Students try blacksmithing at the 2019 Community Day. The blacksmithing booth, among others, will make a return this year. Contributed / Maine Maritime Museum

Bath’s summer kick-off Community Day is planned for next Saturday, and organizers say they are excited for residents to get out and about and enjoying themselves after the pandemic year.

The event, which Maine Maritime Museum started in 2015 as a way to give residents a chance to visit the museum for free before the usual flood of summer tourists, now is co-sponsored by Main Street Bath and also includes Main Street sidewalk sales and other events.

On May 15, events will include yoga and dance programs, the farmers market and a variety of vendors.

“People are looking forward to it because they’ve been isolated,” said Antoni Garreton, owner of Tony Dance Fitness. “People want to do something outdoors, and this will be the first event we are going to dance in the city since the pandemic.”

Garreton, known as “Tony Dancer,” will host dance sessions for children, adults and seniors at noon on Main Street.

His business fared well during the pandemic when he pivoted to Zoom, he said, and offering the dance sessions is a way for him to give back to the supportive community.

“I love this community so much. This community has given me so much I want to give it back,” he said. “It’s important for me to keep people moving.”

Maine Maritime Museum, with a 20-acre campus that was accommodating to CDC social distancing guidelines, also weathered the pandemic in good shape, said Marketing and Communications Coordinator Katie Spiridakis.

Each year the museum raises flags on the boat masts outdoors in honor of a community member or organization. This year, it is honoring pandemic frontline workers ranging from medical professionals to grocery store workers, Spiridakis said.

“We want to say thanks for getting us through this past year with a hopeful look to the future. That’ll be a special ceremony,” she said.

The museum will also host interactive exhibits, like its blacksmithing exhibit from previous years, flag raising and cannon firing and will also put a special focus on its recently renovated Snow Squall exhibit.

The exhibit features a the 32-foot portion of the hull of the Snow Squall, a clipper ship built in 1851 in Maine for the China trade. The Snow Squall was recovered off the coast of the Falklands in 1982 and is  the last surviving example of an American clipper, Spiridakis said.

She is optimistic about the upcoming tourist season, especially after the state announced last week that domestic cruise ships can resume making stops in Maine, including Bath.

“We are feeling very encouraged,” Spiridakis said.

Community Day events on Front Street start about 11 a.m. after the Farmers Market. The museum, about a mile from Main Street at 243 Washington Street, will have free admission and reduced prices for their boat rides.

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