70 Annual Festivals & Events in Maine You Should Explore This Year [Updated 2023]
Are you looking for unique activities to do throughout the year? Some of the best festivals & events in Maine offer activities and things to do that you can’t experience anywhere else. And, all of them offer a fun time with family and friends.
Maine Events in January
New Year’s Polar Plunge | Portland, Kennebunk, and Old Orchard Beach
Every year, brave swimmers start the New Year with a dip in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Maine beaches for fun and a good cause benefiting various charities.
Old Orchard Beach has a Lobster Dip in early January for Special Olympics fundraising, and Portland has a Polar Bear Dip & Dash on New Year’s Eve. Kennebunk’s Freezin’ For a Reason is the first Saturday in January.
SnowFest and Snodeo | Rangeley
Mid-January folks on Rangeley Lake near Saddleback Lake celebrate winter with snowmobile races and an antique snowmobile parade. It’s a big winter party with sled radar races and zips across Rangeley Lake, plus food and fun games in town.
February Events in Maine
US National Toboggan Championships | Camden Snow Bowl, Camden
February vacation week, amateurs and pro teams compete on Camden’s classic toboggan run for the fastest time. Sledders don crazy costumes for the wild ride on traditional toboggans down the icy track for the title of champion.
The Camden Snow Bowl offers skiing and snowboarding, plus sledding, tubing, and ice skating all winter, but this is its biggest event.
Paint the Town Red | Kennebunkport
The romantic seaside town of Kennebunkport “Paints the Town Red.” Red tag sales in boutiques, red plates all month at the best restaurants, a red light ceremony, and carriage rides are highlights.
Kennebunk-Kennebunkport offers the perfect winter destination, with fine lodging with romantic fires. Getaway packages include dining at cozy intimate restaurants and spa treatments in a picturesque village setting. Look for Igloo Bar parties and Avalanche at Old Vines for big winter fun!
Maine Events in March
Maine Maple Sunday | Statewide
Maine Maple sugar shacks provide free samples and show how maple syrup, aka liquid gold, is made at sugar shacks throughout the state. The events are typically held on the third weekend in March.
April Events in Maine
Spring Fest Weekend | Sunday River, Newry
Jimmy Buffet music lovers gather on the sunny ski slopes for music, margarita mix-offs, key lime pie-eating contests, and pond skimming at this annual event. It’s typically held the first weekend in April at Sunday River.
Sugarloaf Reggae Fest | Carrabassett Valley
The biggest spring ski party and island music festival in the mountains, Sugarloaf hosts over eight live reggae bands in both indoor and outdoor concert venues with 10,000 attendees.
This second weekend in April is a three-day event of big-name reggae musicians, parties, and a beach scene at the base of Sugarloaf’s slopes – still open for skiing.
Splash into Spring l Ogunquit
Celebrate your Patriotism and Colonial history in the seaside town with parades, re-enactments, Taste of the Town, and Treasure Hunts during the annual Patriots Day weekend.
Maine Events in May
Kennebunk’s May Day Festival | Kennebunk
The first weekend in May, downtown Kennebunk hosts a hometown parade, live outdoor music, craft fairs and farmer’s markets, games for kids, and old-fashioned village fun for the family.
Taste of Bar Harbor | Bar Harbor
This May festival of food in Bar Harbor showcases creative local cuisine, with the best chefs and restaurants offering samples and secrets to their best recipes in this delightful seaside town of Bar Harbor.
Moose Manea | Greenville
Moosehead Lake in Greenville Maine celebrates all things moose-related with a moose-themed festival in late May and early June.
June Events in Maine
Kennebunkport Festival | Kennebunkport
This early June fine food, art, and wine festival celebrates the spectacular creativity and hospitality of Kennebunkport’s artists, galleries, top chefs, and fine restaurants. Award-winning chefs prepare extraordinary dinners paired with wine and art.
Before and after parties, concerts, and boat tours are part of this great waterfront festival in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk. Special lodging packages are available at Kennebunkport historic bed and breakfasts, inns, resorts, and oceanfront hotels.
LAUNCH: A Maritime Festival | Kennebunkport
Celebrate Maine’s fishing, seafaring, lobstering, sailing, and boat-building heritage with a clam jam, River Lights Boat Parade, Rock The Boat party, and blessing of the fleet in Kennebunkport.
George H.W. Bush Celebrity Golf Classic | Kennebunkport
A June golf tournament with past presidents, pros, and celebrities like Jim Nance, Tom Brady, and Kennebunkport resident Patrick Dempsey is followed by an evening gala at The Colony Hotel or Earth at Hidden Pond in a fundraiser for Gary’s House.
The Celebrity Golf Classic is held at Cape Arundel Golf Club on River Road in Kennebunkport.
Tour de Cure: Kennebunks | Wells Reserve at Laudholm
This June fundraising bicycle ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association offers one of five routes — 5K, 25K, 50K, 100K, or 100 Mile.
The Tour de Crue routes follow Maine’s scenic coastline, featuring rocky coves, sandy beaches, and breathtaking vacation homes, all in the bicycle-friendly communities of Southern Maine with the start and finish at Wells Reserve in Wells.
Summer Kickoff Weekend | Portland
Portland’s annual Old Port Festival – Maine’s largest one-day event – is now called Summer Kickoff Weekend. This weekend Portland event includes multiple celebrations on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
One is a Walk The Working Waterfront event. It’s a spinoff of the big Old Port Fest event that featured a parade down Exchange Street with Portland’s own Shoestring Theater Puppet Company and live bands.
Trek Across Maine
A 180-mile cycling event across the state of Maine to benefit the American Lung Association. Cyclists travel from the mountains at Sunday River to the sea in Belfast.
A two-day option is available (97 miles). This ride is fully supported by volunteers and trained medical staff, including support vehicles along the route and three rest stops daily.
Windjammer Days | Boothbay Harbor
For two fun-filled June days, fully rigged windjammers sail into Boothbay Harbor for the annual Windjammer Days.
Events include a pancake breakfast, craft fair, antique boat parade, shipyard tours, street parade, live musical entertainment, and a visiting fleet of historic windjammers. The events end with a fireworks extravaganza over Boothbay Harbor.
South Berwick Strawberry Festival | South Berwick
This great Maine tradition in late June features musical performances, children’s games, crafts, as well as strawberry desserts, jams, and delights.
Fishin’ for Fashion Show | Boothbay Harbor
The funkiest fashion show EVER! This show is sea-inspired and original, from the historic working waterfront venue to the lobster trap runway that carries dozens of models the length of an enormous boat shed.
The Boothbay Harbor fashion show celebrates local merchants, talented designers, and Mainers who dedicate their lives to preserving our working waterfront.
Maine Events in July
July 4th Fireworks | Many Maine Towns
You can see waterfront fireworks in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Castine, Bath, Freeport, and Bar Harbor.
For more details, take a look at the July 4 Maine fireworks schedule.
The Moxie Festival | Lisbon
Since 1982, the second weekend of July celebrates Moxie, Maine’s original soda pop, in Lisbon with tastings, Moxie-inspired recipes, collector’s items, and paraphernalia shared by Moxie fanatics.
Maine Windjammer Parade | Rockland
See the grandest sailing vessels as they parade past the Rockland Breakwater in mid-July, a magnificent sight with special events on shore, before the Great Schooner Race.
Lobster Boat Races | Stonington
This classic Maine fishing village on Deer Isle goes wild as working lobstermen in suped-up boats charge around the harbor. It’s wicked good fun — the best lobster boat race in Maine, followed by a Lobster Boat Race Dance.
North Atlantic Blues Festival | Rockland
Rockland’s annual two-day music festival weekend features top blues bands and great live music from around the country, plus food fairs and craft fairs near the waterfront of Rockland in mid-July.
Yarmouth Clam Festival | Yarmouth
One of Maine’s most popular summer events in mid-July, the Yarmouth Clam Festival is an annual three-day event, always starting on the third Friday of the month.
Festivities include the Friday night parade, Saturday night fireworks, Clam Shucking contests, a clam cook-off, clam cooking demos, Firefighters’ Muster, and over 150 craftspeople, artists, and photographers displaying and selling their work. Plus, performances by notable musicians and entertainers.
Odyssey SwimRun | Casco Bay Islands, Portland
This Otillo-style swim-run race in Maine is held between eight islands in Casco Bay. It consists of 10 miles of island terrain running and 4-miles of open water swimming.
Tough Mountain Challenge | Sunday River, Newry
An ultimate summer athlete event in July at Sunday River Resort with extreme obstacle courses for teams to race. The downright dirty dynamic mountain course is a test for top athletes and amateur competitors, as well as fun for spectators to watch.
Boothbay Antiques Show & Sale | Boothbay Harbor
The last weekend in July, Boothbay Harbor becomes the showcase for antiques, collectibles, and treasures for browsers and serious collectors alike. See one of the best collections of antiques for sale in the perfect setting of the village of Boothbay.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival l Moosehead
This multi-day cultural event celebrates Maine’s rich American Indian history in the Moosehead Lakes Region. It’s based at the Moosehead Cultural Heritage Center.
August Events in Maine
Maine Lobster Festival | Rockland
Along with tons of Maine lobsters, this world-famous New England summer event features maritime displays and demonstrations, Maine arts and crafts, harbor cruises, contests, lots of wonderful entertainment, a giant parade, and much more.
Past performances have included top national musical talents, such as the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Chubby Checker, and The Temptations.
Wild Blueberry Weekend | Multiple Maine Towns
Similar to Maine Maple Sunday, the Wild Blueberry Weekend event in early August is a celebration of wild blueberries at 14 blueberry growers’ farms throughout the MidCoast and Downeast.
You’ll have the chance to drink, eat, and enjoy other wild blueberry experiences, including learning why and how wild blueberries are different from regular blueberries.
Plenty of blueberry baked goods and products will be available to purchase at participating locations. Plus, many Maine bars, restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and inns will be celebrating with weekend activities.
Maine Boat & Home Show | Rockland
Three days of water boat shows in Rockland include yachting and nautical exhibitions, plus home and garden products. It’s a great opportunity to see the latest fleet of Maine yachts for sale, from powerboats to sailboats.
You can browse boat product booths, watch kayak and paddleboard jousting, and enjoy Maine food!
Machias Wild Blueberry Festival | Machias
For years, the people of Machias have gathered to celebrate Maine’s blueberry harvest in a weekend-long festival and a real old-fashioned good time. Events and attractions include a children’s parade, a fish fry, a homemade blueberry pancake breakfast, an arts and craft show, and more.
Great Falls Balloon Festival | Lewiston-Auburn
This is one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in Northern New England. Over 100,000 visitors and 30 to 40 balloons launch from the banks of the beautiful Androscoggin River, with a backdrop of the rocky Great Falls.
The balloon festival features food booths, craft and trade stalls, a children’s area, and music from blues singers to jazz, pop, and oldies. A carnival and parade cap off the Balloon weekend.
Rangeley Blueberry Festival | Rangeley
This Rangeley festival features all things blueberry — the Maine state fruit — from blueberry pies, products, jams, and desserts, plus crafts and kids games in mid-August.
Wells Chili-Fest | Wells
Wells Harbor becomes a Maine Mexican food fare as local Wells restaurant chefs come out of the kitchen to compete for the best chili bragging rights. The festival also features music and crafts in late August.
Belfast Harbor Fest | Belfast
There are three days of fun on Belfast’s historic waterfront with a Launch Party at Marshalls Wharf, Boatbuilding Challenge, Rowing Regatta, Cardboard Boat Race, and Lobster Gala.
Forest Heritage Days | Moosehead
Since 1991, this annual celebration has been dedicated to preserving the history of the working forests of Maine.
Paddle Battle! | Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport
Enjoy this annual race of canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks on the Kennebunk River. Family fun and some fierce paddling competition are followed by a party on the lawn at Nonantum Resort.
Maine Events in September
Camden Windjammer Festival | Camden
Camden’s beautiful windjammers sail through Camden Harbor during Labor Day Weekend, the first weekend of September.
Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival | Laudholm Farm, Wells
This summer solstice and nature crafts festival is the first weekend after Labor Day. This highly respected exhibition brings 120+ artisans to historic Laudholm Farm to show their craftworks in a lovely seaside setting.
Sculpture, jewelry, pottery, prints, clothing, photography, and basketry are among the crafts selected by a jury for this prestigious event.
Lobsterman Triathlon | South Freeport
One of the most popular triathlons around, it features lobstermen and athletes swimming across Casco Bay and biking and running in Freeport during mid-September.
Maine Open Lighthouse Day | Many Maine Towns
Maine’s lighthouses are open to the public and free of charge for one weekend day each September. A great opportunity to shine the spotlight on Maine’s treasured coastal headlights.
International Seaplane Fly-In | Greenville & the Moosehead Lake region
The Fly-In weekend is Moosehead Lake’s largest craft fair with food, seaplanes, and pilots from all over the country.
Dempsey Challenge | Lewiston
Actor Patrick Dempsey’s (“Grey’s Anatomy”) annual Cancer Fundraiser is a walk/run/bike ride from Lewiston/Auburn through Maine’s lakes and mountains by over a thousand participants. “Dr. McDreamy” now owns a home in Kennebunkport Maine.
October Events in Maine
Oktoberfest l Saddleback Mountain, Rangeley
This fall Saddleback event in October on Rangeley and Saddleback Mountain consists of live music, a stein-hoisting contest, and a keg toss.
Fryeburg Fair | Fryeburg
Since 1851, local farmers show off their produce, cattle, and wares. From late September to early October, Fryeburg Fair is Maine’s largest agricultural fair complete with a week of harness racing, a farm museum, the world’s largest steer and oxen show, and a carnival of rides, games, and fair food.
A beautiful setting in prime foliage time, Maine’s largest fair includes an exhibition hall, a farm museum, craft demonstrations, and nightly big-name concerts.
North American Wife Carrying Championship | Sunday River, Newry
In early October, men and women compete in a challenging obstacle course with a twist — the husband must carry the wife in the Estonian style to win her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.
The tournament at Sunday River is a must-see event with scenic chairlift rides, crafts, food, wine tasting, and a beer tent during prime foliage at the Maine ski resort.
Kennebunk HarvestFest | Downtown Kennebunk
A farmer’s market, parade, craft fair, food, and music are part of this old home-style family-friendly fall festival near Kennebunkport.
York Harvestfest | York Beach
An annual celebration of Maine food and culture, a juried craft fair, marketplace, and music on York Beach, Maine.
OgunquitFest | Ogunquit
A fun-filled weekend of fall-themed events, including pumpkin and cookie decorating, costume parade, classic car show, craft show, funhouse, high heel race, bed race, wagon rides, storytelling, and a scarecrow contest in beautiful Ogunquit by the sea.
Harvest on the Harbor | Portland
Portland’s premier food and wine event showcasing top local chefs, Maine food, and wines in beautiful waterfront settings.
Trick or Treating | The Kennebunks
Merchants throughout Kennebunk and Kennebunkport hand out goodies to little ghosts, pirates, princesses, etc. Summer Street is decorated beyond belief on this spritted night of October 31.
Maine Events in November
Holiday Trail of Lights | The Kennebunks
Watch as the largest Christmas tree illuminates the night in downtown Kennebunk the weekend following Thanksgiving! Join the affair for sales and refreshments from downtown merchants, caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, and ice skating in Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Pavilion.
Kringleville | Waterville
From the end of November through about half of December, kids will love to visit Santa on Main Street in Downtown Waterville.
Country Christmas | Bethel
Experience the Christmas season in the village of Bethel where you can meet Santa, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, and enjoy the light decor and performances.
Festival of Trees | Saco
Dozens of stunningly decorated trees and wreaths are created based on themes picked every season and hosted at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum.
Lighting Nubble Lighthouse | Sohier Park, York
For some York locals, the holiday season doesn’t start until witnessing the annual lighting of the iconic Nubble Lighthouse the last weekend of November. In Sohier Park, there’s music, hot cocoa, cookies, and Santa. At dusk, the Nubble is illuminated as a testament to the coming holidays.
Old Fashioned Christmas | Bath
Following Thanksgiving through December, Bath Maine hosts An Old Fashioned Christmas where Santa joins the Children’s Tree Lighting along with caroling, contests, live music, and more!
December Events in Maine
Christmas Prelude | Kennebunkport
A magical season filled with holiday-inspired events, tree lightings, entertainment, shopping, craft fairs, caroling, and Santa in a lobster boat! The Kennebunkport Maine Christmas Prelude is held around the first two weeks of December.
Sparkle Celebration | Freeport
The first weekend of December, inspire your holiday spirit with a Parade of Lights down Main Street, concerts, visits with Santa, decorating contests, the famous Talking Christmas Tree, and more!
Santa’s Workshop, Festival of Lights Parade, & City Tree Lighting | Bangor
Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop followed by the annual Festival of Lights parade at Main Street & West Market Square. Later, there’s a City Tree Lighting — all in downtown Bangor.
Festival of Lights | York
From the Polar Express, breakfast with Santa, and a parade to craft fairs, painting with Santa, and church suppers and desserts, the Festival of Lights is an exciting, special series of events in York.
Holiday Light Parade | Presque Isle
The Light Parade will occur between the University of Maine at Presque Isle campus and North Street, and trophies will be awarded to the best floats at the end. Walkers in the parade may hand out candy to onlookers.
Boothbay Lights | Boothbay Harbor
Boothbay Harbor celebrates the holiday season with a host of events during the first couple of weeks of December — lighted boat and firetruck parades, North Pole Express at Boothbay Railway Village, caroling, cookies, cocoa, and more!
Christmas in Katahdin | Millinocket
Enjoy the festivities in Millinocket near Mount Katahdin with parades, concerts, food, games crafts, and good old fun.
Christmas by the Sea | Ogunquit
This seaside Christmas season celebration is filled with a parade, holiday decorations, caroling, entertainment, shopping, and craft fairs in Ogunquit the first two weekends in December.
Mountain Holly Days | Rangeley
As a Rangeley holiday event, Mountain Holly Days features specials in all participating shops, open houses, refreshments, shoppers raffles, and more!
Boat Parade of Lights | Portland Harbor
The Boat Parade of Lights is a truly magnificent Christmas event in Portland. Among the many holiday events in Portland, this occasion brings the holiday spirit out to sea where Portland Harbor is illuminated with lit boats and fireworks.
Christmas Parade | Wells
Watch as holiday-themed characters, decorated vehicles, and marching bands make their way from Wells Plaza at 2 p.m. to the Wells Junior High School in this holiday parade. It’s usually held on the second Sunday in December.
Enjoy All of the Events in Maine
There’s nothing like celebrating a holiday, time of year, or special interest in Maine. Events and festivals are a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday, as well as commemorate the Pine Tree State’s history and culture.
When is the Kennebunkport Hat Parade?
Don’t see it listed in the prelude of events….
Per https://kennebunkportmainelodging.com/christmas-prelude-most-years-sample-schedule/, it appears the 2022 Kennebunkport Hat Parade is on December 3rd at 3pm.
Best view i have ever seen !