WATERVILLE — There were no hippies dancing to music and touting unity and peace, but the first Woofstock held Saturday at the Humane Society Waterville Area served to raise funds and awareness for the animals that need a home and lots of love.
Like Woodstock, a giant party held in August 1969 on an upstate New York dairy farm, Woofstock was housed in a rolling, freshly mowed field next to the animal sanctuary near Webb Road. There were lots of live bands, food, pet games and toys, clothes and other cat and dog accessories for sale.
“It’s awesome,” Burt Weed said.
Weed and his wife, Lisa, two animal lovers who have a Russian Blue cat named “Boo”, traveled all the way from Mattamiscontis Township, near Lincoln, to Woofstock. The nearly two-hour hike was worth it, they said, sitting in folding chairs in a field under sunny skies, listening to the band Old Souls.
“I just saw this on Facebook – someone shared it – and thought, what a relaxing afternoon, and for a good cause, so we decided to come,” Lisa Weed said.
Isaac Mercier, 22, and Ashton Harrington, 18, from Benton, made a much shorter trip to Woofstock. They heard about the event from a musician who performed on Saturday, they said. They had just ordered pizza and were listening to music.
“It’s great — it’s a fun time,” Mercier said.
Harrington said the event was for a great cause.
“It supports the idea that animals have good conditions and homes and lots of food, so that’s a good thing,” he said.
Shelter manager Rae-Ann Demos said the facility was very busy, especially with the cats.
“We have about 80 house and foster cats,” she said. “A lot of moms and kittens who are placed in foster care.”
She said she and other shelter officials saw Woofstock being held in various shelters and decided to put their own spin on the Waterville event.
Tickets were $20 online and $25 at the door, with proceeds going to animal care. Demos said the shelter still needs donations of cat litter, cat and dog food, laundry detergent and wood pellets that are used as cat litter.
The demos also wanted to raise awareness of the importance of people spaying and neutering their pets.
“Shelters are inundated with cats this time of year,” she said.
Woofstock, which was due to end at 9pm on Saturday, included a beer garden hosted by Drip City Arcade Bar, games including a corn hole and vendors selling t-shirts, treats and dog collars, brushes and pens. Besides Old Souls, bands scheduled to perform were Tyler Healy Band, Papa Tim and the Desperate Men, Bad Daddy, River Bottom Funk and Cryin’ Out Loud. Food vendors included Texas Backyard BBQ, Sheba’s Wicked Kitchen, Whoof-ie Pies, Cruzin Slice, I’d Wrap That and The Daily Dish.
Maine Technology Group has partnered with the Waterville Shelter as an event sponsor and has pledged to match all donations up to $20,000.
Residents show their support and celebrate Readfield during the town’s Heritage Days event