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Maine’s 10 Best Art and Culture Events: Summer in New England
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Maine’s 10 Best Art and Culture Events: Summer in New England

Picture of Oliver Griffin
Updated: 9 February 2017
Sitting in the Northeastern corner of the U.S., Maine is one of the country’s oldest states. Home to the country’s first chartered city – York – Maine has a rich and layered history. The state boasts a number of festivals that celebrate all things food, music and culture, and which attract thousands of visitors each year. Here are ten of the most interesting, quirky and original options for this summer.
© Stefan Hillebrand | Wiki Commons
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Culture | Great Falls Balloon Festival

15 – 17 August, 2014

The Great Falls Balloon Festival is a family event running from 15-17 August which exhibits various inflatables from all over the USA. Arts and crafts and food stalls will provide festival goers with plenty to do in between the twice daily balloon launches, which will set off at 6 am and 6 pm (weather permitting). Once the balloons return from their evening flights, assembled crowds will be treated to a ‘moon-glow’. This is when the hot air balloons are tethered to the ground and lit up with propane for a truly spectacular show.

Great Falls Balloon Festival, Simard-Payne Memorial, Lewiston, Maine, USA; +1 207 782 2637

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Culture | Kahbang Festival

07 – 10 August, 2014

Art, music, film and beer are brilliant bedfellows and, while many festivals make a good go of combining at least a few of them, only Maine’s Kahbang Festival can boast a celebration of all four of them. The four day event, running from August 7-10 (Thursday – Sunday), will play host to a number of bands and brewers while also exhibiting a selection of films and artwork. The art element of the festival encourages a whole host of artists to show-off their works in galleries situated in downtown Bangor and on the nearby waterfront. The waterfront is also the location of Kahbang’s ‘brew-fest’, where festival goers can sample an array of beers and ales, as well as learn how to make their own.

Kahbang, Bangor, Maine, USA; +1 207 942 9207

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Art | Throughoutsideways

Through 24 August 2014

Throughoutsideways is an art exhibition of the work of Andrea Sulzer and will be running until August 24, 2014. Sulzer, who is an American born artist, has previously worked as a scientific illustrator and an instructor of English as a foreign language. She was educated in fine arts at Smith College before further studies at NYU and Columbia University. In 2004, she gained a master of fine arts from the Glasgow School of Arts. Throughoutsideways exhibits a range of Sulzer’s most recent creations. These include large coloured pencil drawings and complex woodblock prints that make use of a variety of coloured inks.

Throughoutsideways, Portland Museum of Art, Seven Congress Square, Portland, Maine, USA; +1 207 775 6148

Music | Bar Harbor Festival

29 June — 27 July, 2014

The Bar Harbor Festival is now in its 47th season. Since 1967, this music festival has furthered the careers of some 1,800 aspiring musicians. Running from 29 June — 27 July, concertgoers can enjoy a entire month of live music recitals and performances. Labelled as New England’s ‘premier music festival’, the Bar Harbor event exhibits music from a wide variety of backgrounds, including pop, jazz and even opera. The venues, like the music, are equally varied. The Bar Harbor Congressional Church is renowned for its great acoustics, while the Criterion Theater and Bar Harbor Club are known for their sophistication and elegance.

Bar Harbor Festival, 59 Cottage St, Bar Harbor, ME, USA; +1 207 288 5744

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Food | Maine Lobster Festival

30 July – 03 August, 2014

Maine lobster is famous the world over. In fact, approximately 90 per cent of the USA’s lobster supply is caught off of the coast of Maine. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that local people would celebrate this indulgent seafood. This year’s Maine Lobster Festival will run from 30 July 30 – 03 August, and will allow shellfish aficionados from all over the world to taste this local delicacy. In addition to foodies, the Maine Lobster Festival allures music lovers with its series of live concerts that run the duration of the festival. This year’s acts include David Cassidy and the Spin Doctors, whose 1991 album Pocket Full of Kryptonite became one of the highest selling albums of the 1990s.

Maine Lobster Festival, Harbor Park, Rockland, Maine, USA; +1 207 596 0376

Maine Lobster Festival
Courtesy of Maine Lobster Festival
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Food | South Berwick Strawberry Festival

28 June, 2014

South Berwick Strawberry Festival is a celebration of America’s favourite red and juicy berry. The non-profit, community based event gathers an impressive 20,000 visitors each year who come to enjoy its range of activities put on by local organisations. Past years have included entertainment such as a climbing wall, a family sack race, and a petting zoo. Live music is also on offer as bands take to the stage to keep the crowds entertained. There are, of course, an abundance of strawberries and strawberry centred dishes for people to sample including the classic strawberry shortbread. Artisan stalls sell a variety of homemade products that have been made with much love and attention.

South Berwick Strawberry Festival, Central School grounds, Main Street, South Berwick, Maine, USA; +1 207 475 2354

Music | North Atlantic Blues Festival

12 – 13 July, 2014

One of the most prestigious blues music events in the USA, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is perhaps the East Coast music event of the year. Held each summer, it is not just a celebration of music, but also of food and drink with many bars taking part in the festival. Running from 12- 13 July, the Main Street is shut to traffic as the festival crowds wander freely between bars to sample both drinks and music. This year’s line-up includes sets from Jarekus Singleton, Mr. Sipp and Teeny Tucker. Headlining the festival are Joe Louis Walker and The Mannish Boys.

North Atlantic Blues Festival, Public Landing 275 Main St., Rockland, Maine, USA; +1 207 596 6055

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Culture/Nature | Moose Mainea

June, 2014

Moose Mainea is a true community event organised by local people living within the Moosehead Lake region. With a variety of stalls offering everything from food to crafts, Moose Mainea is a great way to connect with rural Maine. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, this event allows visitors to escape busy modern life and get back to nature. Children are welcome and are encouraged to take part in the festival’s array of family friendly events.

Moose Mainea, Moosehead Lake, Greenville, Maine, USA; +1 207 695 2702

Culture | Windjammer Day’s Festival

22 – 28 June, 2014

With Maine being a state on the coast, it wouldn’t be complete without at least one boat festival. The Windjammer Day’s Festival, organised by the Boothbay Chambers of Commerce and running from 22 – 28 June , is a celebration of Maine’s maritime history. Into its 52nd year, the festival attracts thousands of visitors who come to watch sailboat races, an antique boat parade and even a re-enactment of a naval battle from the war of independence. As well as all things nautical, the festival features a wide variety of food and drink. Most attractions are free, making the Windjammer Day’s Festival the perfect event for those on a budget.

Windjammer Day’s Festival, 192 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA; +1 207 633 2353

Design | The Glory Days automobile show

5 – 6 July, 2014

The Glory Days automobile show is a celebration of car design from the 1950s through the 19 70s. Car enthusiasts from all over Maine and the USA will showcase their vehicles from 5 – 6 July. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Ford Mustang, Mustangs of any vintage will have free admission. Activities include dirt track races, antique aeroplane demonstrations and Model T rides. Delicious snacks, including fresh made burgers and lobster rolls will be on offer throughout the event.

The Glory Days, 117 Museum St, Owls Head, Maine, USA; +1 207 594 4418