CAMDEN, Maine — The Windjammer fleet will arrive in Camden Harbor beginning at 1 p.m. Friday to celebrate the 14th annual Windjammer Weekend.
Organizer Annie Higbee of Owls Head and a team of local volunteers will welcome the fleet of schooners and windjammers.
“The Schooner Frances is coming all the way from Portland in honor of Hasket Hildreth, boat builder, captain, and friend who died earlier this year,” Higbee said. “We would like to dedicate this year’s Windjammer Weekend to him.”
The Parade of Vessels entering Camden Harbor will begin with the arrival of approximately 20 schooners and windjammers, the largest annual collection of sailing vessels in one place in Maine during the summer.
“We will also be welcoming 400 men and women sailors from the USS Whidbey Island that is back from service overseas,” she said.
“The crew of the USS Whidbey Island is very excited to be a part of the festivities of Windjammer Weekend and is looking forward to being ‘adopted’ for an hour, a day or even the weekend,” she said. Anyone interested in participating in the adoption may call Mark Masterson at the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce at 236-4404.
This year’s Windjammer Weekend poster and T-shirt feature art by Eric Hopkins, who has donated his work in support of the event. To get yours or go online at www.windjammerweekend.com.
The children’s poster contest winners’ art will be on display at the Camden Public Library.
At 6 p.m. Friday a short play, “The Fisherman and His Wife,” will start the evening at Harbor Park. The talent show, featuring crew members from participating vessels, starts at 7 p.m. and the evening will conclude with fireworks over Camden harbor.
Saturday highlights begin with the Blessing of the Fleet at 8 a.m., Lobster Crate Races, Nautical Crafts and Vendors, and the build-a-boat contest at 9 a.m. at the Windjammer Weekend headquarters. Registration forms and rules are available on line. The fourth annual Maine Food and Lifestyle Annual Chowder Challenge will begin at 11 a.m. Tours of participating vessels will begin at 2 p.m.
Saturday evening has three events, Pirates of Penzance at the Camden Opera House at 7 p.m. featuring ACT NOW’s Children’s Theater and an outdoor “picnic in” movie showing of the original “Captains Courageous” at 9 p.m. at Harbor Park.
The Adult Treasure Hunt will begin at 9 p.m. Saturday at Gilberts Pub and will feature the 2008 handmade Windjammer Weekend Piece of 8. Teams will pillage the town of Camden and join up with the crew of the USS Whidbey Island.
The Harbor Hounds Dog Show will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday at Harbor Park. This year’s entries will be $5 and profits will go to the Camden Rockport Animal Rescue League. The Family Treasure Hunt begins at 10 a.m. at the harbormaster’s shack.
At 11 a.m. there will be a footlong regatta sponsored by Sharps Point South. At 1 p.m. is the Oakum Pitch Coiling Contest followed by the judging of the build-a-boat contest at 2:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. is the Boat Parade in the inner harbor. A short play at Harbor Park at 6:30 p.m. will be the “Ballad of the Oysterman.” The nautical crafts vendors continue throughout the day.
To top off the weekend, the free concert — tickets are available at the Windjammer Weekend headquarters — will feature the Tough Cats from North Haven, Three of Cups, Geno Leach, and Brown University’s “a capirate” group.
For information about Windjammer Weekend, go to www.windjammerweekend.com.