Tag Archives: festivals

Best Events on the Southern Maine Coast

wells-so-beach3There are so many fun events in Maine from Kittery to Kennebunkport and Portland Maine. You just have to “sea” some of these zany vibrant foodies fun festivals to appreciate how Maine does things, fun parades, parties, and celebrations …”The Way Life Should Be”!

Every Saturday in Kennebunk is a Farmers Market from 8-1pm. Fridays throughout Southern Maine.Art Walks occur every Friday evening  in Maine – the 1st Friday in Portland, 2nd Friday is the Village Art Walk in the Lower Village Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, and 3rd Friday Art Walk in downtown Kennebunk.

The Padpaddle-boarder2dle Battle at the river front Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport is August 2– this third annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River starts at 1:30,  register for the race here.  Food, music and fun are part of the event for non-paddlers too on this Father’s Day.

Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayFireworks at Old Orchard Beach every Thursday night  on the beach next to the Old Orchard Beach Pier all summer June 25 – September 3rd.

July 4th  fireworks on the coast at Maine Beach Towns including York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk Old Orchard Beach, Portland.

pineapple-ketchThe Tallships Parade Comes to Portland Maine  July 18-20 2015  – Portland Harbor will hosts 8 historic tallships on their final stop of the 2015 Tallships Challenge . The highlight, the Tallships Parade, sails into Portland Harbor at 1pm July 18

Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport has live entertainment and riverfront dining Monday – Thursday all summer 6:30-9:30.

Stripers Waterside Restaurant stripers-lobster-bakeat the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport has an authentic  Maine Lobster Clambake every Monday night at 6pm served outside on the river with beautiful sunset views.

Aug 29, 2015 is Wells Annual Chilifest at Wells Harbor – a Mexican fiesta in Maine as Wells best restaurants compete for the best chili title.

breakwater-river-view7Laudholm Summer Solstice Nature Crafts Festival in Wells is the 1st Weekend after Labor Day featuring 100 artisans, jewelers, and crafts people display at Wells Laudholm Farms.

MaineStage Shakespeare presents outdoor Shakepeare theatre in the park every Wednesday-Saturday at the Colony, Lafayette Park and River Green in Kennebunkport.

portland-headlightMaine Open Lighthouse Day is September 12 with free admission to Maine lighthouses along the coast

Maine Lobsterman Triathlon in South Freeport is September 12

cape-neddick-yorkFor lodging on the Southern Maine Coast during any of these events and festivals, go to our Lodging Deals Guide.

For a list of Events throughout Maine, see our Maine events page.

Annual Events on the Southern Maine Coast

Jan 1 The Polar Plunge | Portland, Kennebunk, and Old Orchard Beach – swimmers start the New Year with a cold dip in the Atlantic at Maine beaches January 1 for a good cause benefiting various charities. Old Orchard Beach has a Lobster Dip.

Lobster Trap Christmas TreeFebruary is for Lovers | Kennebunkport -The seaside town of Kennebunkport will “Paint the Town Red.” Red tag sales in boutiques, red plates at the best restaurants, a red light ceremony, and carriage rides are highlights. Kennebunk-Kennebunkport offers the perfect winter destination, romantic lodging with ocean views, jacuzzis, and fires. Getaway packages include dining at cozy intimate restaurants, even spa treatments in a picturesque village setting.

Maine Maple Sunday – the third weekend in March Maine Sugar Shacks demonstrate syrup making and give maple candies and maple syrup samples.

Kennebunk May Day Parade and Festival – 1st weekend in May downtown Kennebunk hosts a hometown parade, live music, craft fair and farmers market and family fun.

Memorial Day Weekend Parade Kennebunkport and Kennebunk

wine_glass_corkJune 8-13, 2015: Kennebunkport Festival | Kennebunkport – a fine food, art and wine festival celebrates Kennebunkport’s artists, galleries, top chefs and fine restaurants. Award-winning chefs prepare extraordinary dinners paired with wine and art. Before and After parties, concerts, boat parties, Pop The Kennebunks, Grand Tastings, Brews and tunes, and  Grand Finale comprise this annual waterfront festival in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk. Kennebunkport Festival lodging packages are available at Kennebunkport historic bed and breakfast, inns, resorts and oceanfront hotels.

June 22-23, 2015: George H W Bush Celebrity Golf Classic  | Kennebunkport – A Cape Arundel Golf Club golf tournament with past presidents, pros and celebrities is followed by an evening gala at The Colony Hotel in a fundraiser for Gary’s House.

Tour de Cure | Wells Reserve, Wells –   June bicycle ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association offers one of five routes, 5K, 25K, 50K, 100K, or 100 Mile on Maine’s scenic coastline of Southern Maine with the start and finish at Wells Reserve in Wells.
Portland Headlight
Old Port Festival | Portland – A mid June-tradition for 40 years, Portland’s annual Old Port Festival is Maine’s largest one-day event with bands, a parade,  artists and craft fairs.

June 28 Paddle Battle at Nonantum Resort l Kennebunkport – Annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River.

Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayJuly 4  Fireworks | Maine Beach Towns including York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk Old Orchard Beach, Portland

Aug 29, 2015: Wells Annual Chilifest | Wells – Wells Harbor becomes a Mexican fiesta as Wells best restaurants compete for the best chili title, last weekend in August.

Laudholm Summer Solstice Nature Crafts Festival | Wells – 1st Weekend after Labor Day 100 artisans, jewelers,  and crafts people display at Laudholm Farm.

Lobsterman Triathlon | South Freeport – the most popular triathlons of lobstermen that swim across Casco bay, bike and run  in Freeport mid September.

Maine Open Lighthouse Day – September weekendMaine’s lighthouses are open to the public and free of charge

Wells Beach signOct 17, 2015: York Harvestfest | York Beach – York’s annual celebration of Maine food and culture, music and crafts on York Beach, Maine.

October 2015: OgunquitFest | Ogunquit – last weekend of October is filled with fall fun, pumpkin decorating, costume parade, classic car show, craft show,  high heel race, bed race, wagon rides, and a scarecrow contest.

Oct 2015: Harvest on the Harbor | Portland Maine’s top chefs serve local food and wines on Portland’s waterfront for the title Maine Lobster Chef of the year

October 30, 2015 Nonantum Phantom l Kennebunkport annual Halloween Bash for adults with costumes and live music at this historic, haunted Kennebunkport inn.

Oct 31 “Trick or Treat” Halloween Night in the Kennebunks | the Kennebunks’ local merchants hand out goodies to costumed kids in the late afternoon.

Nov 28, 2015 Festival of Lights | Kennebunk –  the largest Christmas Tree in downtown Kennebunk is lit up the weekend following Thanksgiving! Caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, and ice skating at Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Pavilion.

nubble-light-southern-maine-coast.jpgNov 28, 2015: Lighting of the Nubble | Sohier Park, York – In Sohier Park, the Nubble Lighthouse is illuminated and Santa makes an appearance.

Dec 3 – 13, 2015: Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude | Kennebunkport – seasonal seaside celebration with  tree lighting , shopping, craft fairs, caroling, and Santa in a lobster boat! Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude is the first two weeks in December.

Freeport Sparkle Weekend | Freeport – 1st weekend of Dec. Freeport  has a Parade of Lights down Main Street, Holiday Movie Marathon, Tuba Christmas Concert, Visits with Santa, Horse Drawn Wagons, Musical Holiday Light Shows, Holiday crafts, Complimentary Gift Wrapping and more!

Dec  5, 2015: Festival of Lights | York – Christmas fun includes the Polar Express, Breakfast with Santa, Festival of Ginger-bread Houses, Festival of Trees, the Lighting of York Village, and a Festival of Lights Parade.

Snow TreesDec  11-13, 2015: Christmas By the Sea Ogunquit | Christmas celebration with a parade, holiday decorations, caroling, Ogunquit shopping, and craft fairs.

2nd Saturday of Dec: Christmas Boat Parade of Lights | Portland Harbor –  Casco Bay Lines Boat Parade of Lights fills Portland harbor with decorated lighted boats and fireworks.

Dec 13, 2015: Southern Maine Christmas Parade | Wells – an annual holiday parade of floats, decorated vehicles, mascots and marching bands Wells Plaza at 2pm to the Wells Junior High School.

For lodging on the Southern Maine Coast during any of these fun annual events, see our Maine Lodging Guide and we hope to “sea” you soon!

Winter in Maine – Southern Coast Events

Snow TreesWinter in Maine brings snow and a sparkling blue color on the ocean. The best way to enjoy Maine winters is to get outdoors – snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, etc. Southern Maine hosts a profusion of winter recreation and events from holiday festivals and shopping to sleigh rides, skating and cross country skiing. The Southern Maine  region embraces the spirit of the holidays in the winter months, but you can still walk the beach all year round.

Lobster Trap Christmas Tree: Saturday after Thanksgiving: York, ME, Lighting of the Nubble For some York locals, the Holiday Season doesn’t start until the annual Lighting of the iconic Nubble Lighthouse. In Sohier Park, there can be music, hot cocoa, cookies and while Santa makes an appearance. At dusk, the Nubble will be illuminated as testament of the coming Holidays.

Lobster Trap Christmas Tree1st two weeks of December: Kennebunkport, ME  HGTV noted Kennebunkport as the nation’s 2nd most spirited Christmas Town with respect to its holiday inspired events, tree lightings, entertainment, shopping, craft fairs, caroling, a Fire and Ice Bar at The Nonantum Resort on the River, and Santa in a lobster boat in its Annual Christmas Prelude Celebration.

1st two weeks of December: Ogunquit, ME Enjoy Ogunquit’s Annual Christmas By the Sea Celebration with  holiday decorations, caroling,  parade, races, shopping, craft fairs and more!

December 14: Watch holiday-themed characters, ornamented vehicles, and marching bands in the Southern Maine Christmas Parade in Wells.

January 1: Daring individuals take the Polar Plunge in Portland, Old Orchard and Kennebunk Beach to start the New Year with a dip in the cold Atlantic water annually at Maine beaches benefiting various charities. Old Orchard Beach hosts the annual Lobster Dip – same concept.

Winter BeachFebruary is For Lovers in Kennebunkport: All month the seaside town of Kennebunkport Paints The Town Red with lights, a lobster trap shaped heart, horse drawn carriage rides and romantic red tag sales and red plates dinner specials. Book a lodging package with chocolates, Champagne and flowers and see why Kennebunkport is New England’s most romantic town.

Whether you’re visiting Southern Maine for the holidays on a winter vacation or family gathering, you’re welcome to indulge in our winter festivals!