BUCKSPORT, Maine — It’s nearing the end of July, and in Bucksport that means it’s time for the annual Bucksport Bay Festival.
The 12th edition of the festival, sponsored by the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, will run Thursday-Sunday, July 23-26. The theme this year, according to festival coordinator Lisa Whitney, is “Downtown,” taken from the 1960s hit song by Petula Clark.
“There’s a line in the song that says, ‘Things will be great when you’re downtown,’” Whitney said. “We want to show off the wonderful enhancements we’ve done on Main Street and along the waterfront. The festival offers us a chance to showcase what we have to offer here in Bucksport.”
There’s also a line in the song that says, “Forget all you troubles, forget all your cares when you’re downtown,” Whitney said.
With all the activities, shows and vendors on tap for the four-day festival, there is something for everybody to enjoy, she said.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the kids tent or the car show, the teen talent contest or the 5K race, there’s something for everyone,” she said. “You can forget your troubles and forget your cares for a couple of hours or a couple of days.”
The festival kicks off Thursday night with a performance by The Riverbend Players of “Best of the West: A Tribute to the American West” at the Alamo Theater. The teen talent contest on Friday night will feature performances by local teenagers. Also on Friday, there will be a free outdoor showing of the movie “Grease” in the parking lot of the Alamo Theater.
This year will have a lot of familiar activities and some new attractions. Although the U.S. Navy did not send a ship this year, the Army National Guard will have an equipment display at Peary’s Landing on Saturday, and the Guard’s Jazz Combo will be among the performers Saturday. Also performing Saturday will be Steel Rail Express, recent winners of the regional Colgate Country Challenge, who will compete nationally for a recording contract.
The festival always features a parade along Main Street, and this year, the parade will be jump-started with a ride-through by an estimated 100 motorcyclists with a police escort who are riding in the third annual Ride for Autism Awareness. They’re scheduled to head through town at about 9:50 a.m. Saturday, just before the start of the parade at 10 a.m.
If that’s not enough motorcycles, the Hancock County United Bikers of Maine will sponsor a motorcycle show during the day, and there also will be the annual Antique and Classic Car Show.
Vendors will line the waterfront walkway offering food and crafts, and Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities will offer an Energy Expo featuring information from a dozen or so agencies, organizations and businesses about how to make home improvements to save energy and money.
The festival extends across the river to Fort Knox, which again will feature a 20th Maine Civil War encampment on the grounds.
For information, call 469-6818 or visit www.bucksportchamber.org.