Eastham kicks off its 46th annual Windmill Weekend on Friday, Sept. 8 with a fish and chicken fry followed by a talent show at the Elks Lodge. The three-day celebration — this year with an Under the Sea theme — welcomes the return of two decidedly land-based events, the 5K road race and sand art contest missing from last year’s schedule because of Covid.
This year’s honoree, Debbie Abbott, will be recognized in Sunday’s parade. “She’s a phenom,” said Windmill Weekend President Joanna Stevens.
Abbott served as the fire dept.’s administrative assistant for 19 years, retiring from that job in 2011. Her volunteering has helped Habitat of Cape Cod and the Eastham Council on Aging, and she is currently president of the Friends of Eastham Library.
“Under her direction they are just a force to be reckoned with,” said Stevens, who is chair of the library trustees.
Abbott is also active on social media — in a good way. “She’s kind of the voice of reason and giver of information,” said Stevens. “She never loses her head or gets too emotional. She gives the facts and moves on.”
Town meeting provided $10,000 to help fund this year’s celebration.
The raffle is the event’s primary moneymaker. Windmill Weekend Committee member Bob Donahue visited 70-plus businesses gathering gift certificates. Proceeds from the weekend are used to pay for the event and also go to the Windmill Weekend Scholarship Fund.
Returning for a second year will be the Beer & Wine Garden on the Windmill Green, open Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Select board chair Art Autorino, vice chair Aimee Eckman, and Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe will be helping out there.
Seven local food vendors will be on the green.
Registration for the sand art contest sponsored by the town’s recreation and beach dept. begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First Encounter Beach. Contestants will have from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to construct their Under the Sea-themed designs.
Car enthusiasts should enjoy the vehicle show at the Elks Lodge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while history buffs can put on the pedal power for a historical bike tour Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at First Encounter Beach and ending at the Schoolhouse Museum. Participants must bring their own bikes. Children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and helmets are required for everyone regardless of age. Call 508-240-5974 to register.
Entertainment on the green this year includes Trevor the Juggler, Puppets, Paul and Mary, Sarah Burrill Band, Rock Harbor 3, The Dirty Water Dance Band, Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band Muster, Natalia Bonfini Band, and Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys.
Sunday’s ‘Under the Sea’ themed parade along Route 6 starts at Old Orchard Road at 10 a.m. and ends at the Windmill Green at 11 a.m.
For the complete schedule of events go to www.easthamwindmillweekend.org.