AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Monday threw his political weight behind a new idea to promote the third Saturday in August as a time to celebrate the state by spending on Maine-made products or at Maine-owned businesses.
It’s called “Maine Day,” and founder Gren Blackall said it’s not about any one business or industry. There’s no organizer or set of rules on how to celebrate. The idea is supposed to be simpler than that, he said.
“You know how Thanksgiving is a day you get together with family? Well, Maine Day is like Thanksgiving, only with lobster,” Blackall said during a proclamation ceremony Monday with LePage at the State House. “There’s no sponsor for Thanksgiving, there’s nobody who runs Thanksgiving.”
The informal holiday, scheduled this year for Aug.16, has the support of several businesses, nonprofits and lawmakers. And Blackall has high hopes for his vague day of Maine-centric pride and celebration, saying it can be celebrated from a backyard barbecue in Maine — or a business highrise in Shanghai.
“Maine already has one of the strongest brands of all the states,” he said in a written statement. “We are known for our woods, our coasts, our quality of life, and our great foods and restaurants. Maine Day is a classic crowd-driven effort that taps into that palpable pro-Maine feeling that so many here and outside of the state hold dear.”
LePage did not give formal comments during the proclamation signing, but said in a written statement that “Maine Day is owned by all the people of Maine, to celebrate how they please.”
“I will encourage state government to find our own ways to contribute to the day, as I hope all future governors of the state will do the same,” he said. “But I’m just as interested to see what kind of ideas this generates from Kittery to Caribou.”
For more information on Maine Day, visit maineday.org.