Bath Heritage Days promises fireworks with bigger bang

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BATH — Independence Day weekend marks the return of the city’s annual Heritage Days celebration – an all-ages potpourri of carnivals, music, parades, food and, of course, fireworks, all produced by the Main Street Bath organization.

“We have an amazing fireworks show … this year, a really nice increase in that show,” with an anticipated larger finale, Jake Korb, Main Street Bath’s program director, said in an interview June 16. “We were able to increase the budget on that.”

Last year’s Heritage Days marked something of a baptism of fire for Korb. Just 23 at the time, he came into the job about two weeks before the big event. Still, things went well, and the weather cooperated. He said he’s looking forward to this year’s 43rd annual festivities, which run from Friday, July 1, through Monday, July 4.

The Made in Maine Craft Show, now called the Maine Artisans’ Marketplace, runs at Library Park Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday and Monday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It features “some new, exciting people making some really interesting products,” Korb said.

Smokey’s Greatest Show and Carnival runs all four days at Waterfront Park, as does live entertainment at both Library and Waterfront parks, and a Friends of Patten Free Library book sale at the Winter Street Church.

An Independence Jam Skateboard Competition takes place Friday at 6 p.m. at the Bath Skatepark, 4 Old Brunswick Road.

Saturday’s events include a farmers market at the Bath Iron Works north end parking lot from 8:30 a.m. to noon, a Fireman’s Muster at the north end of Front Street from noon to 3 p.m., and Kids Day at Library Park from 1-3 p.m.

Sunday features the Front Street Shuffle antique car show on Front Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a chili-chowder fest at 26 Summer St. from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Monday’s the big day, starting with a 1-mile fun run and a 5-mile road race at City Hall. The Independence Day parade, the theme of which is “Star-Spangled Anniversaries,” begins at 10 a.m., with a pre-show the hour before.

The Bath Cosmopolitan Club holds its annual Strawberry Shortcake Festival at 894 Washington St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bath Municipal Band plays a pre-fireworks show at Library Park at 8 p.m., during which Maine’s First Ship will hold a fireworks party at the Freight Shed from 7 to 10 p.m.

Wrapping up Heritage Days will be the fireworks display, which will light up the sky over the Kennebec River at 9 p.m.

Log onto bathheritagedays.com for a complete schedule of events and live entertainment.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The Independence Day parade is a highlight of Bath’s annual Heritage Days celebration.

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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.