A BOY RUNS ACROSS a line of lobster crates during Celebrate Bowdoinham in 2012. This year’s races will start at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

A BOY RUNS ACROSS a line of lobster crates during Celebrate Bowdoinham in 2012. This year’s races will start at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.


Whether it’s paint on your face, air under your skateboard wheels, cool grass under palms while the band plays or a new used book in your clutches, Celebrate Bowdoinham this year has a weekend teeming with events for people of all ages looking for something fun to do in the fleeting days of summer.

There is entertainment, crafts, a silent auction, contests and games, demonstrations, local food vendors, live music and more — all to conclude with fireworks on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Boaters should be aware that the boat launch at Mailly Waterfront Park is closed Saturday for Celebrate Bowdoinham.

A LITTLE GIRL looks at an 11-month old calf from Peace of Heaven Farm during Celebrate Bowdoinham in 2013.

A LITTLE GIRL looks at an 11-month old calf from Peace of Heaven Farm during Celebrate Bowdoinham in 2013.

Events start Friday with the 1-mile Kids Fun Run at 5:30 p.m. and the 5K Chicken Run at 6 p.m. at Bowdoinham Community School. Pre-registration is 5-5:30 p.m. and the registration fee, which benefits the school, is $10 for runners 18 and younger and $15 for adults. The Chicken Run in the past has been held Saturday morning but was moved to Friday this year to free up runners who participate in other events Saturday, such as the parade.

The Celebrate Variety Show, featuring Kim Kalesti, Hal Alhers and Friends will open curtains at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Town Hall, located at 13 School St. There will be singing and tap dancing during this concert suitable for all ages. Admission is free, though donations are welcome to support Celebrate Bowdoinham.

There are, of course, many contests at Celebrate Bowdoinham, such as the stable Bowdoinham’s Best. The annual celebration always includes a pie contest but starting this year the pies will be specified. This year is the Apple Pie contest and those who save their receipts for buying apples locally get bonus points. The winner gets $50. Other categories include the kids arts and crafts, kid-grown vegetables, recycled creations, Bowdoinham-grown fruits and vegetables, flowers and floral designs, canned goods, a kid-grown pumpkin contest and the all new Best Thrift Find Contest. Entries should be dropped off between 4 and 6:30 p.m. Friday at Merrymeeting Grange, 27 Main St.

The long list of Saturday events roll to a start with the Celebrate Bike Ride, returning for its second year. The roughly 10-mile ride departs from the Bowdoinham recreation fields at 8 a.m. There is a $10 cost for riders over the age of 16 and free for children. Registration is 7 to 7:45 a.m. and proceeds benefit the Bowdoinham Recreation Department.

The annual parade starts marching at 10 a.m., traveling its usual route from the fire station down Post Road and Main Street, to River Road and up Ridge Road. After the parade, activities start at the waterfront.

From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and with the help of the Mt. Ararat cheerleaders, kids will have several activities open to them, including an obstacle course, bouncy house and slide with a $5 hand stamp. The Merrymeeting Arts Center will have art activities, there will be water gun fun, and games at a cost of $1 each, along with face painting and balloon twisting, a petting zoo, karate demonstrations and Jay the Strolling Magician returns. The popular coin scramble is at 11:30 a.m. and lobster crate races start at 12:30 p.m.

The Bowdoinham Historical Society will have exhibits and activities illustrating the town’s shipbuilding and seafaring history, and the Bowdoinham Public Library will hold a book sale. The Merrymeeting Arts Center, located at 9 Main St., opens its new exhibit “Our Town and Our Bridge — featuring Olivia Sullivan (age 9) and Robert Saunders” Saturday and will have the Celebrate Bay Boats Show open to the public 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The arts center will also have a pottery show in its new pottery studio, the little green building at the foot of Main Street, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The town continues to raise money for a municipal skatepark. Saturday from 12:30 to 2 p.m., the Long’s Board Skate Team will show off their moves and give free lessons, courtesy of Long’s Board Shop in South Portland. Skateboarders should bring their own skateboard and helmet if they have them or borrow equipment which will be available as well. The demonstrations will be in the paved parking lot behind the FHC building.

The famous KenDucky Derby ducks take the plunge and race at 3:30 p.m. on the Cathance River. First duck over the finish line wins a $400 prize and the last brings a $100 prize. The other major fundraiser for Celebrate Bowdoinham is the silent auction. Items can still be donated until 11 a.m. Saturday and there is a running list of auction items on the town website.

This year additional evening activities are planned: A photo booth 4 to 8 p.m.; horse and pony rides 5 to 7:30 p.m. by BB Stables and Chewonki’s Owls of Maine from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The petting zoo will be open until 7:30 p.m. and face painting and balloon twisting available 6 to 8 p.m. The infamous Woodside One Wheelers, a performing circus arts group from Woodside Elementary School in Topsham, show their moves during a performance at 6 p.m.

Downtown businesses have special events planned Saturday as well. Home by the Bay Consignment Shop at 18 Main St. has an open house 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Long Branch School at 20 Main St. will host Holistic Happy Hours 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring chair massages, community acupuncture, easy tai chi and more. Across the street by its workshop, Long Branch will have tours of its Tiny Home nearing completion.

Music at the gazebo starts at 11 am. with Bob White the Bus Driver (’60s, ’70s fun songs); Carolyn Currie with acoustic folk music; Ben Hunsberger who performs a blend; String Tide (widerange of family friendly tunes); The Space Cats, an ensemble of students playing a variety of music; the classic rock band Eagles Way; ending at 7 p.m. with The Blues Buzzards “known for their horn driven blues and rock music with a Motown groove,” the program states.

Many of Bowdoinham’s local merchants, crafters, artists and organizations will have tables at Celebrate Bowdoinham. There is also a bean supper from 4 to 6 p.m. at the fire station. For more information, visit www.bowdoinham.com/celebrate bowdoinham.

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