ROCKLAND, Maine — Puppies will prance, people will shove whoopie pies down their throats, and bands will fill the harbor with jazz — all in celebration of the summer solstice being marked with a festival 5-9 p.m. Saturday, June 19, on Main Street.
This is Rocklan’’s 10th year celebrating the coming of summer, and this year organizers say there is more participation than ever before.
Restaurateurs will venture out of their kitchens and onto the street to sell their cuisine.
“We’ve encouraged them to have street food that people can pick up and take. It’s a great way for people to get a taste of a restaurant you may not normally go into,” said Lorain K. Francis, executive director of the organizing nonprofit Rockland Main Street Inc.
The Pearl, which recently opened off Main Street, will bring its scallop fritters to the main drag for people to try, Francis said.
Rockland stores also will bring merchandise out on the street to complete the street-fair vibe.
Dogs will open the festival at 5 p.m. Owners are encouraged to dress up their canines and march them down Main Street to Loyal Biscuit, where prizes will be awarded.
Five bands will play around downtown, including a jazz band and a children’s music band.
For children, there will be toys, face painting and washable tattoos. Children can participate in the whoopie pie eating contest outside Rockland Cafe at 7 p.m.
“The Coast Guard will bring a rescue boat and the Fire Department will bring a firetruck that kids can crawl on,” said Elise Bell, chair of the promotions committee for Rockland Main Street Inc.
Alongside the solstice celebration will be a Juneteenth Celebration, which will take place on Winter Street. Juneteenth celebrates the end of the Civil War and of slavery in America, according to Francis.
Maine African-American writers will read their works, and gospel music will play.
“It’s a big community event to kick off summer. The weather is supposed to be fabulous,” Francis said.