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News Feature

Our Community
Originally published in Seasonal Guide, June 27, 2014
Summer is the time for…

A tug of war on the Castine town commons is a July 4 tradition.
Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

Sometimes the hardest part of summer is finding time for all there is to do. Our towns come alive with celebrations and outdoor concerts; historical societies and museums open their doors to new exhibits, and talks on topics ranging from local to global are sponsored by organizations throughout the Peninsula and Island.

Here, we turn our gaze to just a few of the many happenings held during the summer months. For a fuller listing, see Around Town on pages 32-36, and for up-to-the-minute listings of everything under the sun, visit our Community Calendar.

4th of July!

Parades, cook-outs and fireworks. Those are the things that July 4 is made of, and our towns add their own twist. Town libraries have been known to hold book sales and town bands to perform patriotic airs. Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Deer Isle and Stonington all celebrate Independence Day, starting with a parade and continuing with various events during the day. Castine and Stonington both hold an early morning race, with walkers welcome. Traditionally, Brooklin holds afternoon peapod rowing races at Naskeag Point, with boats provided; Brooksville follows its parade with music and a pie eating contest; Deer Isle holds a full lobster dinner at the Masonic Lodge; Castine features a children’s costume parade in the morning and live music and fireworks at the town dock at night, and Stonington offers music, food and fireworks at the fish pier. See, The Weekly Packet, Castine Patriot or Island Ad-Vantages for schedules and details as the date draws closer.

Penobscot Day

The Penobscot Volunteer Fire Department sponsors Penobscot Day—this year on Saturday, July 12—closing down Southern Bay Road for an hour to showcase a parade of floats created by residents and organizations. But first, visit the historical society for a gigantic yard sale and return there after for a hot dog lunch and other treats, or visit the fire house for a chicken barbecue. Last year there was a water slide behind the community school and a baked bean supper at the Methodist Church. And if the weather holds, end the day with live music and fireworks on the banks of the Penobscot River, behind Bayview Takeout.

Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge turns 75

The bridge connecting the Island to the Blue Hill Peninsula turns 75 this year and the island community is celebrating. After an early summer party and rededication ceremony at the new Bridge End Park on June 21, Opera House Arts in August will premiere a “popera,” The Last Ferryman, based on historical research and oral histories from island residents. Performances run August 14-24, with music and lyrics by Paul Sullivan and book by Linda Britt; visit for more information.

Lobster Boat Races & Fishermen’s Family Fun Day

On two consecutive Saturdays in July, Stonington hosts the Maine Lobster Boat Races followed by Fishermen’s Day. On July 13, boats from up and down the coast will gather in Stonington Harbor for annual racing. With 32 races, including categories such as “Stonington’s Fastest Lobstah Boat Afloat” and “Diesel Free for All,” spectators may view from land or sea. The races have been dubbed “Maine’s version of NASCAR.”

On July 20, the Stonington Fish Pier is the site for Fishermen’s Day, an annual family fun day featuring games and contests, such as the wacky boat races and the slippery cod contest—and lots of food. Sponsored by the Island Fishermen’s Wives Association, the day begins with the induction of new Fishermen’s Hall of Fame members. Proceeds from the event benefit families of lost fishermen, safety classes and swim lessons for fishermen, college scholarships and help for graduates entering the fishing industry.

Touring Through Time

Spread over a mid-summer weekend, Touring Through Time showcases the historical societies throughout our towns, which all open their doors with special hours, activities and exhibits. Some societies offer historical music performed live, others demonstrations of blacksmithing or, as Blue Hill Historical Society did last year, tastes of treats baked from historical recipes. Exhibits range from domestic and farm tools to clothing to the interactive experience at the General Store at the historical society in Penobscot. The dates this year for Touring Through Time are Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27. Details will be available as the date draws near.

Blue Hill Fair

The perfect way to end the summer is at the Blue Hill Country Fair, held for five days over Labor Day weekend, August 28-September 1. Sheep dog trials, horse, oxen and tractor pulls, farm animals of all kinds meet the Women’s Skillet Throw, pie baking and pie eating competitions and all the rides and games a fair midway can offer. New this year is the “Flippenout” Trampoline Show. James McMurtry & the Heartless Bastards take to the Grandstand Stage on Saturday night, and what ends a “Down to Earth Country Fair” better than a monster truck show on Monday night? Visit for a full list of shows and exhibits.

Deer Isle-Stonington Bridge turns 75 this year
Photo by Anne Berleant
The midway at the Blue Hill Fair

The midway at the Blue Hill Fair, which lives up to its billing as a “Down to Earth Country Fair.”

Photo by Anne Berleant
The Penobscot Day parade

The Penobscot Day parade offers town residents and organizations to show their creative flair.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose
A tug of war on the Castine town commons is a July 4 tradition.
Photo by Anne Berleant