Police say a Freeport man has been missing since wandering off late Saturday night at this year’s Chickenfest, an annual party hosted by University of Maine students usually in rural Penobscot County.
Trooper Thomas Fiske of the Maine State Police said Dean Levasseur, 24, was in one of the bands playing at Chickenfest, held this year in Howland, approximately 3 miles west of the town’s Interstate 95 exit off of Lagrange Road.
“We don’t know what happened to him,” Fiske said. “Last we know is at about 10:30 [p.m.], he was seen by one of his band mates behind the stage. That’s all we got.”
Fiske said state police were at the scene searching with a dog early Monday morning through much of the daytime, but found no sign of Levasseur. He said once weather clears, a plane will be used to search for him.
Chickenfest is held in a secret location each year and details about the party are spread by word of mouth. Fiske said that when police learn of the location, they respond and try to keep attendees from leaving in cars. He said the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office was covering the area that night and sent six deputies to control the situation.
When they responded, Fiske said “several hundred people” were already at the party.
“It’s like a little boy sticking his finger in the dike, trying to hold back the flood waters and prevent it from getting any bigger than it already was,” Fiske said. “What ended up happening is [party attendees] bypassed where we were and ended up parking on the other side [of the party] and hiked in.”
Fiske said as many as 500 people attended Chickenfest. He said many parked near the interstate exit and walked miles to get to it.
“It surprised the heck out of me how far away some of these people would park and walk,” Fiske said. “You had folks parked down by that exit, so that tells you how far some of them walked.”
According to Fiske, partiers left behind a “total mess” of cans, cups, trash, food and broken bottles on privately owned land without the landowner’s permission.
“If you could [see] what the area looks like today and you were the landowner, you wouldn’t be a happy camper,” he said. “Everything they carried in, it looks like they left behind.”
Fiske said the Freeport Police Department initiated an attempt-to-locate notice after Chickenfest. A Monday message sent via UMaine’s FirstClass system by spokesman Ron Lisnet describes Levasseur as a white male, standing 5’6 and weighting 145 pounds. It says he was last seen wearing a green jacket and blue jeans and that anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the Maine State Police in Orono at 866-2121.
Levasseur’s LinkedIn page says he is expected to graduate this year from Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. According to Magic Hat Brewing Company’s website, Levasseur has been a member of Roots, Rhythm and Dub, a South Berwick-based band founded in 2006.