FREEPORT — To benefit worthy causes and have some fun, the place to be this weekend is the Flavors of Freeport Festival.
Participants can learn to swing or salsa dance; sample local beer, vodka and food; attend a series of lectures, and enjoy the relaxing benefits of a wellness fair.
The second annual festival begins on Friday, Feb. 6. It benefits the Go Red for Women movement, which is in it’s sixth year, and other nonprofits. The festival is hosted by Destination Freeport and is sponsored by Hannaford Bros., Historic Freeport Bed and Breakfasts, Freeport Merchants Association and Gritty McDuff’s. There will be special lodging packages offered this weekend by area hotels and sales and discounts at area businesses.
The opening event, the Chef’s Signature Series, will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn. Chefs from Azure Cafe, Jameson Tavern, the Muddy Rudder, Freeport Cafe, Pedro O’Hara’s, Wilbur’s of Maine and the Hilton Garden Inn Great American Grill will offer samples of their cuisine for $10 a ticket. Following the food samples, participants can enjoy a wine tasting from 7-8:30 p.m., sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn and Freeport Cheese & Wine.
From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. best-selling author Dr. Christiane Northrup will sign copies of her book and give a lecture on “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause,” at the Harraseeket Inn. The Yarmouth resident will donate the proceeds of her lecture to the Bruno Groening Circle of Friends, an international healing group with chapters in Yarmouth and Portland.
Starting at 8 p.m., the music of Trish and Phil Knudson can be heard at the Kendall Tavern, and Annie Clark will perform at the Freeport Cabaret.
Dance instructor Hannah DeGrandpre will kick off Saturday’s events with swing and salsa dance lessons at the Hilton Garden Inn, Old Town Hall. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be a wellness fair at Leapin’ Lizards featuring chair massages, aura photography and gifts. Kim Block of WGME Kim Block will guide a free discussion on heart health with clinicians from Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine. The discussion will start at 12:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, Old Town Hall.
For adults, Libation Sensations will begin at 1 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn. Participants can sample vodka from Freeport’s Cold River Vodka, beer from Gritty McDuff’s and wine from SoPo Wines. At 6:30 p.m., Leapin’ Lizards will show Wayne Dyer’s first film, “Ambition to Meaning,” about the quest for a more purposeful life.
The Tony Boffa Band will perform in the Hilton Garden Inn ballroom from 8 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the American Heart Association. Other bands will perform around Freeport between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7. Venues include the Freeport Cabaret, the Hampton Inn, the Kendall Tavern, Harry & David, Freeport Square and Hartmann Luggage.
To wrap up the weekend on Sunday, participants can decorate their own chocolate hearts from 1-4 p.m. at Leapin’ Lizards, and there will be an art show at Freeport Square, with a reception starting at 4 p.m.
• FYI: For more information visit flavorsoffreeport.com. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Hilton Garden Inn at 865-1433. For information about Go Red for Women visit goredforwomen.org.