PORTLAND – The renewed effort to get gay marriage approved in Maine kicked off Saturday as petition-gatherers fanned out across the state, targeting farmers markets, parades and festivals in communities from York to Bangor.

EqualityMaine says the effort targeted a number of communities, including Portland, Kennebunk, Biddeford, York, Bangor, Ellsworth and Brunswick.

The idea was to target heavily attended festivals. Thus, signature-gatherers were at a street festival in Biddeford, an art festival in Brunswick and the Bob Dylan concert in Bangor.

“We are everywhere,” said EqualityMaine spokesman Timothy Rose on Saturday.

“‘It’s going a lot better than we had thought it would be,” Rose said.

A tally was expected late Saturday.

Rose channeled Bob Dylan in saying he believes Mainers are coming around to the idea of gay marriage after rejecting it in 2009: “The times they are a changing. The great thing for us is that hearts and minds are changing on marriage equality.”

Maine is the only state in New England that doesn’t allow gay marriage or civil unions.

To get gay marriage on the 2012 ballot, organizers need to collect at least 57,277 voters’ signatures by Jan. 30.

Carroll Conley Jr. of the Christian Civic League of Maine said the organization would be disappointed to have another referendum on gay marriage, but said “we also see this as an opportunity to promote the merits of natural marriage to a society.”