Sponsored by Maine Maritime Museum
Cover photo by Mark McCall
From the trail to the taproom to the tidal pool, from the lake to the lunch counter to the lobster shack, let our second (annual?) scavenger hunt be your guide to everything the Pine Tree State has to offer in the season when it shines brightest. This is your summer to discover something new. Happy hunting.
Run in a Codfish Relay
You know what they say: you can pick your codfish race, but you can’t pick your codfish. Invented (probably) in Milbridge in 1984, the codfish relay is the finest measure of athletic prowess since the decathlon. Racers — clad in deck boots and heavy PVC oil gear — sprint a short course, carrying (by some means) a dead, greased-up cod, then rapidly strip to hand the gear and the slimefish over to a teammate. In Milbridge, firefighters spray you with a hose while you do this. In Eastport, there’s a long kids’ relay first, so by the time adults get the fish, it’s pretty well manhandled. Wherever you go, the whole town turns out to laugh . . . er, we mean, cheer. June 27: Boothbay Harbor’s Windjammer Days. July 3: Eastport’s 4th of July Festival. July 28: Milbridge Days.
► Selfie: Choose (carefully) from among Maine’s three races. Sign-up rules are different, so consult the web. Needless to say, get a shot with the cod.
Build a Sandcastle in Ogunquit
It’s a classic farewell to summer on Labor Day weekend in Maine’s summeriest town — a free annual sandcastle-building contest, with youth and adult divisions, on Ogunquit’s main beach. Judges are looking for creativity and execution, and there are gift certs on the line. Props are encouraged, and the talent pool is high — last year’s winner was a dead ringer for the Great Sphinx of Giza (no joke). Sept 2. Sponsored by Ogunquit Parks & Recreation Committee.
► Selfie: Without getting sand in your smartphone, crouch down and show us your beach creation.
Maine hosts a handful of lobsterboat races throughout the year, but only in Rockland can you watch from a scenic breakwater, jutting out a mile-ish into the water. It’s the next best thing to being on a boat (also a great way to watch, says event organizer Nick O’Hara, who runs Rockland’s Journey’s End Marina). The racing fleet can clock speeds pushing 70 miles per hour, and there’s plenty of flag-waving, hooting, and hollering. This year’s race goes down the morning after Rockland’s downtown Summer Solstice Street Fair, with bands, sidewalk sales, and a whoopie-pie–eating contest that comes with almost as many bragging rights as the boat races. June 17. Races begin around 10 or 11 a.m., with an awards ceremony to follow. 207-975-9690.
► Selfie: Find a prime spot on the breakwater and get a selfie with the iconic lighthouse in the background — bonus points if you can catch a lobsterboat zipping past.
How better to salute Maine’s shipbuilding heritage than to celebrate its ship-restoring present? The two-masted clipper ship Mary E was built in Bath in 1906 and returned there last summer, to be restored at the Maine Maritime Museum by the shipwrights of Whitefield’s Andros Kypragoras Shipbuilding. With the ambitious project completed, the museum will commission the oldest Maine-built wooden fishing vessel still sailing — and celebrate with music by the Bath Municipal Band, fun demonstrations of traditional nautical skills, and a tie-in exhibit, Workaday to Holiday: Schooners Along the Maine Coast. Visitors can board the Mary E for a look around, and she’ll do a lap past the museum at full sail. June 9, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $6 (kids under 12 free). 243 Washington St. 207-443-1316.
► Selfie: Because the commissioning party has an admission fee, we can’t compel you to attend (you’ll be missing a remarkable moment if you don’t), so either grab a selfie aboard the Mary E or alongside the 1912 Fiddler’s Reach fog bell outside the museum’s front entrance.
Hear the World in Bangor
From 2002 to 2004, Bangor hosted the National Folk Festival, an annual event that rotates locales and tends to leave rooted local fests in its wake. Such was the case with the Queen City, which has hosted its rollicking American Folk Festival ever since. The three-day riverside affair embraces music, food, and crafts from diverse American and global traditions. This year’s music lineup welcomes New Orleanian, Puerto Rican, Quebecois, and Irish performers, among others. We love this family-friendly fest — it’s impossible not to find something you want to dance to. Aug. 24–26. Bangor waterfront. 207-262-7765.
► Selfie: Don’t be a wallflower. Let’s see you right up by the stage, with the band of your choice playing right behind you.