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Bandstand Collapse - The Fort Fairfield Community Bandstand collapsed around 2:00 a.m. on January 5, 2017 due to excessive snow load. It was constructed as a community effort in 2005 with private & service club donations in excess of $60,000. Inset photo, the bandstand was one of the largest in the state. See story here. photos/David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, January 5, 2017

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine – Just before two this morning, the Fort Fairfield Community Bandstand collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.  The bandstand, a tremendous source of community pride since it was built in 2005, serves as a stark reminder for residents to remove snow and ice built-up on roofs throughout the region.

            “Public Works Crews noticed the bandstand had been reduced to rubble when they started plowing the most recent snow from Main Street early this morning,” stated Fort Fairfield Town Manager, Jim Risner.  “It is sad to see this beautiful gathering place destroyed, but the town is insured and we will do what it takes to rebuild it.”

            Residents helped build the bandstand in most every way conceivable.  In addition to financial donations, they donated tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of labor and materials to help construct the bandstand, which was completed in the fall of 2005.  The bandstand has hosted dozens of events over the years, including performances during the Maine Potato Blossom Festival, weddings, class and family reunions and church services.  The bandstand also housed the community Christmas Tree and was a beautiful sight to behold when decked out in lights, garland and a dusting of fresh snow.

Officials with the National Weather Service Office in Caribou say roughly 69 inches of snow have fallen in central Aroostook County so far this season, but little of that snow has melted.  What’s even more important to note is the water equivalent of the snow, which is approximately equal to five inches of rain.  This means the average roof in the area has about 30 pounds per square inch of weight on it, which represents about 80% of the snow load most modern roofs are designed to hold.

“It certainly was a disappointing surprise this morning, but no one was hurt and no one has been left homeless,” added Risner.  “We hope this unfortunate event will spur folks to take steps to avoid a similar situation.  It is only early January, we are certain to get more snow over the next couple of months, so taking action now could prevent a tragedy in the near future.”

For more information please contact Fort Fairfield Marketing and Economic Director Tim Goff at 472-3802 or email