A soggy Fourth of July threw Main Street Bath a curveball Sunday and forced the downtown revitalization group to change its plans for the “A Day to Celebrate” festival. The festival took the place of the usual five-day Bath Heritage Days celebration, which was canceled for the second consecutive year due to the COVID pandemic.

The firework display was postponed to the following night, two concerts were moved inside while one was canceled altogether and antique cars didn’t fill Bath’s downtown as previously planned.

Despite the weather, Main Street Bath estimated about 300 children stopped into the craft tent in Library Park on Sunday to get their face painted, make beaded jewelry, make sand art and paint. The bustling tent soon became the heart of the festival.

Main Street Bath, in partnership with the Chocolate Church Arts Center, organized the event in roughly a month after Gov. Janet Mills lifted all capacity limits and requirements to physically distance in public outdoor settings effective May 24. Those requirements were first enacted in the hopes of mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Main Street Bath announced the free Slygo Road and Star Club concerts were moved indoors to the Chocolate Church Arts Center. However, the Bath Municipal Band was canceled due to the rain.

“This rain has derailed several of our attempts at bringing joy to our community today and we’d really love to see that our hard work and literal weeks of planning has made our community smile,” the organization wrote on Facebook to announce the changes. “Fireworks will be tomorrow night, July 5th, but these bands were booked for tonight. Please come show them the love you were going to show them and sing along in the beautiful Arts Center that has missed having people inside it for so long!”

Live music lovers filed into the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath on Sunday when two live concerts, initially planned to play outside, were moved inside due to the rain. Photo courtesy of Amanda McDaniel

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