Maine Music, Food & Heritage Festivals
No matter what the season, there is always a fun festival to enjoy in Maine. From heritage fairs to harvest festivals, Maine offers countless celebrations enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. Bring your family and friends for an enjoyable few days of food, wine, music, and recreation.
Maine farmers tend to over 1.25 million acres of arable farmland, making agriculture an important part of the local economy. As a result, countless festivals celebrate crops and other food products. For example, the state is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world. These tiny berries burst with flavor and are at peak ripeness in August. Several festivals celebrate the wild blueberry, with blueberry pie contests, blueberry pancake breakfasts, music, free blueberry recipes, and other celebratory activities. Similar food festivals are held for strawberries, apples, chili, pumpkins, garlic, and potatoes during their harvest seasons. Choose a fruit or vegetable you love to eat, and chances are Maine has a festival celebrating it!
Maple syrup is another important Maine food product, with the state having the second highest maple syrup production in the country. Maine Maple Sunday is a yearly event held by maple producers across the state. On that day, sugar-makers officially open the doors of their sugar houses to the public. Many sugar houses offer free maple syrup tasting, giving you the opportunity to taste the freshest product straight from Maine’s sugar maple trees. Maple syrup producers also hold demonstrations of the syrup-making process, provide maple treats, conduct sleigh or wagon rides, and feature live music.
Another major category of food-related festivals are those related to Maine’s seafood industry. With hundreds of miles of coastline, fishing is an important part of the state’s economy. Dozens of festivals across the coastline celebrate lobster, salmon, clams, oysters, and other seafood. Taste freshly-caught seafood, enter a cooking contest, or simply enjoy the music at these fun festivals.
Other Maine festivals celebrate beer, wine, chili, organic foods, eggs, and potato blossoms. There is even an annual Whoopie Pie Festival, with a competitive whoopie pie cook-off.
In addition to festivals celebrating specific foods, Maine features over two dozen agricultural fairs throughout the summer and autumn months. These local fairs allow community members to display livestock, crops, baked goods, crafts, and other accomplishments. Agricultural fairs often last several days, with local parades, competitions, rides, and music events. These fairs are a great way to learn more about a community, eat delicious food, and have fun on the thrilling rides. From the larger Fryeburg Fair, which attracts over 300,000 visitors, to smaller celebrations in Houlton or Litchfield, you are guaranteed to have an exciting time at one of Maine’s numerous agricultural fairs.
Maine Music Festivals
No matter what your taste in music, Maine likely has a festival to celebrate it. Classical music lovers will enjoy the annual Bach Birthday Bash, which features famous Bach pieces as well as some of his lesser-known works. Summer brings several bluegrass festivals, delivering classic and innovative folk music in a variety of venues. Other music festivals feature blues, country western, rock, reggae, and jazz. Many summer music festivals are outdoors, allowing you to grab chairs or a picnic blanket and let the music sweep over you under the clear Maine sky.
Maine Cultural Festivals
Maine was originally settled by French and English immigrants, with Irish, Scottish, and Swedish immigrants settling later in the 19th century. As a result, the state has a rich cultural history celebrated by a variety of ethnic festivals. Celebrate your heritage or learn more about another ethnic group by attending a Native American, Franco-American, Acadian, Swedish, Scottish, or Irish festival. These festivals typically include ethnic foods, arts and crafts demonstrations, historical information, cultural music, and traditional games.