By Hiroko Sato
GROTON -- Irish singer Brian Corcoran's dulcet tones are expected to grace the Legion Common next month as Grotonfest returns with a lineup of family activities.
Grotonfest, the community's annual fall festival, will take place Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Legion Common on Hollis Street. The rain date will be Sunday, Sept. 23. Should it rain on Sunday, the event would move to the following Saturday.
This year's event will feature up to 160 exhibition booths at which local businesses, nonprofit groups and artists will share information about their work and provide demonstrations. There will also be various live entertainment, ranging from performances by Indian Hill Music Center of Littleton to an interactive display of animals by Animal Adventures of Bolton.
The featured performer will be Corcoran, a Lynn native who has entertained concert-goers across the U.S. as well as in Canada and Ireland. The Corcoran Brothers, the band Corcoran and his brothers formed in 1969, has appeared frequently on The Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethons and other TV shows. He also has performed with some of Ireland's most reputable musicians, including Tommy Makem, Liam Clancy and Eugene Byrne.
Corcoran's performance is expected to start about midday. Other performers will include Centerstage Dance Academy of Tyngsboro, Planet Gymnastics from Acton, Nashoba Valley Dance Academy of Groton and Luth's Karate of Pepperell.
Grotonfest, which draws about 5,000 visitors to the town each year, started more than three decades ago as September Fest, according to organizer Jane Bouvier, who has been involved in the coordination of the festivities for almost 20 years.
Put together by Groton Center for the Arts back then, the festivities were mostly cultural, Bouvier said. But the event has grown into a venue to showcase local businesses after the now-defunct Groton Business Association, of which Bouvier was part, took it over many years ago. This is the second year that the Groton Board of Trade, an association of local businesses, is hosting Grotonfest.
Serving as the emcee this year will be Larry Lickteig, an actor from Groton who often performs in community theaters. There are about 125 exhibition booths already booked with dozens more expected, according to Bouvier. The organizers are also looking for more volunteers.
Parking for the handicapped and entertainers will be at Boutwell School on Hollis Street and at the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Main Street.
For more information about Grotonfest, visit www.grotonfest.com.