Arts, Crafts and Culture Festivals
Maine has a unique heritage – one that isn’t easily captured in a quick visit. Maine has long been a source of inspiration to generations of artists and crafters and that, along with the traditions of many cultures, leads to annual celebrations of the best Maine has to offer. The Bates Dance Festival has been held in Lewiston for more than 35 years and has become the state’s prestige dance program for young and professional dancers during an intensive summer workshop. Bates College hosts the festival where the focus has always been on studying and creating new works. In October each year, the Maine Craft Weekend is a fun-filled event throughout the state with a self-guided tour featuring participants all over the state, with Maine craft studios, breweries and businesses open to the public. The Portland Fine Craft Show in the state’s largest city is the only Maine craft show that is open to artists not living in Maine. The show features over 100 exhibitors from Maine and New England with crafts made from ceramics, glass, metal, leather, fiber and many more. Long ago, the French explorers settled in Acadia, what is near the now border of Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, and the French culture is still vibrant throughout much of the state. Madawaska’s Acadian Festival each August celebrates Acadian culture with three days of music and arts, poutine eating contests, free ployes, quilting shows and numerous activities for the whole family. Two events that showcase the art and culture of Maine’s Native people are the Abbe Museum Indian Market and Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market. Both events feature the Native craftsmanship Wabanaki artists.