BATH, Maine — The City of Ships launches five days of downtown fun next week with its 41st annual Heritage Days celebration.
Centered around the long Independence Day weekend, Heritage Days runs from Wednesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 7.
A Bath Sunrise Rotary barbecue will be held at Library Park July 3 from 5-7 p.m., with music by the Bath Municipal Band.
A one-mile fun run at 7:45 a.m. and five-mile road race at 8:30 a.m., at City Hall, kick things off on July 4. A pre-parade show starts at 10:30 a.m., with the parade itself following an hour later.
Heritage Days lauds Bath’s history as an international shipbuilding port, and the parade’s grand marshall unit will be a delegation from Tsuguru City, Japan — Bath’s sister city. That relationship dates back to the aid given to survivors of a Bath ship when it sank off the coast of Shariki Village, which is now part of Tsuguru City.
Smokey’s Greater Shows hosts a carnival from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 4 and 6, 5-11 p.m. July 5, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. July 7.
Live outdoor entertainment also runs throughout the celebration, featuring local and nationally known performers at Library Park and Waterfront Park.
Art in the Park, showcasing 30 artists from around New England, takes place at Library Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 6, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 7. A crafts show will be held there at the same time.
The Friends of the Library Park book sale will be held at the Winter Street Church from 5-8 p.m. July 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 5 and 6, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 7.
Activities on July 6 include a strongman’s contest at the waterfront Bathport from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; the fireman’s muster from noon-3 p.m. at the north end of Front Street, with teams from five states operating antique fire pump rigs, and the Chili-Chowder fest at the Freight Shed from 3-6 p.m.
July 7 starts off with the Front Street shuffle, which runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and features more than 125 antique cars. A boat parade on the Kennebec River will be held at 4 p.m.
Fireworks over the Kennebec ends Heritage Days with the usual bang at 9 p.m. on July 7.
Both Library and Waterfront parks will be posted as tobacco-free areas.
Log onto bathheritagedays.com for a full list of performers and events.