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PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
A view of Fisherman’s Beach during the Swampscott Harborfest on Saturday.
BY MICHELE DURGIN
SWAMPSCOTT — The organizers of the Swampscott Harborfest at Fisherman’s Beach couldn’t have asked for better weather to celebrate summer’s arrival.
The event began with a fishing tournament at 4 a.m., Saturday morning. The rest of the sun-filled day was packed with activities and demonstrations that continued into the evening.
Some guests participated in a sand-castle-building contest, while others tried their hand at painting star fish replicas. There was a beach-themed scavenger hunt, along with kayak and paddleboard races and a Zumba class.
A barbecue lunch was served at the Swampscott Yacht Club, followed by a Blessing of the Fleet.
Lindsay Boskon has lived in Swampscott for a decade and is a member of “For the Love of Swampscott,” a non profit group that promotes positive, family-friendly activities. She volunteered at a table busy with people who were tie dying beach towels.
“Events like this are great because they give everyone a chance to come out and celebrate,” she said. “It’s also a little nostalgic and gives a nod to days gone by. This is proof that you don’t always need loud bells and whistles for an event to be a success. I just love it.”
The day was sponsored by the Swampscott Recreation Department. Local groups and organizations set up interactive tables and hosted activities, such as the YMCA dunk tank.
Joe Ford, president of the Swampscott Little League, volunteered for a turn at the tank. He found himself inside the tank of cold water more times than he could count, but took it all in stride, with a smile.
Barbara Gherzi, a member of the Swampscott Arts Association, said she was happy with the size of the crowd enjoying the event. She was stationed at a table covered with magnets made from recycled beach finds, including seashells and driftwood, which sold for $5. The proceeds will go towards the town’s arts programs.
“This is terrific and the turnout is amazing,” she said. “I’m glad to see so many families having such a marvelous time together. I hope they continue to enjoy the day and participate in some of the wonderful activities going on well into this evening.”
A group of little girls created beaded necklaces at a table sponsored by Eos Designs Studio.
“This is a good time and I’m glad to be here,” said Eos
owner, Dawn Livigne. “It would be a great annual event.”
Gina Ellison, of Swampscott, said she was pleased with the crowd, the sunshine and the music provided by Mamadou. She was accompanied by her seven-year-old daughter, Ava Ellison.
“The organizers have done a wonderful job,” Gina Ellison said. “I am proud of my town and I’m delighted that so many people came out to enjoy the Harborfest.”