Sunday, April 20, 2014
By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor
Happy Day After July Fourth. Hope you came through it with all your fingers intact and without blowing your diet.
But even though Independence Day has come and gone, there are some folks who are still celebrating all things red, white and blue. Take L.L. Bean, for example, which used the Fourth as a kick-off day for its 100th anniversary bash and continues it all this week with a slew of concerts, activities, demonstrations and tastings, culminating with its annual July 4 fireworks on Saturday -- which is actually July 7.
Yes, it is somewhat confusing. But it still promises to be a blast (pun absolutely intended).
For the lowdown on activities, including a concert by super-cool crooner Chris Isaak, turn to Page E5. And if you want to make your day even more enjoyable, here are insider tips from a Freeport resident (me) to make your Beanfest marathon a tad less stressful:
• Get there early if you want a good seat for the free concerts in Discovery Park. And I mean EARLY early. A couple of years ago, Bean instituted a policy that forbade planting lawn chairs and blankets in the park until the day of the show, so locals get up at the crack of dawn to snag a prime spot of grass.
• Avoid the L.L. Bean parking lots. There's a free parking garage accessible from Mill and Depot streets, and it will be much easier to snag a spot there, especially when Bean uses some of its lot space for activities. So while everyone else is circling for a spot, you'll already be enjoying a cup of joe and trying your hand at kayaking.
• There are restaurants up and down Main Street within walking distance of L.L. Bean, but they're sure to be crowded. For a more relaxed atmosphere, go down Route 1 a ways to the Old World Gourmet Deli & Market (look for the Big Indian), which serves gourmet-style deli food at a great price, along with pastries, artisanal cheese and alcohol.
• Forget to change the batteries on your camera or grab some sunscreen? There's a CVS within walking distance of Bean on Middle Street.
• If the kids are restless, there's a great playground at Morse Street School just behind L.L. Bean. In fact, Bean is hosting some events there during its celebration.
• If you're planning on shopping at Bean -- and who isn't? -- check out the outlet in Freeport Village Station first. Great deals can be had on everything from flashlights to dress pants, especially if you don't mind undoing a monogram from a returned fleece or backpack. (Bean used to have the outlet across the park from the Flagship Store, so you could easily hop back and forth to compare prices. Not so easy now, but still doable.)
• Be extra careful when going home. Don't be one of those people who aimlessly walks in front of traffic -- especially after dark.
Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at: