Maine and lobster go together like peanut butter and jelly, or as Forrest Gump would say, ”peas and carrots.” Each year Maine lobstermen haul in an excess of 100 million pounds of the tasty crustacean. That’s a pretty impressive number when you consider that lobster was initially considered a peasant food and was one of the staple meals fed to prisoners. Every lobsterman in the state has a unique color scheme for their buoys and every trap has a unique tag. The scheme is unique within the state, but may not be unique between states.
Throughout the year, but particularly during the winter months, you may notice lobster buoys or lobster traps washed up on the beach. It is illegal to remove them from the beach and keep them as souvenirs. All buoys and traps are the property of the lobsterman, and with traps costing about $100 apiece you can understand why they’d like to opportunity to retrieve them themselves. If you’d like to help out, you can report the tag number to the Maine Department of Marine Resources and they will pass along the information to the lobsterman. Maine is a special place, so please come and enjoy the beautiful scenery and fantastic food, but be mindful of the laws and be courteous to all the men and women who earn a living by way of lobstering.
Maine is famous for a lot of things, among them are lighthouses, lobsters, sandy beaches, and rocky coasts. However, for locals and those that visit often enough, the numerous festivals that are held each year throughout the state offer an opportunity to make fantastic memories and enjoy the culture of Maine in a fun and lively setting. I was tasked with trying to pick out the five most notable events and festivals that take place in Southern Maine each year. My list is by no means definitive, and I was forced to leave several notable events off, but in my opinion these are the can’t miss events of the year.
1) Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport – Prelude takes place during the first weekend of December every year, and honestly, the only word sufficient to describe it is “magical.” Events include a champagne reception, candlelight caroling, tree lighting in Dock Square, arts and crafts shows, pancake breakfast, and lobster bake. The main event however, is when Santa arrives via lobster boat. It’s a great time for families and couples alike.
2) York Days and Lighting of the Nubble – This event takes place during the final week of July and is centered at Short Sands Beach in York. Events include local concerts, tournaments, sandcastle building, and fairs. Christmas in July and the annual lighting of Nubble Light is typically held on the opening Sunday of the festival and a fireworks display usually caps off the festivities on the final Sunday.
3) Capriccio in Ogunquit – Held in the middle of September, the Capriccio is a town-wide festival that celebrates art, music, poetry, theater, and concerts. The culminating event is the Capriccio Festival of Kites which is held on Ogunquit Beach. Hundreds of kite enthusiasts take to the sky, with a mass ascension typically held around noon on the final Saturday of the festival.
4) Kennebunkport Fine Living Festival – This festival occurs during the first week of June and is a celebration of fine food, art, and wine. Activities include art shows, cooking demonstrations, live music, inn tours, and food and wine tastings. All in all it’s a perfect way to kick off the summer on the Maine coast.
5) Wells Family Jamboree – The Family Jamboree is a fun event for the entire family and is usually held during the middle of September. Everyone can enjoy hayrides, apple picking, pumpkins, games, prizes, and great food.