NORWELL — Children cheered and laughed as youth athletic trainer Dave Gilmartin caused a stir when he sank into the dunk tank.
“Come soak!” Max Jervey, 15, a student at Norwell High School, told the crowd. “Five dollars for a trial.”
Jervey and his friends from the Class of 2024 led the dunk tank at Norwell’s Summer Fest on Saturday downtown.
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Summer Fest is one of the city’s most popular events, serving as the kickoff to summer as residents gather downtown to celebrate the community with music, food and activities family. Admission was free. The all-volunteer event started in 2015 and also took place in 2017 and 2019. Over 45 artisans and 15 food vendors participated this year.
“It’s just a moment for everyone to come hang out,” said event organizer Lauren Fish Lowing.
The money the students raise at the dunk tank will be used to cover class activities. They invited their favorite teachers and coaches as guests to serve as targets.
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“It’s good to support the Norwell community,” said Gilmartin, wet from head to toe. “If I trained them well enough, I should be dunked a dozen times.”
At a nearby food stand, Pete Anastasi was busy with orders for fries, fried dough, chicken fingers and sausages. He has been running Pete’s Push Carts for about 25 years.
“People love our fresh cut fries,” he said. “And fried dough is always popular.”
About 15 music groups performed on three stages of the festival.
Local favorites Smoking Jackets took over the general Norwell stage and performed a wide selection of well-known songs, from Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ to Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.
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“We’re here to celebrate the magnificence of Norwell,” said guitarist Steve Powers. “It’s a good time with beautiful weather.”
Aubrey Brennan, 15, performed Lenka’s “The Snow” on the Town Green stage.
“I was a little nervous,” she said. “But when I heard the music, I felt very confident. I felt pretty good.”
The Town Green had a collection of inflatables and activities for children, including a large rock climbing wall. Abel Smith, 6, from Norwell, slipped in the middle.
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“It was scary,” he said. “Because my arms are a bit small to reach the rocks.”
He and his mother, Jennifer Smith, visited Summer Fest in 2019.
“My son is very excited about inflatables,” she said. “But I can’t wait to see the food trucks.”
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Contact Hongyu Liu at [email protected]