Renowned for its rocky coastline, rich maritime history and beautiful national parks, Maine also has a busy events calendar, including several taking place this August.
There’s enough to keep visitors to Maine busy for weeks, or even months, on end, even without attending one of the state’s popular annual events. But if you like the idea of being among large crowds at a bustling festival or other cultural occasion, then there’s no end of opportunities here. We’ve picked out 10 of the best events coming to Maine over the month of August.
Belfast Harbour Fest
Held each year on the third weekend of August, this hugely popular annual event draws large crowds to the scenic setting of Belfast Waterfront. Sponsored by the Belfast Rotary Club, among the three-day event’s main highlights are a 5k Bug Run, a Pancake Breakfast, a rowing regatta, a cardboard boat building challenge, kids’ activities and live music. There’s also a Friday Night Auction that raises money for local projects and causes.
Heritage Park, downtown Belfast / 13-15 August 2021
Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival
Maine’s rich maritime history is celebrated each year at this eagerly anticipated festival. Created with the mission statement of honouring and preserving the significance of Blue Hill Bay’s history, economy and culture, the event is jam-packed with maritime and historical related exhibits and activities including boats, boat-building demonstrations, art in the park, educational walks, sea shanties, seafood and plenty more. The event also places a focus on promoting an understanding of the historical impacts of the maritime industry on Maine’s forested landscapes. Admission to the festival is free.
Blue Hill Town Wharf and Historic Village, Blue Hill / 21 August 2021
Brunswick Outdoor Art Festival
This fun-packed festival celebrates the arts on Maine Street in beautiful downtown Brunswick this August. The all-day event has showcased a diverse array of fine art since 2006 and features recognised artists, as well as emerging creators, all working in an array of mediums from jewellery, fibre, ceramics, photography, painting, and mixed media. The juried, fine arts show includes more than 100 artists and artisans who will be displaying and selling their work along the sidewalks of Maine Street and on the lush and bustling Town Mall.
Downtown Brunswick / 21 August 2021
Biddeford River Jam Fringe Fest
The River Jam weekend kicks off with Fringe Fest A true community event through to its core, the Fringe Fest provides a canvas for the performing arts to showcase their talents in front of an enthusiastic and supportive audience in Biddeford’s Shevenell Park. Diverse artistic genres include theatre, dance, live music, puppetry, visual arts, and spoken word. Main Street is closed down and restaurants will serve outdoor food and drink. The following day is River Jam Festival in Mechanics Park beginning at Noon with live music, kid’s activities, free cultural cuisine offerings, free kayak and canoe rides, and a giant slip and slide. The evening features Maine’s top popular roots bands, food trucks, local breweries and fireworks to culminate the evening. The whole weekend is free to attend.
Shevenell Park & Mechanics Park, Biddeford / 20-21 August 2021
Maine Antiques Festival
Founded in 1981, this annual event has grown to become Maine’s biggest antiques show. More than 350 antique dealers and collectors travel from across North America to peddle their treasures in front of a keen audience of antiques enthusiasts and collectors. Visitors will find everything under the sun here, from art, books, furniture and china to clothing, coins and glassware to jewellery, pottery, and sports memorabilia – with plenty of bargains to be had along the way.
Fairgrounds Lane, Union / 6-8 August 2021
Portland Chamber Music Festival
Self-styled as serving to enhance the cultural life of southern Maine, this acclaimed festival brings together a superb line-up of internationally recognised artists to present a wide range of classical and contemporary chamber music. Held over six full days, the event also prides itself on its educational and engagement programs designed to encourage community members to get involved in Portland’s musical endeavours, regardless of age, ability or any other differential characteristics.
Venues across Portland / 15-21 August 2021
Winter Harbor Music Festival
Performances for the 2021 Season include the Granite Garden Benefit Concert in Sullivan (Sunday, August 15, 2-5pm) featuring music from the Winter Harbor Music Festival season, Opera at the Brewery, an open air concert in collaboration with Fogtown Brewery in Ellsworth (Tuesday, August 17 at 5:30 pm), chamber music concerts in Hammond Hall in Winter Harbor (Aug 18 and Aug 20, 7pm) and fully staged performances of Mozart’s Impresario on Thursday August 19th at 4pm at the Surry Arts Barn, Saturday August 21 at 2pm at Gouldsboro Town park and 7pm at Hammond Hall, and Sunday Aug 22 at 2pm in Hammond Hall.
Venues across Winter Harbor / 8-22 August 2021
Paris Hill Music Festival
This family-friendly outdoor summer concert features two days of eclectic live music performances, all in aid of the Paris Hill Country Club, Friends of the Historic First Baptist Church of Paris Hill, and the Maine 4-H Foundation. As well as the music, there’s also mouth-watering local food offerings, a full service cash bar, fun-filled games, activities and plenty of other entertainment to satisfy every predilection.
Paris Hill Historic District / 6-7 August 2021
Southern Maine Steampunk Fair
Celebrating the art of Steampunk, a niche aesthetic that blends Victorian steampower with the future, this festival plays host to an eye-catching assortment of exhibits spanning fashion, culture, architectural style, invention and art. Now in its 7th year, the event features vendors, performers and lecturers, all well versed in the iconography, meaning and history behind this quirky, visually arresting, and often highly entertaining cultural phenomenon.
Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk / 14 August 2021
York County Blues Fest
It’s fair to say that there are other US states better known for their Blues music than Maine, but that’s of little concern to the town of Waterboro which plays host to its very own blues festival every summer. Now into its third year, this buzzing blues fest promises to be bigger and better than ever for 2021, with Grammy Winning Paul Nelson Band set to return along with co-headliner Detroit Queen of the Blues Thornetta Davis. Meanwhile new to the festival this year is hot local band Memphis Lightning.
Friendship Park, Waterboro / 21 August 2021
By Paul Joseph