The Saco and Old Orchard Beach area offers family vacationers a fun-time paradise with plenty to do for all ages. Art festivals, summer concerts, amusement parks and family-friendly restaurants abound. Walk the beach, fish for stripers, hike the seaside woodland trails or fill up on cotton candy, French fries and candy apples at the amusement park, a throw-back to earlier times.

10 things to do:

1. Founder’s Day Weekend in Ocean Park, 934-9068, or go online to www.oceanpark.org. During the first weekend in August, Aug. 2-5, the Ocean Park Association will celebrate Founder’s Day. The celebration will begin on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall with a special reenactment of “Historical Women of Ocean Park.” On Friday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 pm in the Temple, will be a performance of the play, “Love Letters.” On Saturday, Aug. 4, beginning at 6 p.m. in the square, the 19th annual Festival of Lights and Illumination will take place. The highlight of the evening is the annual “walk about,” which begins at 8 p.m.

2. 24th annual Beach Olympics – on Old Orchard Beach and in the town square. Over the weekend of Aug. 17-19, the town of Old Orchard Beach will host the Beach Olympics – three days of fun competition, music, displays and a presentation to benefit Special Olympics of Maine. All are welcome.

3. 12th annual Breakaway 5K and Marilyn Golzbein Memorial Fun Run – town square in Old Orchard Beach, go online to www.breakaway5k.org for more information and to register. The race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. The Kids Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. and includes medals for all participants along with Dairy Queen ice cream, pier fries, pizza and free rides at Palace Playland.

4. OOB Pavilion – Prospect Street, Old Orchard Beach, 934-2024. On Saturday, Aug. 18, The Edith Jones Project will be in concert at the OOB Pavilion. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10-$12. The Edith Jones Project is an all female jazz band, which performs modern big band pieces.

5. Downeast Maine Shark Tournament – Camp Ellis pier, Saco, 602-2403, or go online to www.mainesharktournament.com. Over the weekend of Aug. 24-26, Camp Ellis in Saco will play host to a shark fishing tournament. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Unite Way of York County. There is a youth division this year and a new weigh-in procedure, which will allow the team that puts in the best overall performance over the two days of the tournament to win the event.

6. Saco Bay Criterium, bicycle race – Downtown Saco, go online to www.gorhambike.com, also register online at www.Bikereg.com. Race day is Saturday, Aug. 25, beginning with same-day registration at 6:30 a.m. The first race gets started at 7:30 a.m. A kid’s race will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the pro’s race will start at noon. Ride along paved, level streets. The races are sanctioned by the U.S. Cycling Federation and are organized by the Southern Maine Cycling Club. Profits from the races go back to our community. Races are held rain or shine.

7. Concerts in the Park – Veterans Memorial Park, on the corner of First and Heath streets in Old Orchard Beach, 934-0860. This month there will be three concerts held at Veterans Memorial Park on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The first concert is on Aug. 2 with the High Ryder Golden Oldies Show. The second show is on Aug. 9 with the Don Campbell Band. The last show of the month will be on Aug. 24 with Johnny “The K.”

8. Ferry Beach State Park – 95 Bayview Rd. in Saco, 283-0067. The state park is open and staffed during the summer months, but it is enjoyed for walking all year long. During summer, the parking lot is open making this a convenient place to park for walking the woods trails or the sandy beach along Saco Bay. The 1.4 miles of trails within the park are wide, level and provide boardwalks to cross over wetlands. Within the park by is one of Maine’s last remaining undeveloped natural sand dunes.

9. “Merit is Better than Fame: Maine Women and Men in the Civil War” exhibit at the Saco Museum – 371 Main St. in Saco, 283-3861, ext. 2. This exhibit is open now through Veteran’s Day and includes Civil War memorabilia as well as items from local families. Museum hours are Tuesday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Admission is $2-$4, or free with a Dyer Library card. On Thursday the museum is open until 8 p.m.

10. Pier Patio Pub – 2 Old Orchard St. in Old Orchard Beach, 934-3595. There is always something going on at the Pier Patio Pub, which offers music and other entertainment just about every night of the week through the end of the month. Featured performers include Trailer Trash, Yo! Adrian, Night Rockers, Plaid Daddy and My Cousin’s Band, along with others. Go online to www.oobpier.com for a full schedule.


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