Harpswell Festival promises 'food, fun, fireworks'

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HARPSWELL — Family-oriented, small-town fun and sunny skies are in the forecast for the ninth annual Harpswell Festival this weekend.

The fun kicks off at Mitchell field at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 29,to accommodate the arrival of lobster boat race spectators.

“(The lobster boat races are) a true Maine spectacle as far as I’m concerned,” festival Executive Director Tom Allen said.

Now in their third decade, according to Allen, the races pit boats of different classes against each other in a drag race down Middle Bay.

While the lobster boat racers battle for the title of fastest boat, the festival opening ceremonies and parade open a day of fun for festival goers.

Crafters, food vendors and Harpie the Sea Serpent will be in attendance. Two stages will feature entertainment from music to dancers to local theater group Triple Thread. Pat Collwell and the Soul Sensations take the stage at 7:30 p.m. to entertain festival-goers until fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Students from Mt. Ararat High School are in charge of running carnival games; proceeds from the games will benefit each class at the school.

Allen said that while organizers have tried different things over the past nine years, the basic format has remained the same.

“We’ve got food, fun and fireworks,” he said. “People can come down and have something to eat, (we’ve got) games for the kids, music for the adults and then families can finish off the day with fireworks. And that’s the formula.”

He said that even with the challenge of organizing the festival and volunteers, the best part of organizing the event is looking down the midway and seeing people enjoying the annual carnival.

“It’s a success because you’ve got people there and their doing fun things,” he said. “We have a location that can’t be topped. There’s a beach you can access so you can go down and cool off, wade in the ocean. It’s a beautiful day.”

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.

Sidebar Elements

Harpswell Festival schedule

All events are Sunday, July 28.

10 a.m. – Gates open.

11 a.m. – Opening ceremonies, lobster boat races and parade.

9 p.m. – Fireworks.

Main Stage events:

2 p.m. – Bath Municipal Band.

3 p.m. – Moose Mountain Band.

4 p.m. – Big Chips Trio.

5 p.m. – Moose Mountain Jazz.

7:30 p.m. – Pat Colwell & the Soul Sensations.

Stage 2 events:

2 p.m. – Belly dancing.

3 p.m. – Celtic dancers.

4 p.m. – Light Body Dancers.

5 p.m. – Tribal Dancers.

6:30 p.m. – Triple Thread.