BANGOR, Maine — Children can make crafts, go kayaking in the Penobscot River or listen to storyteller and Penobscot Indian John Bear Mitchell during Saturday’s Penobscot River Revival on the Bangor Waterfront.
The Lower Penobscot Watershed Coalition and partners are celebrating the return to a healthy river 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and invite people to visit the river for some fun, live music and a little education thrown into the mix.
The third annual Penobscot River Revival is a family-friendly event that strives to bring awareness to the community about the efforts being made to restore the health of Maine’s largest waterway, which for decades was polluted by residents, businesses and industries.
Many area children don’t realize that the Penobscot River, which looks clean today, was polluted beyond belief just a few decades ago, Glenburn resident Tree Heckler, a fiber artist and instructor, said during last year’s event.
“When I was a kid, I remember how filthy this river was,” she said. “You couldn’t even see the water because of the sludge. And the smell. You didn’t have to worry about kids drowning, because no kids in their right mind would go in it.
“My kids have no memory of that at all,” she added. “If we don’t take care of it, it could go back to that. It’s not perfect, but it’s better. It’s a worthy cause.”
This year’s Penobscot River Revival will include live music provided by Blue Northern, river-focused educational exhibits, nature programs with Tony Sohns, craft tables and other children’s activities, local artists, cultural displays of crafts and Mitchell’s storytelling.
The event is designed to draw attention to the important traditions of the community and historic fisheries, and includes short paddling trips on the river and boating safety tips, and a river-related art show and sale.
More than 30 vendors are scheduled to set up booths, including local guides, conservation groups, schools, food vendors, and local and federal agencies.
For the most current information on exhibitors and activities, visit the group’s website, penobscotriverrevival.blogspot.com.