June 22, 2018
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Exciting weekend of windjammers and blues planned for July 15-17

By Shari Closter, interim executive director, Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce

As July is now upon us in full swing, so are some traditional events coming up on land and by sea, which are a lot of fun for those of us who live here as well as for our many visitors.

The Maine Windjammer Association will host its seventh annual Maine Windjammer Parade and Anniversary Party 2-4 p.m. Friday, July 15. Open to the public, festivities will include an afternoon sail parade past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, a free evening concert at Sharp’s Wharf by folksinger Gordon Bok, deemed by Time Magazine the “poet laureate of those who go down to the sea in ships,” a multi-media display of historic photos of the 75-year-old company, open schooner tours and more. Geared for both spectators on shore and windjammer guests, the event will provide close-up views of the entire fleet as it sails within a stone’s throw of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. Spectators may view the Parade of Sail from anywhere along the mile-long breakwater.  Immediately following the parade, many of the windjammers will anchor next to the jetty inside Rockland Harbor for the evening. For more information about the parade, call the Maine Windjammer Association at 800-807-WIND or go to  http://www.sailmainecoast.com/.

New for the windjammer event is the opportunity to stop by and tour some of Maine’s legendary windjammers the day after the parade of sail. The Rockland windjammers in the Maine Windjammer Association will host Open Schooner Tours 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. Visitors may stop by North End Shipyard and Windjammer Wharf (Captain Richard Spear Drive, off Tillson Avenue) for dockside tours of the American Eagle, Heritage, Isaac H. Evans, Nathaniel Bowditch and Stephen Taber.  For more information about the Open Schooner Tours, call the Maine Windjammer Association at 800-807-WIND.

For exciting blues entertainment, you won’t want to miss the North Atlantic Blues Festival Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17, at Harbor Park in Rockland. National blues artists for the event include Nellie Tiger Travis, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, Magic Slim and the Teardrops, The Brooks Family Reunion, Trampled Under Foot, James Armstrong, Toni Lynn Washington, Eric Bibb and Robert Cray.

In downtown Rockland on Saturday night there will be a blues “Club Crawl” with more than 21 locations featuring blues bands. The Blues Festival hotline is 691-2248. For advance tickets to the Blues Festival (advance ticket sales end July 11), call 593-1189. For more information, visit http://www.northatlanticbluesfestival.com/.

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