Once again, the Strafford Independence Day celebration proved to be an annual magnet for current and former residents of the town and its local sibling, South Strafford.
Between the mighty exhibitions of frog jumping, sponge tossing, and the vigorously contested tug-of-war between the two towns (South Strafford won this year), residents continued the tradition of greeting those who, year after year, return to the little village beneath the soaring white steeple to celebrate the Fourth of July, which Strafford iconoclastically observed on the seventh.
“It’s an instinct to entertain,” said Scott Knoerline as he reclined, very comfortably, into the deep leather seat of his flag-bedecked Westphalia camper. “Even for the people who live outside of town,” he smiled, offering home-brewed cider to friends and neighbors at his impromptu tailgate party. “Everybody just wants to see each other.”
Freya Webb, 8, turns cartwheels on the Justin Morrill Memorial Highway.
A group of children peer curiously into the otherwise empty expanse of the Strafford Town House.
Linda Williams, a former resident of Strafford, browses the selection of novels available at the used book sale at the Morrill Memorial & Harris Library.
A young attendee of the Strafford Independence Day celebrations wrangles an athletic amphibian before competition in the town’s frog-jumping contest.
Strafford resident Jennafer Worth, 13, gets a patriotic layer of face paint.
The kids of Strafford pull mightily toward the Town House during the competition between Stafford and South Strafford.