Bath to celebrate 40 years of Heritage Days

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BATH — The city will recognize its rich maritime culture next week in the 40th annual Bath Heritage Days.

And the timing is perfect, with the Maine Maritime Museum celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

In light of that milestone, this year’s Heritage Days – running Wednesday, July 4, to Sunday, July 8 – carries the theme of “Celebrating our Maritime History,” while the Independence Day parade will embrace “Life Along the Kennebec.”

Clayton Grover, a shipbuilder at Bath Iron Works who will have been with the company 60 years this August and is its most senior employee, will be the parade grand marshal.

A one-mile fun run will take place at 7:45 a.m. that day, followed by a five-mile road race at City Hall at 8:30 a.m. The pre-parade show starts at 10 a.m., followed by the parade at 11 a.m. A boat parade will be held on the Kennebec River at 1:30 p.m., followed by a strawberry shortcake festival at the Cosmopolitan Club, 894 Washington St., from noon to 4 p.m.

Live entertainment and Smokey’s Greater Shows will run throughout the celebration at Waterfront Park. A Friends of the Patten Free Library book sale runs through most of the festival.

On Thursday, “25 Years Of Rock,” a 43-song tribute to the hits of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and the people who performed them, will be held at the Chocolate Church Arts Center at 7 p.m.

A “Kids’ Day,” with crafts and other free activities, will be held Friday from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. at Library Park. The Bath Sunrise Rotary Barbecue will take place there from 5-7 p.m.

Saturday’s events include a farmers market on the waterfront from 8:30 a.m. to noon, as well as “Art in the Park” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a craft show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a whoopie pie eating contest from 1-2 p.m., all at Library Park.

There will also be a “Chili-Chowder Fest” at the Commercial Street freight shed  from 3-6 p.m., a strongman contest on the waterfront from noon to 1 p.m., a hand-tub parade to Front Street from 10:30 to 11 a.m., a fireman’s muster at the north end of Front Street from noon to 3 p.m., and fireworks over the Kennebec at 9 p.m.

Sunday will see the Front Street Shuffle Antique Car Show from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., a mast event put on by Maine’s First Ship at the freight shed at 4:15 p.m., and arts and crafts activities at Library Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Log onto bathheritagedays.com for a complete schedule of events.

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

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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.