Friday, September 9, 2022

Windham Parks and Recreation prepares for upcoming fall activities

By Masha Yurkevich

Summer was a blast, with fun days at the beach and stary nights by the campfire. But as the calendar turns to September, fall is hiding just around the corner. Leaves changing colors and warmer clothes exchanging summer dresses, sandals and shorts doesn’t mean that fun times and making lifetime memories has to stop; fall in Maine is a wonderful and beautiful time to take advantage of and enjoy all that Maine has to offer. Windham’s Parks and Recreation Department help people make the most out of the beautiful time by coming together and offering fun activities for people of all ages.

Last year's Halloween Costume Contest and
Family Winner were Leanna, Bryce and Isaac
as Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Fall activities for the department start in September and run all the way through December. It includes holiday and community events such as the popular Halloween Costume Contest, Family Line Dancing Party, Holiday Light Parade and the North Pole Hotline, youth programs such as Playdates in the Park, Kiddie Gym, School Vacation Trips, Mad Science, Hiking Club and karate, adult sports programs like Tennis in Parks, Men’s Basketball League, Sunday Open Gym and Adult Pickleball. There are also events for seniors that include apple picking, a visit to the Fryeburg Fair, a holiday lunch and concert, a mystery breakfast outing, fall foliage trips and much more. There are also discounted tickets, Shawnee Peak night season passes, Sesame Street Live and Disney on Ice.

For many of the events, there is a registration start and end time and specific deadlines for participants to enroll.

Kelsey Crowe is the Deputy Director at Windham Parks and Recreation and has been a part of Windham Parks and Recreation for five years.

“Some programs and events are free to participate in like Trunk or Treat, but most programs have a cost,” says Crowe. “We do have scholarship money available that families and seniors can apply for through Windham Social Services if needed.”

While some events are free and some require a fee, there are also events that welcome donations, such as the Family Line Dancing Party.

Most of the programs and events are open to everyone whether they are Windham residents or non-residents. There are a few programs that are for Windham residents only, like the after-school program for kids at Windham Middle School, or the Halloween Costume Contest because it is free to enter, and Windham Parks and Recreation covers the cost of prizes to the participants.

“Many of our programs and events also have registration deadlines so we can plan and prepare for the number of participants at the event,” said Crowe.

There are many benefits of Parks and Recreation in any community and here are a few: programs and events provide a social outlet and a way to connect with people in the community, after school programs provide a safe space for at-risk youth, and senior programs enhance seniors' quality of life.

“There is never just one person in charge of an event or program in our department, we all work together to prepare for the event, and everyone helps to run the event as well,” Crowe said. “Many of our programs and events would not be possible without the support of many Windham businesses and organizations who volunteer and donate their time to help us throughout the year.”

Many of the large community events have been going on for many years, before Crowe’s time with Windham, and they have been very successful. During COVID, the activities had come to a bit of a halt. Many of previous the activities included people interacting and being surrounded by each other. Parks and Recreation had to come up with some new programs and events where the community could participate and be together but at a safe distance like the Town Wide Easter and Light Parade or Winter Bingo where families would go to our different parks and do different activities to complete a bingo. As life is slowly getting back to normal, so are the events and activities.

To find more information about upcoming programs and events, please visit the Windham Parks and Recreation website, There is also a flyer with all upcoming fall activities and events with the registration dates, location and more information and details. People can also stop by the office at Windham Town Hall for more information. <

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