Downeast Maine Events Calendar: Festivals & Activities This 2024

PM, -There’s something about Downeast Maine that grabs you the first time you visit the area and won’t let go. It keeps you coming back. Maybe it’s the picturesque harbors, spectacular shorelines, mountain-to-sea vistas, or some of the highest ocean tides on Earth.

Maybe it’s all those things, in addition to a rich maritime history, Arcadia National Park, recreational opportunities, and great seafood. So, it’s no surprise that the area’s riches are often the center of its festivals and events, which also attract repeat visitors.

If you happen to be one of them, you know there’s always something new for everyone to enjoy in this distinct area, whether it’s during cold and snowy winter, warm and sunny summer, or somewhere in between. Take a look – we’ve compiled a list of what’s up in Downeast Maine for the rest of this year:

Downeast Maine Calendar of Events for Summer 2024




4th of July Celebration

Date: July 4, 7 AM
Location: Castine

Various locations (please see the event website for details)

Enjoy a jam-packed day, starting with the annual 1K/5K Walk/Run Race to benefit the Round School. Come cheer the runners and walkers, then head to the parade. Don’t forget to wear a costume – you might win a prize! Then take your pick from multiple events, including sack races, tug-o-war, a pie-eating contest, and more. You might be hungry by this point, so head to the Pentagoet BBQ and dig into Maine BBQ classics. Limited seats are available, so call 207-326-8616 to reserve your spot. Later, tap your feet to a Castine Town Band performance before you head to the harbor at dusk to take in the amazing fireworks display.


2024 Stonington 6

Date: July 4, 7-10 AM
Location: Stonington

Island Community Center, 10 Memorial Lane

Come and cheer the participants raising funds for the Island Community Center. They’ll run the Stonington 6 (6.2 miles or 10k) or the Fun Run (1 mile), or walk in the Walker Class category. Prizes will be awarded to the youngest and oldest finishers, the top female and male finishers in each age division, and the first Stonington or Deer Isle resident to finish.


Acadia Wildlife Center Open House

Date: July 6, 10 AM – 2 PM
Location: Bar Harbor

Town Hill Community Hall, 1328 Maine 102

Join the Acadia Wildlife Center at its annual open house as it celebrates 30 years of rehabilitating injured native wildlife! Place your bid in a silent auction, pick up baked goods or food from a participating local restaurant, and let the kids loose on the playground. Try your luck in a raffle to win a chance to attend the release of a rehabilitated animal back in the wild! The center will shuttle people back and forth from Town Hill Community Hall to its Nature Center all day; it’s a five-minute drive. At the Nature Center, observe wildlife and hear animal ambassadors talk about wildlife rehabilitation and environmental conservation.


Batik Painting: Ancient Art, New Twist

Date: July 10, 10 AM – 2 PM
Location: Bar Harbor

ArtWaves, 1345-A State Highway 102

Try your hand at batik painting, with ink, wax, and watercolor on rice paper. Learn ancient techniques, experiment with layering color, and take home two amazing paintings. All materials and step-by-step instructions will be provided. Teens and adults of all skill levels can participate, though professional artists are also welcome!


Dawnland Festival of Arts and Ideas

Date: July 12, 6:30 AM – 9 PM & July 13 to 14, 10 AM – 5 PM
Location: Bar Harbor

College of the Atlantic, 105 Eden St.

Enjoy performances, a Native arts market, and conversations by Wabanaki and other Indigenous leaders on contemporary issues, including climate, democracy, and food systems. Over 50 Native American artists from across the U.S. and Canada will showcase fashion, pottery, painting, baskets, beadwork, and textiles. See the breadth and excellence of Indigenous art. The festival is free to attend!


2024 Annual Harbor House Flamingo Festival 

Date: July 13, 7:30 AM – 4 PM, July 14: 9 AM – 7 PM, July 15, 7:30 PM (steel drum band concert)
Location: Southwest Harbor

Harbor House, 329 Main St.

For a touch of lighthearted whimsy and hot-pink family fun, head to this festival dedicated to the tall, pink bird. Activities include games, a parade, a carnival, and a craft fair. Admire the lawns, store windows, and buildings that proudly display the plastic version of the pink creatures.


8th Annual Bastille Day Celebration

Date: July 14, 1 – 10 PM
Location: Castine

Various locations (please see the event website for details)

Castine, which originated as a French outpost in 1635, will celebrate the 235th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison and military fortress in Paris. The event marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Castine’s celebration includes a walking tour, historical craft-making, French vanilla ice cream bars, and its signature event, the Picnic en Blanc. Some 400 festival goers dressed in white will be seated at long, white tables under the elms on Court Street. Bring your own French picnic, or pre-order a basket from the Pentagoet Inn, while supplies last. Reserve your spot at the Picnic en Blanc by calling Town Hall at 207-326-4502.


Landscape Interpretation Guided Hike With Tom Wessels

Date: July 20, 9 – 11 AM
Location: Blue Hill

The trailhead on Parker Point Road

Join a landscape interpretation walk on the Parker Point to South Street Trail with your guide, Tom Wessels. Tom is a professor emeritus at Antioch University, where he founded the master’s degree program in conservation biology. Hear all about the forest’s history, the interrelationships in our forest ecosystems, and the unique adaptations of our regional trees. Please wear appropriate footwear, and bring water. Please register your attendance on our website’s events calendar.


The Maine Silent Film Festival

Date: July 24 to 25, 7 PM
Location: Bucksport

The Alamo Theatre, 85 Main St.

The second Maine Silent Film Festival combines comedy and drama, with a focus on rare and unusual films seldom screened theatrically. Doug Protsik, musician, director of the Maine Fiddle Camp, and composer of Old Time Piano scores for silent movies, will provide live accompaniment. This year’s themes are films that were made in Maine, and a look at war films through time.




25th Annual Castine Classic Yacht Race

Date: August 1, 12 PM
Location: Castine

The start will be between the signal flag on the Race Committee boat and the bell “CH” off Dice’s Head

Witness an impressive fleet of classic yachts racing a 19.4-nautical-mile course from Castine to Camden. This year’s event celebrates Maine’s extraordinary boat builders. Several of their notable yachts will be on display on the Castine waterfront.


Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival

Date: August 3, 10 AM – 4 PM
Location: Blue Hill

Blue Hill Waterfront and Historic Village, 30 Water St.

Ahoy, there! Get ready for a fun summer day that celebrates the area’s coastal heritage and nautical history. This annual event features boats, boat-building demonstrations, sea shanties, seafood, art on the lawn, and more.


47th Annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival

Date: August 16, 9 AM – 7 PM, August 17, 7 AM – 7 PM & August 18, 9 AM – 2 PM
Location: Machias

Center Street Congregational Church, 9 Center St.

All things blueberry, in addition to contests, a fish fry, farm tours, a blueberry dessert buffer, a children’s parade, an arts and crafts show, and other food and entertainment will celebrate Maine’s blueberry harvest. This festival is the largest blueberry event in the area, offering a real, old-fashioned good time.


The Blue Hill Fair

Date: August 29, 4 – 10 PM, August 30 to September 1, 8 AM – 10 PM & September 2, 8 AM – 8 PM
Location: Blue Hill

233 Ellsworth Rd.

The county fair that’s the origin of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web is back again for another year! Bring the family and experience pig races, sheepdog trials, barrel relays on horses, oxen, and horse pulls, 4-H ribbon-award ceremonies, and traditional farm games. And remember to ride the midway!


36th Annual Salmon Festival

Dates: August 31 to September 1
Location: Eastport

Schedule to come Aug. 1, please check the festival website for updates

Pay homage to our local resources as you have “lox” of fun! Hear live music, and explore shops, craft booths, and interactive exhibits. There’s also a youth fishing derby, a chance auction, and more! Lunch on Saturday is crab rolls and chowder. Salmon is the star of a Sunday community BBQ. Dine under the big tent while gazing at the nearby bay. Sip on wine or a locally brewed beer. Dinner is followed by an informative boat ride to the salmon pens in Cobscook Bay.




Pirate Festival

Date: September 6, 10 AM – 9 PM, September 7, 10 AM – 11 PM & September 8, 8 AM – 4 PM
Location: Eastport

Hours are approximate. Most events are scheduled along Water Street

Grab your pirate garb and gear and go have a swashbuckling good time! The free festival will roll out fun games, races, contests, entertainment, demonstrations, and food you can eat with your hands. You may even spot pirates invading the city by sea!


Maine Open Lighthouse Day

Date: Sept. 14, 9 AM – 3 PM
Location: Many Maine towns

Please check the event website for updates on participating lighthouses

Grab this rare opportunity to climb the spiral staircase inside some of Maine’s historic lighthouses and learn more about them. Some will be open both on-shore and offshore during this popular event.


Downeast Maine Calendar of Events for Fall 2024




Art of Ellsworth-Maine Craft Weekend

Date: October 5 to 6
Location: Ellsworth

Please check the event website for updates

Events in Maine this weekend include downtown Ellsworth, where creative culture is alive and well! Come out to participate in workshops, listen to live music, take studio tours, and watch craft demonstrations.




Downeast Cider + Cheese Festival

Date: November 7 to 10
Location: Ellsworth

Downtown Ellsworth

Please check the event website for updates on events, locations, and times

Savor and celebrate two traditional foods – cider and cheese – and their Maine roots at this multi-day festival. Expect tastings, presentations, and more.


Acadia Photography Workshop

Date: November 16, 7 AM – 7 PM
Location: Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park, Park Loop Road

Join this sunrise-to-sunset workshop with an experienced instructor and professional nature and landscape photographer John K. Putnam. He’ll lead you as you alternate between traveling around Acadia taking photos, and classroom time, where you’ll discuss topics on successfully creating images. There will also be individual instruction based on your goals and questions.


Downeast Maine Calendar of Events for Winter 2024




O.W.L Outing Club: Winter Plant ID at Boot Head Preserve

Date: December 14, 12 – 3 PM
Location: Lubec

Boot Head Preserve Trailhead, Boot Cove Road

Join other women ages 16+ on outdoor adventures and learn more about our local natural ecology. This month, find out how to identify plants in the winter and use iNaturalist to report your nature observations. We’ll hike or snowshoe in this 2-mile trail network. It’s a moderate hike, and snowshoes are available. Participation is free!


Which Stitch: A Circle of Needles

Date: December 22, 1 to 4 PM
Location: Bar Harbor

ArtWaves, 1345-A State Highway 102

Bring your needlework project, and settle into conversation and community support. Special guests will demonstrate their needlework and introduce you to new techniques. If you’re new to needlework crafts and want to try one, then welcome: ArtWaves provides supplies, beginning instruction, sewing machines, and materials. It’s a drop-in group, so no registration is required.


Now that you have some Downeast Maine events marked on your own calendar, do you need a place to stay? Contact us at Maine Rentals & Real Estate. Our specialty is matching guests to our area with vacation rental properties in Downeast Maine!

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