BATH — A boat parade, fireman’s muster, skateboard competition, and lots of food and music are all elements of the annual Heritage Days, which returns for the 42nd time July 3-6.

The Thursday kickoff includes Kids’ Day at Library Park from 2-4 p.m., and a Plant Home barbecue at Library Park from 5-7 p.m. A Friends of Patten Free Library preview book sale will be held at the Winter Street Church from 5-8 p.m., with the actual sale taking place there the next three days.

One- and five-mile fun runs on Friday start at 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. at City Hall. The downtown Independence Day parade starts at 10:30 a.m., preceded by an hour-long pre-parade show. Volunteers Tom and Judy Barrington will be the parade grand marshals.

A strawberry shortcake festival will be held at the Cosmopolitan Club, 894 Washington St., from noon-4 p.m.

Saturday begins with a farmers market at Bathport on the waterfront from 8:30 a.m.-noon. The Made-in-Maine Craft Show will take place at Library Park from  10 a.m.-5 p.m. (also Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.), while the Chili-Chowder Fest runs at 26 Summer St., across from Library Park, from 3-5:30 p.m.

The musclebound may want to participate in a strongman contest at Bathport from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and a fireman’s muster at the north end of Front Street from noon-3 p.m. A hand-tub parade will run from Middle to Front streets from 10:30-11 a.m.

Starting off Sunday, the final day of the celebration, is the Front Street Shuffle antique car show from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., followed by an “Art in the Park” show under a big tent at 26 Summer St. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

An “Independence Jam” skateboard competition will take place at the Bath Youth Meetinghouse and Skatepark, 4 Old Brunswick Road, at 3 p.m. A warm-up will run from noon-3 p.m.

A boat parade will be held on the Kennebec River at 7 p.m., followed by an 8 p.m. pre-fireworks concert by the Bath Municipal Band at Library Park. Fireworks over the Kennebec will wrap up Heritage Days at 9 p.m.

Live entertainment will be held all four days: at Waterfront Park from 6-10:30 p.m. Thursday and noon-11 p.m. Friday, and at Library Park from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Smokey’s Greatest Show and Carnival will also run all four days at Waterfront Park, from 5-11 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

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Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected].net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

An honor color guard leads the way at the Heritage Days parade in Bath on July 4, 2013.

Other Fourth of July events

A fireworks display will be held at Cooks Lobster House, 68 Garrison Cove Road on Bailey Island, Harpswell, at 10 p.m., Thursday, July 3.

In Brunswick, an event with games, contests, food and prizes, set up by the Rotary Club, will take place on the Mall from 9-11 a.m. on July Fourth.

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