Blue Hill’s Celebration of Seafaring Heritage

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Credit: Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Blue Hill’s 4th Maritime Heritage Festival returned to the waterfront offering a free day of marine-themed festivities by the bay. The Penobscot Bay Press source.

The festival’s mission is “to celebrate and preserve the significance of Blue Hill Bay to our history, economy and culture.”

 Festival Founder Highlights Maritime History

The purpose “is to celebrate Blue Hill’s maritime history. Blue Hill wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the bay,” said Steve Brookman, festival founder.

The festival kicked off Friday night at the Blue Hill Public Library with a sea shanty concert titled “Songs of Ships and Sailors” with performances from Celtic music group Castlebay and duo Handsome Molly, who sing traditional and modern folk songs.

Rowing, Crafts, and Music Shine at Blue Hill’s Festival

Saturday’s events started at 10 a.m. and wrapped up around 4 p.m. According to Brookman, there were approximately 500 people in attendance. The introductory rows given in Blue Hill Community Rowing’s 22’ St. Ayles skiff and outings on other small craft were the most popular events of the day, he said.

Other highlights of the festival were a boat show in the morning and a selection of different traditional small craft that were on display throughout the day. There were multiple live musical performances from the Brooklin Town Band, Leftovers, Calico and Waterborne and another performance by Handsome Molly.

Educational Exhibits Highlight Blue Hill’s Maritime Festival

The day also featured educational demonstrations and experiences. Marine Educational Specialist Captain Leroy Weed from the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in Stonington explained to a crowd how a lobster trap works and is designed to be sustainable for future fishing.

“It takes eight years from being eggs until we can catch [lobsters]. We need to protect them,” said Weed during his demonstration.

Similarly, the Downeast Institute had a touch tank where people could pet a lobster, starfish and sea urchins among other sea creatures, while Wilson Museum from Castine had a ropemaking and small wooden toy boat activity.

Tasty Eats and Interactive Exhibits at Blue Hill’s Fest

Provisions for hungry festival-goers included options from Blaze Pizza, serving pizza and burgers, Harbor House Seafood Shack, with a selection of seafood options, and homemade ice cream from Stone Fox Farm Creamery.

Other businesses and organizations included local historical art from PNB Arts, as well as booths from Maine Maritime Academy, George Stevens Academy, Hewes Construction, Penobscot Marine Museum, Blue Hill Historical Society, Brooksville Historical Society and Brooks Boats Designs to name a few.

“Everyone was happy. It turned out to be a perfect day,” said Brookman.

The Maritime Heritage Festival was founded by Steve Brookman and hosted by the Downeast Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association.

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Source: Penobscot Bay Press