Rocky the Lobster at the popular Maine Lobster Festival in Machias.Photo Credit : Brenda Darroch
From lobster to lighthouses, these 2023 Maine summer events offer something for everyone. Read on to see our picks, then tell us YOUR picks for the best Maine summer events in the comments.
Delight your inner ocean adventurer with a trip to Boothbay harbor for this weeklong nautical gala. Can’t-miss highlights include the Parade of Sail, showcasing a dozen beautifully maintained examples of the grandest of merchant sailing ships, and Lighted Boat Parade. Plus: pancake breakfasts, waterfront concerts, fireworks over the harbor, tours of Navy vessels and a Coast Guard station, and plenty of pirate mischief.
Over 100,000 people are expected to descend on Yarmouth for this homage to the clam, and they’ll be bringing their appetites: From start to finish, more than 6,000 pounds of clams (along with 6,000 lobster rolls, 2,200 pancake breakfasts, and 400 homemade pies) are expected to be consumed, making it one of the most delicious Maine summer events on record. There’s more to the fun than the food, though, thanks to live music on four stages, a clam-shucking contest, a parade and fireworks.
Some Maine summer events are a larger spectacle than others. Gorgeous Rockland Harbor is the backdrop for the Maine Lobster Festival, a venerable lobster blowout and Midcoast tradition since 1947. The five days of fun and feasting will see 20,000–25,000 pounds of lobster—all freshly caught by local lobstermen—served to hungry festivalgoers, who can also amble through maritime displays and demonstrations, browse arts and crafts vendors, take a harbor cruise, cheer on competitors in the lobster crate race in the harbor, and listen to live entertainment. Don’t miss the crowning of the Maine Sea Goddess on opening night!
Maine’s largest cultural festival puts a spotlight on the state’s long French-American heritage. Enjoy a traditional Acadian supper, live entertainment, monster truck rides, craft fair, Tintamarre parade (an intentionally noisy tradition), and fireworks.
More than 40 hot-air balloons take flight over the city of Lewiston at dawn and dusk. Reserve your spot now (and be prepared to shell out $250) for a launch ride. Other attractions include live music, a carnival, craft and food vendors, and a Friday evening ground-level light show.
The scenic Downeast village of Machias invites everyone to come taste its summertime harvest of wild blueberries — but that’s just for starters. There are blueberry farm tours, cooking and pie eating contests, art and crafts for sale from more than 250 artisans, a quilt raffle, and more.
Sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, the American Lighthouse Foundation, and the Maine Office of Tourism, this event draws upward of 15,000 visitors each year. The attraction? More than two dozen historic Maine lighthouses, all open to the public and ready to be explored. Check the website for full list and locations.