EASTPORT, Maine — This year’s Eastport Salmon Festival has been moved up one week from its traditional date, and now is scheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5.
This is partly so the salmon festival won’t conflict with the Pirate Festival, scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 11.
“Eastport deserves two festivals,” salmon festival chairman Ann Cornelison said Monday. “This way, we get two great weekends and there are more events for everyone,” she said.
The festival includes a pie supper, communitywide yard sale, art raffle, Paint Eastport Day, farmers market and fishing derby.
But with a possible hurricane threatening to affect the weekend’s weather, Cornelison is keeping a close watch on predictions. Two years ago, when the festival was held on the breakwater, bad weather destroyed the event tent. After that, the tent and most of the events were moved downtown on Water Street, to a more sheltered location.
“We have a backup plan,” she said. “If the weather turns severe, all food and music events will move inside the Eastport Arts Center.”
The Eastport Salmon Festival is sponsored by the Eastport Area Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds go toward scholarship funds for graduating seniors at Shead High School.
A community potluck pie supper will be held 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, at the Unitarian Meetinghouse, 16 Shackford St., with music provided by Millie Mulno and Lee Suta.
Beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, artists will converge on Eastport for Paint Eastport Day. Artists will register at the Eastport Arts Center, 36 Washington St. A silent auction and reception of the “wet” works will be held 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the arts center.
Other Saturday events include a fishing derby on the breakwater from 8 a.m. to noon, local food and craft vendors downtown and-or at library park, and a farmers market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center parking lot.
The Tides Institute at Bank Square will hold the Richard Van Buren exhibit “The Fundy Series: Contemporary Drawings & Sculpture” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., there will be a walking tour of historic architecture. Participants should meet in front of Tides Institute by 10:15 a.m.
One of the highlights of the day is the Salmon Festival Chowder and Chili Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the food tent at the fisherman’s statue downtown.
There will be a variety of soups by local chefs, wine tasting by The Ice House at Blueberry Point Chefs of Perry, beer on tap by Andrew’s Brewing Co. of Lincolnville, and live music by Washington County musicians.
At the same food tent, crab rolls will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. by members of Christ Church Episcopal.
Evening entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center, featuring Red Molly in concert with local opening band Slim Chance & the Can’t Hardly Playboys.
Salmon Sunday, Sept. 5, events include:
• 7:30-9 a.m. Salmon Festival 5K Run registration on Sea Street behind Motel East.
• 8:15 a.m. Kids’ One-Mile Run (ages 14 and under).
• 9:15 a.m. 5K race-walk.
• 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Local food and craft vendors and educational exhibits, downtown.
• 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 24th Annual Salmon Dinner, in the food tent at the fisherman’s statue. The dinner will include grilled salmon filet, fresh vegetables, homemade rolls, wine tasting, beer on tap, blueberry dessert by Rockdale Blueberry Farm of Jonesport, and live music by Washington County musicians. Advance tickets for the salmon dinner, wine tasting and boat tours are available at The First Bank, Raye’s Mustard Mill and Port o’ Call in Eastport.
• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Boat tours of salmon pens. Tickets and more information are available at the ticket sales table at the food tent.
For more details about the schedule, go to eastportsalmonfestival.com.