The alewives are running and an array of festivities are planned to celebrate this awesome natural event and the restoration of the stone fish ladder, which the fish climb to spawn in the fresh water of the Damariscotta Lake.
Continue or start a new spring tradition by joining the Damariscotta Mills community on Saturday, May 25, Memorial Day weekend, to celebrate the return of the alewives. The 12th annual Damariscotta Mills Alewife Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the fish house parking lot and up and down the historic fish ladder.
Thousands and thousands of alewives will be the stars of the festival. There will be alewife viewing at both the bottom and top of the fish ladder. In addition, Russ and Diana Williams have again offered to open their yard, at the upper third of the fish ladder, so that festival-goers can see the fish up close during their ascent.
Festival events will take place in many locations around Damariscotta Mills: at the fish house, at the bottom of the ladder, at Mulligan’s Smokehouse, along Ladds Hill Road, at the top of the ladder, at Alewives Fabrics on Main Street, and at the Masons’ church on Borland Hill Road. Look for signs pointing the way to activities and maps showing the location of all events.
5K Run with the Alewives: Kick off this year’s alewife festival by running with the alewives. What better way to celebrate the alewives’ spring migration than with an early morning 5K run? On Saturday, May 25, join family members, friends, and neighbors from across all generations for a healthy community run that includes cash prizes, professional timing, and a gorgeous course along Great Salt Bay. The race begins at 8:45 a.m. Packet pickup and race-day registration begins at 7:15 a.m. at the Damariscotta Mills fish house/ladder on Bayview Road, on the border of Newcastle and Nobleboro.
There are discounts for runners under age 14 and for local school track teams. Pre-register by Friday, May 24 at running4free.com/RaceDetails.aspx?raceid=478. For more information, call or email Bob Barkalow: 458-3389, firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Mulligan’s Smokehouse: Join the Smokehouse Girls for breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers, and all the smoked alewives one can eat — that is, if one gets there before they’re sold out. Every year, the Mulligan sisters and their family and friends carry on the tradition of smoking alewives in a small building set up for this purpose. Fresh alewives are brined, then strung on cedar sticks and hung in the shed rafters over a smoky applewood fire. One can buy a string of alewives in a brown paper bag for $5.