Maine is beautiful year-round, but it’s ready for its close-up in the summer.  Warm sandy beaches, lobster rolls, all manner of outdoor adventures – what’s not to love?  Chances are that you will be hosting family and friends as well this summer who are also eager to enjoy Maine’s summer blessings with you. Fortunately, there are a plethora of regional events and activities to enjoy if you want (or need) to get out of the house.

The summer kicks off with the annual La Kermesse festival, a four-day celebration of Biddeford’s Franco-American roots.  This event features amusements, entertainment, rides, fireworks and more.  It takes place June 20 to June 23 in Biddeford.  Check out their website for the schedule, locations and related details: www.lakermessefestival.com.  That same weekend, Saco hosts its annual Sidewalk Arts Festival on Main St. on June 22  – visit www.sacomainstreet.org for more information.

From July 19 to July 21, St. Demetrios in Saco hosts their annual Greek Heritage Festival featuring authentic Greek cuisine, live music and cultural information.  Find out more at www.stdemetriosofmaine.com. Then on July 27, Saco Main Street holds its annual Classic Car show for auto aficionados of all ages.

There are a couple more highlights on the area summer calendar.  The Bacon Street Festival is an award-winning neighborhood celebration in Biddeford, taking place on Aug. 4 this year.  And then on the weekend of Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, the summer continues after Labor Day with the annual Fringe Fest/RiverJam festival. For more information, go to  www.heartofbiddeford.org.

In addition, there are many weekly and/or ongoing activities in the area throughout the summer that are fun for locals and visitors alike:

• Art – The Biddeford Artwalk takes place on the third Saturday of each month and is coordinated by local arts organization Engine – www.biddefordsacoartwalk.com

• Concerts – Heart of Biddeford hosts musical acts every Wednesday night in the summer at varied parks and venues throughout the city. And Saco Main St. hosts Music in the Park-ing Lot every Thursday night at the Saco Museum/Dyer Library. Visit their respective websites for specific times, places, and acts.

• Fireworks – Every Thursday night Old Orchard Beach has fireworks on the beach.  And celebrate Independence Day with a fireworks spectacular at Funtown Splashtown on July 3rd.

• Entertainment – The City Theater in Biddeford features the musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone, running from July 19ththrough August 4th.  And local restaurants Cowbell and Run of the Mill often feature musical acts on the weekends as well.

• Farmers Market – Saco has a farmer’s market that is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer – go to www.sacofarmersmarket.com for details.

• Other Options – Go for a sail on the Saco River or the Bay with www.broadreachsailing.us  … rent kayaks and have them delivered right to you for a fun paddle experience courtesy of www.southernmainekayaks.com … take a boat out to Wood Island and climb the lighthouse – more info at www.woodislandlighthouse.org … go on a fascinating historical tour of the Biddeford Mills – times and details at www.biddefordmillsmuseum.org  … or go for a hike at local trails like the Saco Heath Preserve or Cascade Falls in Saco, Clifford Park, Timber Point or East Point Audubon Sanctuary in Biddeford, or the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells.

And – while it seems almost too obvious to mention – just go to the beach and make a day of it by the ocean! Both Saco and Biddeford have multiple beach options that are breathtaking, enjoyable and less crowded than nearby beaches to our North and South.

So even if your in-laws decide to extend their vacation with you for another few weeks this summer, there is plenty to do around here for summer fun, enjoyment and relaxation.  If you would like any more details on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Biddeford & Saco Chamber of Commerce.

Jim LaBelle is the executive director of the Biddeford & Saco Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

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