The kickoff for Saco’s 250th anniversary was marked with a major parade and festivities earlier this month, but the celebration continues.

Through Sunday, July 9, activities will be held in both Saco and Biddeford to celebrate this milestone in the cities’ shared history. Historic walking tours remind locals and inform newcomers of Saco’s highlights ”“ some long since gone and some still standing. The 42nd annual Sidewalk Arts Festival is also today, coinciding with the celebration, as well as Biddeford’s annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine festival, which runs through Sunday.

All of these events are great opportunities for locals and visitors to get outdoors, see the sights, support area businesses and learn something new.

In Saco on Sunday, “High Tea with Historians” at City Hall with former Saco Museum Curator Tom Hardiman and local history scholars Sallie Huot and Roy Fairfield will offer information on the city’s past while discussing the importance of preserving such information for future generations.

Like La Kermesse, bringing children and teens to these events shows them the importance of their roots and culture, while instilling a sense of pride for their hometowns. Many of the events are also free or at a low cost, and they offer opportunities for enrichment in the arts ”“ from viewing one-of-a-kind works on the streets of Saco to hearing about the process of preserving artifacts at places like the Saco Museum.

The city has seen many changes to its landscape over the years, from the booming textile business last century to the growing and changing Main Street. Many interesting and unique businesses have chosen to call Saco home, offering up foods, beverages, art and handmade items. Moving toward the shore and along Route 1, two waterparks and other tourist attractions line the roadways. These changes have led to a vibrant community that is moving into its bright future.

The last weekend of the 250th celebration will be marked with more family events, including the Old Home Street Fair in Pepperell Square Saturday, July 7, complete with face painting, penny candy, puppet shows and old-fashioned fun. Firehouse bingo and firehouse square dancing will bring the evening to a close at the old Saco fire station. And the last of the festivities will be a strawberry shortcake social on Sunday, July 8, also at the old Saco fire station. A closing ceremony with the Centennial Brass Band will follow.

We hope area residents ”“ including those beyond Saco’s borders ”“ will get to some of these events to commemorate the city’s history and celebrate its future.


Today’s editorial was written by City Editor Robyn Burnham representing the majority opinion of the Journal Tribune Editorial Board. Questions? Comments? Contact Managing Editor Kristen Schulze Muszynski by calling 282-1535, Ext. 322, or via email at [email protected].