FREEPORT – The Freeport Fall Festival, which is expected to draw thousands of people to town this weekend, will serve as a magnet for people to enjoy art, food and music and, FreeportUSA hopes, shop, dine and stay overnight.

More than 100 artists will exhibit their works at the festival, situated at the L.L. Bean campus. Several Maine food producers will be on hand, and there will be music and fun for kids.

FreeportUSA, whose job it is to lure tourists to town from near and far, is promoting the Fall Festival.

“We really want to drive traffic to it this year,” said Kelly Edwards, executive director for FreeportUSA. “It’s our 16th year. We’ve more than doubled from 50 to 106 exhibitors this year.”

Local food producers will sell their produce and meat, to be prepared at home.

“We don’t have prepared food, simply because we want people to enjoy our restaurants,” Edwards said.

The Freeport Fall Festival also will include a town-wide sidewalk sale, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on both days.

The Midcoast School of Music will provide the opening act for the weekend’s music on the L.L. Bean Discovery Park stage, at 11 a.m. Saturday. Gunther Brown plays at noon, and The Kenya Hall Band at 2 p.m. The Midcoast School of Music performs again at 11 Sunday, followed by Primo Cubano at noon and Royal Hammer at 2.

FreeportUSA is joining forces with Freeport Community Services for the Chowdah Challenge, from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday on the L.L. Bean Home Store porch. It’s a fundraiser for the Freeport Community Services Campership program, which helps children from Freeport and Pownal enjoy summer camp.

“By combining the two events, it’s really helped to raise awareness about the great programs they have over there,” Edwards said.

Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern, Freeport Chowder House, Freeport Grill, Gritty McDuff’s and Harraseeket Inn – and maybe more – will present their best clam and seafood chowders for sampling.

“We will have both celebrity judges and a people’s choice award, for the best seafood and clam chowder,” said Melanie Sachs, executive director at Freeport Community Services.

Coffee and bottled water will be sold for $1, and a slice of homemade apple pie for $4. Sachs said that Ben & Jerry’s is donating ice cream to go on apple pie-a-la-mode, which will be sold for $5.

Artists and artisans will have their work on display throughout Discovery Park on both days. Polly Smith of Freeport, who specializes in watercolors, will be one of them.

Smith will offer replicas of her local landscapes on wall calendars, desk calendars, cards and photographs, at a wide range of prices.

Winslow Park, Wolfe’s Neck State Park and Wolfe’s Neck Farm are among Smith’s favorite places to paint.

“I really enjoy trying to capture the beauty of the Maine scenery – the blues, the yellows, the greens and the oranges,” Smith said. “The blues are incredible here.”

Smith, who will be making her first appearance at the Freeport Fall Festival, has lived in town for three years. Her work is available for purchase at The Wishful Moon on School Street.


A CLOSER LOOK

Freeport Fall Festival is Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., on the L.L. Bean campus. It features art, Maine food producers, children’s art activities, live music, Freeport Community Services’ Chowdah Challenge and more. For a full schedule, see www.freeportfallfestival.com.

Wolfe’s Neck Farm hosts a Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 184 Burnett Road, Freeport. Events include live music, hay-bale climbing, face painting, animal interactions, local food, pumpkin hayrides and more. $8 per person, free for children ages 3 and under. Proceeds will benefit the farm’s educational programming. For more information, visit www.wolfesneckfarm.org.


Freeport artist Polly Smith holds her painting, “Fall Colors at Winslow Beach.” Smith is one of more than 100 artists who will have work on display this weekend at the Freeport Fall Festival. 


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