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Heritage Day heralds visitors to downtown Kingston

KINGSTON — Kingston residents wanted, dead or alive — though preferably alive — for a rip-snorting good time Sept. 29 in downtown Kingston. Period costumes are a must for the second annual Kingston Heritage Day, and the Kingston Revitalization Association gang is back with a vengeance to stir up fun in the neighborhood.

The historical affair is sure to draw bigger crowds this year, after KRA members tested and tweaked different aspects of the celebration during it inaugural year last fall. The main events, like the historical displays, special Kingston Farmers Market, entertainment from the Hometown Band and the old-fashioned dance will remain unchanged.

“We would really like to encourage that,” said KRA member Karen Ross of dressing in period clothing. “Not a lot of people did it last year, but enough did to make it look fun.”

About a week before the celebration, Kingston will find itself peppered with wanted posters, warning locals to keep their eyes peeled for some of the North End’s most “notorious” residents — Sonny Woodward, Ross, Sally Christy, Nancy and Dan Martin and others will be among those to watch for. “Sheriffs” will patrol the town Saturday, ready to cuff and jail them. Last year, a booth was contributed for an outdoor jail that imprisoned jaywalkers and other lawbreakers the sheriffs detained, with friends and family bailing them out with donations to the KRA.

This year, Christy suggested the jail be used as a vendor’s booth to sell popcorn, candied apples and other treats. At the 2006 event, chilly weather deterred many offenders from wanting to remain in the unheated booth for long.

The children’s section of the festival, which was poorly attended last year, will be cut as well, Ross said. There will be enough activities for families to do together, she said.

In addition to a loggers breakfast, a tractor and car show, and a special farmers market, Kingston’s famous hanging flower baskets will be on sale for just $10.

“The weather wasn’t that great and not a lot of people were walking around,” KRA member Betty Mathers said of last year’s event. “I think having a few sheriffs around will be fun. And who knows, it could be a nice, sunny day.”

The Kingston Historical Society will again donate photographs, maps and histories for the day which will be displayed in the Kingston Community Center. There will also be other displays from Kingston residents who are descendants from old Kingston families, or wish to illustrate how certain things were done back in the day. The evening will feature the White Potato Band and a dance for any and all ages feeling the urge to polka.

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