July 5, 2012

At L.L. Bean, so much to celebrate

The retail giant throws a four-day bash to mark its 100th birthday.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Happy birthday, L.L. Bean. Many happy returns, Freeport.

The retail giant is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a four-day-long celebration in the town where it began and has prospered.

The L.L. Bean 100-Year Hometown Celebration blowout began Wednesday and continues through Saturday with dozens of free events and activities, from wagon rides and food samples to free "adventure" clinics and concerts.

The celebration comes to a rousing finish on Saturday with multiple events and a concert at 7:30 p.m. by rock crooner Chris Isaak and his band, followed by a "fireworks spectacular" around 9:30 p.m.

"There is no better way for the company to mark its centennial than to spend it with our customers, employees and the local community where it all began," said Chris McCormick, the company's president and CEO.

There are plenty of chances for people from all over Maine to join the party and find a concert, activity or demonstration during the celebration. Check out the schedule below. For more information, visit: llbean.com/shop/retailStores/100thcelebration.

ALL DAYS

Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick-up spots are near Coffee By Design on Main Street and, on Saturday only, in front of the Flagship Store.

Free Engraving: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Engraving while you wait with the purchase of an L.L. Bean canteen. Main Street lobby.

Boat & Tote Demo: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Watch the company's Boat & Tote bags being made. Hunting and Fishing Store.

Bean Boot Stitching: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Representatives from the company's manufacturing facility will show you how Bean boots are sewn together. Hunting and Fishing Store.

Beanland: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the Bootmobile for photo ops, interactive games and a climbing wall. Moose Park.

Outdoor Adventure Clinics: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Take part in informative clinics throughout the Flagship Store -- today, knot tying; Friday, geocaching; Saturday, water filtration and hydration.

Custom Pictorial Postmark: 1 to 4 p.m. The U.S. Post Office will be on site to hand-cancel your letters and postcards with a custom-designed L.L. Bean Hometown Celebration cancellation stamp. Moose Park.

Food Sampling: 1 to 5 p.m. Home Store.

Outdoor Discovery Schools: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classes starting at $20 in kayaking, archery, sporting clays, fly casting and stand-up paddle boarding. Advance registration (888) 552-3261.

Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers: Hands-on environmental education games and programs for all ages throughout the stores and surrounding area.

TODAY

Free Outdoor Discovery Schools Activities: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shuttles from Flagship Store to a variety of activities: Archery, sporting clays, fly casting, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or canoeing.

Kids Bike Rodeo: Noon to 4 p.m. Bring your bike, or L.L. Bean can provide one for you. Helmets required.

Boston Red Sox: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Red Sox games ticket give-away, meet Wally the Green Monster (11 a.m. to noon), view the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies and meet former Red Sox player Rico Petrocelli. Discovery lobby and patio.

Muddy Bean Boot Ice Cream Giveaway: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sample the Gifford's Ice Cream flavor specially developed to mark L.L. Bean's 100th birthday. Discovery patio.

Freeport Conservation Trust Outing: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Explore Sayles Woods and Fields trails. Meet at the Main Street entrance of Flagship Store for directions.

Boy Scouts Camping Demo: 1 to 4 p.m. Local Boy Scouts will set up a campsite to teach outdoor skills and play a variety of camping games.

Kids Arts & Crafts: 1 to 5 p.m. Local artist and craftmaker Julie Yeo will help you decorate your very own balsam bean bags. Flagship Store.

Discovery Stage Concerts: 5 to 9 p.m. in Discovery Park. The Fogcutters (big band), 5 to 5:55 p.m.; Matt Savage (jazz piano), 6:15 to 7:10 p.m.; Portland Jazz Orchestra, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.

Mountain Bike Ride Outing: 5 to 7 p.m. Meet at the Bike, Boat and Ski Store.

FRIDAY

Maine Authors: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet Maine authors, including Donn Fendler, Lynn Plourde, Sandra Newman, Chris Van Dusen, Barbara Walsh, Janet Freeman Baribeau, Victoria Rowell and Paul Tukey (latter two are tentative). Flagship Store.

Play Outdoor Games with Healthy Hometowns: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of games with guests, including Olympic snowboarder Seth Wescott, L.L. Bear and Slugger. L.L. Bean Adventure Park at Morse Street School fields.

Farmers Market: Noon to 5 p.m. Coyote Lot.

Kids Arts & Crafts: 1 to 5 p.m. Local artist and craftmaker Julie Yeo will present "Make Your Own Fish." People can create and decorate paper salmon or trout. Beanland.

Freeport Conservation Trust Outing: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Explore Powell Point on a .8-mile wooded trail with a couple of short, steep hills and a spectacular view of Casco Bay. Meet at the Main Street entrance of the Flagship Store for directions.

Concerts: 2 to 3:10 p.m., Maine Modern Music Academy award-winning bands Beware of Pedestrians (pop punk) and Guilty Bystanders (alt-rock); 3:30 to

4:40 p.m., Putnam Smith Trio (roots/folk); 5 to 6:10 p.m., Lissa Schneckenburger (folk/blues); 6:30 to 7:40 p.m., Jason Spooner (roots rock); 8 to 9:15 p.m., Ryan Montbleau (folk/blues). Discovery Park.

SATURDAY

United Maine Craftsmen: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 70 Maine artisans will exhibit and sell work, including jewelry, fiber art, specialty food, wood crafts, candles, pottery and more. Main Street.

Food Vendors: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food will be sold along Main Street and Nathan Nye Street, and at the Morse Street ball fields.

L.L. Bean Adventure Park: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inflatable structures, games, music, crafts and food will be part of the festivities at the Morse Street School ball fields. Walk or take a wagon ride there.

Kids Stage: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Puffin Park near the Bike, Boat and Ski Store. Performances include: 11 to 11:45 a.m., The Yo Yo People; noon to 12:45 p.m., The Tardy Brothers (juggling/physical comedy); 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., Dan Zanes (music); 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., Rick Charette (music); 4 to 5 p.m., Dan Zanes (music).

Contemporary Music Stage: 12:45 to 5:10 p.m. Performances include: 11:15 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., Kenya Hall Band (soul/funk); 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., Lyle Divinsky (soul); 1:45 to 2:40 p.m., Jerks of Grass (bluegrass); 3 to 3:55 p.m., Anna and the Diggs (R&B/soul/rock); 4:15 to 5:10 p.m., Pete Kilpatrick Band (folk rock). Main Street patio.

Kids Arts and Crafts: 1 to 5 p.m. Local artist and craftmaker Julie Yeo will show how to make colorful kites that fly. Nathan Nye craft area.

Chris Isaak Concert: 7:30 to 9 p.m. Discovery Park.

Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. Viewable from the L.L. Bean campus and surrounding areas.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

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