41th Annual Fisherman’s Festival April 25-27, 2014
Help celebrate the Maine fishing season with trap hauling, codfish relay races, fish fry, lobster crate racing and much, much more! Even though it seems like this festival is really reserved for Mainers themselves, the tourist love it!! One of those is the annual Fishermen’s Festival in Boothbay Harbor, the 41th of which is held this year from April 25- April 27, 2014. The Fishermen’s Festival celebrates working fishermen and their heritage. There’s no glitz, no glamour, although you could buy a cup of coffee or a tee-shirt from seniors at Boothbay Region High School raising money for their graduation party. Most people attending live in Boothbay or one of the surrounding towns.
At 1:30 Sunday afternoon the people of Boothbay Harbor gathered, as they do every year, at the Fishermen’s Memorial on the east side of the harbor to honor area fisherman who have been lost at sea. This is not done casually. The names of the 229 men whose names are engraved on the Memorial are read out loud, and a bell tolls for each of them. The first name is that of Captain John Murray, 27, who died May 17, 1798. Many of the names are from the same families: fathers, sons, brothers, fishing together. The worst single disaster was in October of 1851, when the S.G. Matthews was lost, taking with it thirteen men, 8 of them under the age of 21. Fishermen begin their profession young. Martin Lewis was only eleven when he was lost at sea in 1845.
The festival starts Friday night with ahaddock dinner, followed by the Shrimp Princess Pageant, in which a dozen young ladies between the ages of 9 and 12 demonstrated their talents. After the pageant those so inclined could adjourn to a local restaurant whereJehovah and the Holy Mackerels playing until 1 a.m.
Saturday there is food, beginning at 6 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at theLions Club, and moving on to a fish fry and alobster bake that basically went on all day, and ending with a church supper at the Congregational Church(2 seating’s, one at 5 and one at 6 p.m.). It is usually cold, so layer, layer, layer!!
8 a.m. starts theCodfish Relay Races — the streets are full of excitement! The Codfish Relay Races were followed by the Bait Shoveling Race, theHead-to-Head Lobster Trap Hauling Competition, and my favorite, the Lobster Crate Race - in which participants must run along the tops of lobster crates strung between two town docks is particularly daring. A fall means a dunking in 40 degree water. There is also Dory Bailing Competitions, a bubble gum blowing contest,Burnt Island Lighthouse Tour(Contact The First Bank for more information 207-633-5149 for tickets to Burnt Island Lighthouse Tour please). Also enjoy the Miss Shrimp Princess Pageant andOyster Shucking. All spectator events take place on the waterfront in Boothbay Harbor.
Saturday is the fun day, Sunday is really the heart of the festival!!
April 25-27, 2014
Fri–Sun – ‘Fisherman's Festival’ Exhibition and Sale of visual artsfeaturing 35 artists from the Boothbay peninsula. Three days of activities and fun!
Artists’ Pot Buoy Decorating Contest – Contact The First for your buoy and more information 207-633-5149.
Friday 7:00 p.m. –Miss Shrimp Princess Pageant – at the Elementary School. Adults $5.00, $2.00 children under 12
Saturday 6:00 a.m.–LionsClub Pancake Breakfast.
Saturday 7:30 a.m.–Coffee and Doughnuts on sale by Project Graduation – at the Waterfront.
Saturday 8:00 a.m.–Codfish Relay Race – at theWaterfront parking lot. FMI Kathleen Pearce 687–6677.
Saturday 8:00 a.m.–12 p.m.–Events for the Children – at Fisherman's Wharf parking lot. Face painting, bouncy house and more.
Small Fry Cold Fish Relay Race immediately following, at the Elementary School FMI Kathleen Pearce
Saturday 8:15 a.m.–Bait Shoveling Race – FMI Ryan Casey 207-380-3166.
Saturday 8:45 a.m.– Trap Hauling Competition – FMI Mark Carter 207-633-5762.
Saturday 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
–Chalk Art on Boothbay House Hill. Saturday 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. –Arts and Crafts Show – FMI Vicki Huskins 207-633-2404.
Saturday 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. –Blood Pressure Clinic – Courtesy BBR Ambulance at the Fire Dept.,
11 Howard Street.
Saturday 9:45 a.m. –Lobster Crate Running– At the Town docks. FMI Brandy Pottle 207-380-5169.
Saturday 11:15 a.m.–Tug of War Competition – FMI Sarah Barter 207-380-7722 or Ashlee Lowery 207-633-3913.
Saturday approx. 11:30 a.m.– Small Fry Tug of War Competition – FMI Kathleen Pearce 207-687-6677.
Sunday 1:30 p.m.–Memorial Service– In honor of area fishermen lost at sea.
Sunday 12:00 p.m.–Burnt Island Lighthouse Tour –Scenic cruise to Burnt Island. Spend an hour touring the island and buildings.
On return, the Novelty will be watching theBlessing of the Fleet Service. Sunday 2:15 p.m.– Blessing of the Fleet – Blessing of the commercial fishing fleet.