L.L. Bean’s Discovery Park will be packed with artist booths, live music and food trucks throughout the weekend. Contributed / Visit Portland

One of Maine’s most popular autumn destinations is the Freeport Fall Festival and this year’s installment, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, will feature over 200 artists, a dozen musical performances, a plethora of kids activities and food – plenty of food.

Over 60,000 people attend the festival over the course of the three-day celebration, according to Visit Freeport Executive Director Kelly Edwards, but it wasn’t always that way.

“I started with Visit Freeport in 2009 and, at that point, the Freeport Fall Festival was half a day on Saturday and featured about 50 artists,” she said. “Over the last 13-plus years, it’s grown exponentially. It’s now over 225 artists and takes place in locations all over town.”

The number of artists who set up booths at the annual festival has quadrupled since 2009. Contributed / Visit Freeport

This year, 118 artist booths will be set up at L.L.Bean’s Discovery Park and another 20 at Freeport Village Station.

“New for this year, we will be featuring over 80 artist booths behind the Freeport Historical Society in what’s called the Mallard Parking Lot,” Edwards said. “Each of those areas will feature local artisans, Maine food producers, food trucks and free kids activities.”

Artisans will display and sell their wares, including paintings, jewelry, glass, clay, photography, woodwork, metalwork and more.


Honey, cookies, cheese, Jamaican cuisine and almost everything in between will be available from nearly 30 different food vendors and food trucks.

Paintings, jewelry, glass and clay are just a few of the mediums local artists and makers will be bringing to the table this year. Contributed / Visit Freeport

Discovery Park will have live music, as well as at a new second stage in the Mallard lot. This year’s performers are An Overnight Low; Ashlyn Bard; Eileen Rose; Katie Daggett and Ed DesJardins; Maine Marimba Ensemble; Oyster Creek Fiddlers; Pretty Girls Sing Soprano; The Flukes; The High Road; The Womps; and YONC.

As the event’s popularity has grown, so has the number of drivers in search of parking – but don’t fret, there will be plenty of options this year.

The Freeport Fall Festival annually attracts 60,000 people throughout the three-day event. Contributed / Visit Freeport

“Something new that we’re doing this year is we’re actually offering free satellite parking with a free shuttle,” Edwards said. “Folks that are coming into town can just park at L.L.Bean’s brand new headquarters, which is located on the corner of Route 1 and Casco Drive. There’s plenty of parking there, and we’ll have a bus that is going back and forth on Saturday and Sunday directly into the heart of town.”

Some downtown Freeport businesses and organizations have Fall Festival activities planned as well. Festival goers can take a special tour of Brown Goldsmiths at 11 Mechanic St. and bake gluten-free bread at SipHouse on Main Street.

Across the street from Discovery Park, Meetinghouse Arts, a project of the nonprofit organization Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport, will put on a one-woman play, “A Sense of Wonder,” written and performed by Kaiulani Lee at 7 p.m. on Saturday. They will also host an activity on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where local artists will work with kids to create gel plate prints to take home with them.


“The festival brings in people to the gallery that we have and to theater performances that we have during the same weekend,” said Suzanne Watson, executive director of Meetinghouse Arts. “It is very important to us and it is important to the town of Freeport … I feel like the Fall Festival is one of the premier events in terms of bringing people from around the community, around the region, to downtown Freeport.”

Edwards and Watson were asked what they’d say to convince someone who hasn’t gone to the festival before to attend this weekend.

“I think part of the draw is the variety of people that come from far and wide to be at this festival,” Watson said. “The whole downtown is covered with vendors and food trucks and interesting people to talk to.”

“It’s really a fantastic opportunity to see the best that Maine has to offer for local arts and crafts and food,” Edwards said. “Certainly, just spending a day in L.L.Bean’s Discovery Park, listening to live music and eating delicious food from local food trucks is enough to attract me to come to this event.”

The festival will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, including a full list of artists and a schedule of kids activities and live music performances, go to visitfreeport.com/freeport-fall-festival.

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