Local musician Andy Rice will perform at Bath Brewing Company on Friday night. Contributed / Main Street Bath

Friday marks the start of Bath’s first-ever Winterfest, a three-day celebration packed with community events and live performances.

“There really is a need to do something during this time of year that brings happiness and joy and light and laughter,” said Amanda McDaniel, the director of event organizer Main Street Bath. “We’re just very grateful that everybody has come together for this and cannot wait to celebrate the community.”

A lantern parade from Center Street to Library Park will kick off the festivities at 6 p.m. Friday evening. Fire dancers will perform at the park at the conclusion of the march, while stand-up comedians and musicians will take the stage at other venues around town.

The weekend is an opportunity to draw new guests to Bath while celebrating what has been a strong bounce-back winter shopping season for many of the town’s businesses, McDaniel said. While Main Street Bath and its team of about 20 volunteers has worked hard to put the event together, the goal is to put other local groups front and center.

Volunteers work on a reconstruction of the Virginia, a 1607 pinnace. Maine’s First Ship plans to launch the ship on June 4 after 25 years of research, planning and building. Contributed / Maine’s First Ship

“This is a platform for everybody else to shine,” she said. “We build it, and then they come.”

Events from Maine’s First Ship will pay homage to Bath’s unique maritime background. The volunteer-driven group, which is nearing completion on its 51-foot reconstruction of a 1607 wooden pinnace, will fire the ship’s cannon for the first time at high noon Saturday.


“People get very excited about firing the cannon,” said Executive Director Kirstie Truluck, who added the group would also host a free baked bean supper and cocktail contest on Saturday evening. “It’s really just bringing the community together.”

Guests will have the opportunity to explore Bath’s outdoor spaces by attending a snowshoe demonstration by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Waterfront Park on Saturday. Free snowshoe rentals will allow even rookies to explore Bath’s trails, according to acting Executive Director Becky Kolak.

“It doesn’t take as much coordination or effort as Nordic skiing perhaps would,” Kolak said. “(Snowshoes) makes it more accessible for somebody to be able to walk on trails and not worry about slick surfaces or expending a lot of energy by crunching through the top layer of snow.”

Shetland Yard Farm in Woolwich will provide a pony pen at Library Park from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Contributed / Main Street Bath

Ice skating, ponies from Woolwich’s Shetland Yard, and a scavenger hunt will entertain kids and their families during the day on Saturday and Sunday. The YMCA will offer child care on Saturday evening for parents hoping for a date night at one of the festival’s multiple comedy shows.

Sports fans can gather at Library Park at 11 a.m. Saturday to watch the Main Street Bath Winterfest Doubles Ace Hole Disc Golf Tournament, a casual competition with a twist.

“This is definitely a different type of golf tournament,” said tournament organizer Jeremy McDaniel, who is married to Amanda McDaniel.


Ten teams of two will be scored partly on their play and partly on how funny their team name is, he said. The competitors, some of whom have never played disc golf, will have to alternate between playing from their best and their worst shots, which Jeremy McDaniel predicted would lead to an hour of chaos.

Ten teams will compete in the Main Street Bath Winterfest Doubles Ace Hole Disc Golf. The team that performs the best and has the funniest name will receive a trophy. Contributed / Jeremy McDaniel

Though the tournament field is full, families will be able to borrow equipment for free and try their hand on the 4-hole course on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

McDaniel promised that competitors and spectators alike would find the spirit of Winterfest at the competition.

“We’re going to be loud,” McDaniel said. “We’re going to be funny. We’re all going to be laughing and having a good time, whether it’s 10 degrees outside or 50 degrees outside.”

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