Maine Is Finally Going to Get Its Big Bicentennial Parade

The pandemic rained on Maine’s big birthday parade last year, but the rebooted parade is ready to roll through downtown Lewiston and Auburn.

Maine Is Finally Going to Gets Its Big Bicentennial Parade
By Will Grunewald

On March 12, 2020 — three days before hitting two centuries of statehood — Maine registered its first confirmed case of COVID-19, and a monthslong series of celebrations was called off. Now, at the ripe old age of 201, Maine finally gets to celebrate its 200th birthday with, among other things, a call from the Coast Guard’s three-masted Eagle this month in Portland, a Portland-based Innovation Expo in November, and the sealing of a time capsule at Augusta’s Maine State Library in December. On August 21, the ongoing festivities shift to Lewiston and Auburn for a principal event, the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade.


Miles the Japanese navy cruiser Kasuga found itself from home when its crew joined American, British, and Portuguese sailors in parading through Portland for Maine’s first major birthday bash, the 1920 centennial.


Approximate number of floats, troupes, and other groups in the parade, from local historical societies to musical acts to Civil War reenactors.


Number of terms in the state senate for Windham’s Bill Diamond, who didn’t exactly lobby to head the parade-planning bicentennial commission: “I got to a meeting late, and when I walked in, they congratulated me on having been elected chair. It’s way more work than I ever expected, and a lot of people worked a lot more hours than I have.”


Minutes of live parade coverage on WGME, Portland’s CBS affiliate — only one hour short of NBC’s annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast.


Musical meter of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Sousa’s jaunty march that an all-ages State of Maine Bicentennial Band will perform in the parade, led by Snow Pond Arts Academy music director John Neal.

Down East Magazine, August 2021