Meet The Knit Wits, the Maine Lobster Festival's 2016 Grand Marshals
Front Row: Mary Hunter, Phyllis Prescott, Dot Rausch, Barbara Widdecomb, Louise Kinney, Jan Finton
Back Row: Fayelene Hawkins, Patty Ott, Jeanne Bulanchuk, Alice Fowlie, Margaret Hilt, Karen O'Jala, Michelle Gee
With every parade, somebody needs to be on the lead float. That first float, in fact, is reserved for whomever has the ceremonial title of Grand Marshal--and it's a high honor to be chosen by the Lobster Festival Board. When the Lobster Festival's parade begins this year, expect to see the Grand Marshal's float be a little different from years past.
It won't be just led by one person. It will look like a floating party with more than a dozen ladies who call themselves The Knit Wits, a group who has been knitting and crocheting for more than a decade. The ladies donate all of their homemade creations to the infants, children and adults in the Midcoast who need warm clothes the most, including recipients of Care Net, Know-Wal-Lin, Head Start, Methodist Conference Home, Woodlands, and Broadreach.
As volunteers of The Lobster Festival, they put their hard-working hands to good use in a different way. "Every year, they roll up all of the pre-packs of silverware, Wet-Naps and salt and pepper packets for the Lobster Festival for the main food tent, " said Laurie Smith, director of the Lobster Festival.
The Knit Wits take almost several months to roll up approximately 12,000 of those packs each year.
"We chose the Knit Wits not only because of their volunteer work for the Festival, but, also because they are very quietly active in our community, making blankets and hats that they give away to so many groups from infants to chemotherapy patients," said Smith. "They are not often celebrated because not many people know about them and this is the Festival's way of saying 'Thank you' for what you do for all of us.
Jeanne Bulanchuk, the spokesperson for the Knit Wits, is thrilled to be part of the parade. "I think the ladies are very excited. There might be up to 20 of us on there, I'm not sure," she said. In any case, look for one smiling face in particular--Jeanne's. "I'm 85 and I've never actually been in a parade before," she said.
Look for the Knit Wits when the parade kicks off on August 6 at 10 a.m.!