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Posted: August 2, 2017

2017 Can’t Miss Summer Events & Festivals in Maine

This summer, let’s maximize the amount of fun we have by hitting as many of these festivals and events as humanly possible.

Written by: Staff Reports

Well hey there, summer, we’re sure glad you’re here. It’s not that we don’t love the cold, long, dark Maine winters, it’s just that we love you just a little bit more…tourists and all.

We’ve rounded up a whole bunch of festivals and events to help you have your best summer yet.


The Yarmouth Clam Festival through the years. Press Herald staff photos

The Yarmouth Clam Festival through the years.
Press Herald staff photos

July 21 to 23: Yarmouth Clam Festival

Downtown |Yarmouth |  clamfestival.com
Don’t clam up! It’s Yarmouth Clam Festival time which means a parade, fireworks, live music, arts & crafts show, pink elephant sale, Yarmouth History Center , flapjack breakfast, clam shucking contest, magic show, firefighters muster, road races, horse & wagon rides, carnival rides and yes, clams for days! This year’s musical acts include The Not Dead Yet Band, Welterweight, Gunther Brown, The Joint Chiefs, Jerks of Grass and The Wicked Good Band.

July 22: Summerfest

Wiscasset Town Common| Wiscasset  |  www.uccwiscasset.org
You’ll hear a diverse mix of live music and you’ll peruse crafts made by the Organ Society ladies who will have all sorts of treasures, plants, baked goods, wood products and toys for sale. The Uncommon Cafe will be serving up burgers, hotdogs and sandwiches and the kids will have plenty to do. Summerfest also features a dog show and parade.  The midcoast merriment runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

July 23: Maine Lobster Ride

Camden Snow Bowl| Camden | mainelobsterride.com
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine invites you find your happy place as you follow  winding country lanes and take in the breathtaking, rocky coast and see lighthouses, lupines and lobster boats from the comfort of two pedal-powered wheels. You’ll have your pick of six  distance options from 15 to 103 miles.  All riders will receive a pair of famous Lobster Ride bike socks and a lobster roll lunch (tuna and vegetarian options also available).  The first ride departs at 7:30 a.m.

Karen Carter-Vachon, back left, of Topsham shares tips about the alpacas with Janet and Pete Dardano of Saco as they visit Upper Farm Alpacas in Pownal during the annual Open Farm Day Sunday, July 25, 2010. Staff photo by Jill Brady

Karen Carter-Vachon, back left, of Topsham shares tips about the alpacas with Janet and Pete Dardano of Saco as they visit Upper Farm Alpacas in Pownal during the annual Open Farm Day Sunday, July 25, 2010.
Staff photo by Jill Brady

July 23: Open farm Day

Statewide| Maine | getrealmaine.com
Open Farm Day is an annual family event that allows the general public to learn about the business of agriculture.Farms throughout the State of Maine open their gates and many farms will have demonstrations, displays, farm-raised products for sale and animals and crops to experience. Activities may include barn and field tours, milking, hay rides, petting zoos, nature trails, beautiful scenery, samples for tasting and refreshments.

July 27 to 30: Ossipee Valley Music Festival

Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds| South Hiram |  ossipeevalley.com
Come for one day or all four. Either way, you’re going to have a ball with this incredible music festival. This year’s lineup includes Steep Canyon Rangers, Sierra Hull, Nellie McKay, Hot Club of Cowtown, Kaia Kater, The Stray Birds, Femina!, Upstate Rubdown, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Celia Woodsmith & Friends, Brittany Haas & Jordan Tice, Harvey Reid & Joyce Anderson, Loren & Mark, Rhythm Future Quartet and many more.

July 27 to 29: Casco Days

984 Meadows Road | Casco |  cascodays.com
The midway opens at 6 p.m. on Thursday and the fun goes all the way through Saturday night. Casco Days features a whole mess of classic summertime activities include fireworks, a chicken BBQ,  kids’ parade, carnival rides and games, history hall, pancake breakfast and more.

July 29: Maine Brewers’ Guild Beer Festival: Summer Session

Thompson’s Point | Portland|  mainebrewersguild.org
Dozens of breweries will be  pouring their beers all day at Thompson’s Point in Portland. You’ll sample world-class beer from world-class breweries. You can also expect plenty of local food trucks and live music. This year’s festival runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $49, $60 for VIP.

July 29: Greater Portland Festival of Nations

Deering Oaks Park| Portland |  facebook.com
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Deering Oaks Park will be home to a multi-cultural festival with international flair. Several countries -and their food- will be represented and you’ll see a range of music and entertainment during a family-friendly celebration now in its 15th year.

July 29: Rangeley Lakes Forestry Museum Logging Festival

Downtown| Rangeley |  www.rangeleymaine.com
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. you can join in the fun at the annual festival that immediately follows the Logging Festival Parade in downtown Rangeley.
Festival highlights include an authentic “bean-hole” dinner, Lumber Jack and Lumber Jill competitions, inside and outdoor forestry museum exhibits, barrel train rides, children’s games, vendor booths, chainsaw carving demonstrations and more.

July 29: Piscataquis River Festival

Guilford Athletic Complex and other locations | Guilford |  facebook.com
“Once Upon a Time” is this year’s  theme so keep your favorite storybook characters in mind when building this year’s float building. The Piscataquis River Festival is all about food, music and all sorts of fun that kicks off with a 7 a.m. breakfast and ends with fireworks at dark.–>

Large crowd funnels into Rockland's Annual Lobster Festival , past a giant cristacean, on Saurday August 6, 2011 in Rockland, Maine. Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh

Large crowd funnels into Rockland’s Annual Lobster Festival , past a giant cristacean, on Saurday August 6, 2011 in Rockland, Maine.
Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh

Aug. 2 to 6: Maine Lobster Festival

Rockland Harbor Park| Rockland |  www.mainelobsterfestival.com
In one of Maine’s most lovely mid-coast spots, the mighty crustacean loved by so many is celebrated…bigtime. The Maine Lobster Festival is five days of lobster-themed fun with lobster dinners, nationally known entertainment, cooking contests, carnival rides and Maine crafters and artists. This thing has been going on since 1947 so they know what they’re doing you just need to get cracking.

Aug. 2 to 5: Skowhegan RiverFest

Various locations | Skowhegan |  www.runofriver.org
RiverFest is Skowhegan’s annual multi-day celebration of recreation and life on the Kennebec.  Evens include bingo, classic car cruise-in, chicken BBQ dinner, Skowhegan Community Band Concert,  Moonlight Madness, canoe and kayak race, bed races, lobster bake, Drivers and Duffers Golf Classic, Glow Stick River Run, raft rides and much more.

Aug. 5 & 6: Northeast Acadian Harborfest

Northeast Harbor |  facebook.com
Celebrate the history and culture of the region with a festival that features  fine arts and crafts from national and international artists.

Photo courtesy of The Nonantum Resort

Photo courtesy of The Nonantum Resort

Aug. 6: Paddle Battle

The Nonantum Resort |Kennebunkport|  www.nonantumresort.com
Paddle Battle is the annual Kennebunk River race for kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and any other non-motorized vessel you can come up with. Serious competitors and fun-loving novices are welcome to participate and the race is followed by a BBQ with live music and family-friendly activities on the resort’s back lawn.

Aug. 9 to 13: International Homecoming Festival

Downtown Locations |Calais and St. Stephen, NB|  www.internationalhomecomingfestival.com
This truly is an international festival as it takes place here and across the border in Canada.  The International Homecoming Festival was started in 1974 as way to bring family and friends together to celebrate the friendship between two communities and events will be held in Calais and St. Stephen, NB. Events include a street fair, parade, concerts, craft fair, sporting tournaments, class reunions, fireworks, artisans and many food options.

Attendees of the Redneck Olympics in Hebron cheer as a monster truck carrying Lucretia Blais to her wedding with Jeff Gould arrives at the main stage in Hebron, Maine Saturday, August 3, 2013. Staff photo by Gabe Zouza

Attendees of the Redneck Olympics in Hebron cheer as a monster truck carrying Lucretia Blais to her wedding with Jeff Gould arrives at the main stage in Hebron, Maine Saturday, August 3, 2013.
Staff photo by Gabe Zouza

Aug. 10 to 13.  Redneck [Blank] Pig Roast & Music Festival

Harold’s Place |12 Harold Lane, Hebron |  facebook.com
It’s a redneck extravaganza like none other out at Harold’s place. The festivities include a pig roast, lawn mower races, red Solo cup saloon, bobbing for pig’s feet, a tire beer trot, and toilet seat horse shoes. You might not win a gold medal, but anyone who attends this thing is a winner in our book.As for the [blank] – think five colored and heavily copyrighted rings and you’ll catch the drift.

Guster Photo by Zoe Ruth

Guster
Photo by Zoe Ruth

Aug. 11 to 13: Guster on the Ocean

Casco Bay, Portland Waterfront and Thompson’s Point |portland|  statetheatreportland.com
For fans of alternative rock band Guster, this weekend is a dream come true. Guster on the Ocean kicks off on Friday night with a cruise around Portland’s Casco Bay with the band. The crown jewel of the weekend is the Saturday concert at Thompson’s Point with guests The Ghost of Paul Revere and Spencer Albee. Guster will be joined on several songs by the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra. On Sunday the weekend wraps up with a kayaking trip from Portland’s waterfront to a secluded spot on Casco Bay where Guster will play an acoustic set. Talk about Guster immersion! This is awesome.  Tickets to the cruise and kayaking trip are limited and available by lottery to fans who purchase tickets to the Thompson’s Point show by June 30 so jump on this!

Aug. 11 to 13. St. Peter’s Church Annual Italian Bazaar

St. Peter’s Church|  72 Federal St., Portland |  facebook.com
Maybe this will be the year that you finally conquer the greased pole? Either way, they’ll be thousands of homemade Italian cookies, all sorts of pasta and pizza and plenty of entertainment at the Italian Bazaar. Abbondanza!

Aug. 11 to 15: Madawaska’s Acadian Festival

Downtown Locations | Madawaska |  www.acadianfestival.com
It’s the 40th years for this festival and it kicks off on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with a merchant sidewalk sale on Main Street. Other events throughout the festival include a farmers market. Charlemagne Tournament, quilting show, art show, craft fair, watermelon eating contest, films, Party du Main Street, Main Street Dancers, poutine eating contest, 5K color run, inflatable fun park, mad science show and much more.

Aug . 12: Winter Harbor Lobster Festival

Downtown locations | Winter Harbor |  acadia-schoodic.org/lobster-festival/
The Schoodic Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to the 53rd annual Winter Harbor Lobster Festival.  It all starts at 6 a.m. with a blueberry pancake breakfast at the Masonic Hall and the fun continues with a 5K race, craft fair, parade, lobster boat races and lobster dinner.

Aug. 16 to 20. Machias Wild Blueberry Festival

Downtown Locations | Machias |  www.machiasblueberry.com

You’ll feel blue, but in  a good way. The Machias Wild Blueberry Festival includes crafts, entertainment and a whole lot of food that involves wild Maine blueberries. Events include a blueberry farm tour, blueberry musical comedy, blueberry run, blueberry quilts exhibit, blueberry pie eating contest and many other activities and events that celebrate Maine’s beloved berry.

Aug. 18 to 20: Great Falls Balloon Festival

Simard-Payne Memorial Park| Lewiston|  greatfallsballonfestival.org
Got your head in the clouds? This is not a problem at the Great Falls Balloon Festival. The festival was founded in 1992 and continues to be a much-loved celebration with hot air balloons, food and entertainment.

Aug. 18 to 20. Belfast Harbor Fest & National Boatbuilding Challenge

Steamboat Landing & Heritage Park | Belfast |  www.belfastharborfest.com
The Belfast Rotary Club beckons you to Belfast to celebrate boating traditions in spectacular fashion at this annual event. Events include a Bug Run, pancake breakfast, Walkabout, Come Boating Regatta, National Boatbuilding Challenge, cardboard boat challenge, live music and much more in idyllic Belfast.

Eric Frasure of North Carolina demonstrates an open stone throw to a group of young people during the Maine Highland Games in Brunswick. Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Eric Frasure of North Carolina demonstrates an open stone throw to a group of young people during the Maine Highland Games in Brunswick.
Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Aug. 19: Maine Highland Games and Scottish Festival

Topsham Fairgrounds |Topsham |  mainehighlandgames.org
Two words: haggis and whiskey and it all starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. But that’s not all, the 2017 Maine Highland Games and Scottish Festival also features live Scottish music and  the Robert Burns Luncheon. The sound of pipe bands will fill your heart and Scottish country dance performances, the Parade of Tartans, harp concerts and more will make this a memorable day even if you don’t have a drop of Scottish blood in your veins.

Aug. 23 to 27. Blistered Fingers Family Bluegrass Festival

Litchfield Fairgrounds |30 Plains Road,  Litchfield |  www.blisteredfingers.com
For five glorious days and nights you can immerse yourself is a sea of traditional and modern bluegrass music that includes local, regional and national acts and a whole lot of harmonies. This year’s list of performers includes – among many others – The Gibson Brothers, Dan Paisley & The Southern Grass, Robinson’s Bluegrass Gospel, Zink & Company, The Zolla Boys and Nothin’ Fancy.

Aug. 24 to 27. Crown of Maine Balloon Fest

Presque Isle |  www.crownofmaineballoonfest.org
Eleven balloonists will be participating in this year’s Crown of Maine Balloon Fest. Maybe one of them will whisk you away to Oz?  Even if you opt to stay on terra firma the sky candy will be mesmerizing.

Sunday, August 28, 2005: Del McCoury (R) and his band perform bluegrass tunes for thousands of fans at the American Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine. Staff Photo by Herb Swanson

Sunday, August 28, 2005: Del McCoury (R) and his band perform bluegrass tunes for thousands of fans at the American Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine.
Staff Photo by Herb Swanson

Aug. 25 to 27. American Folk Festival

Bangor waterfront |  www.americanfolkfestival.com
It’s a music lover’s dream and you can make it a reality for a suggested donation of only $10 per day at The American Folk Festival. It kicks of at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night and wraps up at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. In between you’ll get many earfuls of multi-genred music from acts including C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band,  Cora Harvey Armstrong, Las Cafeteras, Les Poules a Colin and Selvin Birchwood. Don’t let the name fool you, the American Folk Festival goes way beyond folk with blues, Zydeco, gospel, Quebecois, rock  and several other styles of music.

Sept. 1  to 3. Camden Windjammer Festival

Camden waterfront |  www.camdenwindjammerfestival.org
Celebrate Camden’s heritage and living traditions this Labor Day weekend by heading to the annual Windjammer Festival.  The windjammer make their grand entrance between Noon and 5 pm on Friday afternoon and from there the events continue all weekend with live music, talent show, pancake breakfast, nautical dog show, lobster crate race, build-a-boat parade and race, treasure hunt, live music and a boatload of other nautical awesomeness. Ahoy!

Sept. 1  to 10. Boothbay Harbor Fest

Various downtown locations| Boothbay Harbor Waterfront |  www.boothbayharborfest.com
For ten days Boothbay Harbor hosts their annual Harbor Fest and the whole town comes alive with live music including a concert by Marcia Ball, Adam Ezra Group and Raging Brass at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, signature cocktails, special chef tastings, a fashion show, art sales, trunk shows, half marathon, trail run and more. Come for all of it, come for some of it and have a ball in Boothbay Harbor.

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