EASTPORT, Maine — Organizers said this week that the September weekend that combines the Eastport Pirate Festival, Port Days and the Eastport Salmon Festival should prove to be one of the most exciting Down East events this summer.
The combined events will be held Friday to Sunday, Sept. 11-13. It is the fourth annual Pirate Festival and the 23rd annual Salmon Festival.
Last year, thousands attended the event, where “pirates” celebrate Eastport’s maritime heritage and farm-raised salmon is celebrated as the best meal Down East.
Salmon Festival co-chairman Jett Peterson said the event was founded when the farm-raised salmon industry came to Eastport.
She said a tent will be set up next to the fisherman statue and salmon kebobs, salmon burgers and other treats will be served. There also will be wine tasting and vodka sampling.
“We will even have [local] celebrities as servers,” she said.
Tours of the salmon pens in Cobscook Bay also will be available.
The Quoddy Dam or the Lady H will take people on the 4- mile round trip to the nearby salmon pens in Deep Cove.
An experienced aquaculturalist will be on each boat to describe sea farming. Tickets for the salmon pen boat tours will be $2 with the salmon dinner, $10 for the boat ride alone, and may be purchased at the Salmon Dinner Tent at the fisherman statue.
This may be the last year that the two festivals coincide.
“There is so much going on that probably in the future we will have separate festivals,” Peterson said. “But this year, we are making it work.”
Pirate Festival founder John Miller said the weekend will be full of events, festivities, parades, dances, street performances, pirate ship races, food, and merrymaking with thousands of pirates in costume.
“This year we take it up another notch by welcoming the most popular pirate band on the East Coast of the United States, The Brigands,” Miller said.
Support for The Brigands’ performance has come from contributions from hundreds of individuals and businesses. More than 70 percent of their performance times at locations around the island will be free.
A new schooner also will be part of the Pirate Festival events. Joining the Eastport-based windjammer Sylvina W. Beal will be the schooner Lilly from Bar Harbor.