Bath celebrates 38th annual Heritage Days July 2-5

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BATH — The City of Ships rings in Independence Day weekend again this year with its 38th annual Heritage Days celebration.

The downtown event begins Friday, July 2 and will feature an assortment of games, music and crafts, as well as its crowd-drawing parade. Heritage Days wraps up Monday, July 5 with fireworks.

The parade will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. Its theme is “A Great Place in America,” a nod to Front Street’s distinction last year by the American Planning Association as one of the 10 “Great Streets” in the country. Pre-parade entertainment will begin at noon.

Heritage Days coordinator Ed Rogers said the fireworks display, which concludes the festival at 9:15 p.m. Monday on the Bath waterfront, will be bigger and better this year.

“We’ve upped our fireworks budget about 30 percent,” he said last week.

The carnival will feature an array of rides, games and food, while “Art in the Park” will be held Saturday and Sunday rain or shine in Library Park and host more than 30 artists from throughout New England. The craft show runs Saturday and Sunday as well, with more than 50 vendors participating.

Competitions such as the Strongman competition and Fireman’s Muster on Saturday will give festival goers a chance to test their mettle. Sunday morning features a Fun Run and 5-mile road race.

Monday, more than 125 antique cars will line the road for the Front Street Shuffle, and that day’s Great Kennebec Boat Parade offers something for people who prefer their vehicles on water.

Heritage Days has beefed up its entertainment offerings and features acts such as the reggae band Mystic Bowie, who is scheduled to play Monday night.

This year the festival has picked up more sponsors, Rogers said. Five County Credit Union is the event’s title sponsor.

Log onto for a complete schedule of events.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or [email protected].

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.