A busy week ahead
Boothbay Harbor shifts into full gear this coming week, as the 55th annual Windjammer Days gets underway with a jam-packed schedule of events offering something for everyone. We’re pleased that the week will start off appropriately enough with the Blessing of the Fleet, honoring the hundreds of seafarers from Midcoast Maine who died at sea. A brief service at the Fishermen’s Memorial, on the east side of the harbor, opposite the Catholic Church, gets underway at 1:30 on Sunday, June 25. Folks gather informally around the memorial, or sit on the church lawn as the names of the dead seamen are read and the bells toll in their honor.The fishing boats will then parade around the inner harbor and pass by the public pier adjacent to the Fishermen’s Memorial to receive a blessing for a safe and prosperous year.
Monday between 1 and 3 p.m. we’ll have an opportunity to see a demonstration by sailmaker Nat Wilson in his East Boothbay sail loft, who has made sails for some of the country’s best-known sailing vessels. His loft is just steps away from parking at Ocean Point Marina and the East Boothbay Post office.
On Tuesday, beautifully restored and preserved antique boats will circle the inner harbor beginning around 3 p.m., identified as they pass by Boothbay Harbor’s Whale Park and public landing. Following the boat parade, a public reception is planned at the Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort on Atlantic Avenue where you can meet some of the owners and captains of these vintage watercraft.
On Wednesday, the stars of the show, the windjammers, sail into the harbor and anchor between 1 and 3 p.m. Today, these majestic vessels take paying guests on Maine cruises but if you want to learn more about the days when they were fishing off the Grand Banks, or carrying cargo all over the world, stop in at the Boothbay Region Historical Society (across the street from The First bank, time/temperature) Thursday, June 25 thru Saturday, July 1, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the always-popular street parade follows a route from the high school and YMCA along Townsend Avenue to the waterfront, entertaining young and old alike.
At 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, the skies will light up with a fireworks display over the inner harbor, visible from just about anywhere.
Saturday at 5 p.m. it’s time to predict the winner of the tug of war across the harbor , with a rope spanning 700 feet across the inner harbor as the east side team takes on the west side team. Saturday night, July 1, the lighted boat parade gets underway after dark in the inner harbor. It’s fun to see the clever lighting ideas of some of the boat owners.
Be sure to pick up a schedule of events at the Whale Park to learn about the Coast Guard tour, art displays, golf tourney, road race, lobster eating and oyster shucking contests, and all the free waterfront musical entertainment. We can’t begin to list everything being offered.
Scores of other fun activities are planned throughout the week, including lots of pirate activities at the public landing on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. The kids will have a blast as they interact with Pirates of the Dark Rose.
The Windjammer Days Committee has worked hard to offer something of interest to everyone. We hope you’ll agree.