell Day and the downtown shops could pack up,” LaChance said. “It’s really about dating, and Bob (Collwell) and I love music from that age.”

The musical portion of the festival is organized by Collwell and features approximately 25 performers on the Granite City Park stage from 2 to 6 p.m.

Although the event started before the pandemic, the theme of “peace and love” behind the idea of ​​Woodstock fits the message the organizers want to convey and “fits with the vibe of the city.”

“We want to send a message of peace to everybody — Democrats, Republicans, independents, whatever you are, everybody wants peace, no matter what, nobody wants conflict,” LaChance said.

The arts and crafts portion of the event begins at noon on Sunday with music at 2:00 p.m. LaChance said there will be no food vendors at the event, as people are encouraged to eat at local restaurants in town.

For more information, visit the Hallowell Woodstock and Arts Festival Facebook event page.

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