As life slowly eases back toward normal, more festivals, fairs, tours, and events are ours to enjoy. Some would argue that September, with warm days, crisp evenings, and the advent of fall foliage season, is the finest month of all. Here are a few excellent ways to enjoy Maine this month:
A Piece of Mars on Display, September 1
The largest intact Mars rock on Earth will be unveiled at the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum. The specimen weighs 32 pounds and measures nine inches by 10 inches by six-and-a-half inches. There’s lots else to see at this 15,000-square-foot facility in Bethel, including 17 interactive exhibits and a laboratory. For more information, visit mainemineralmuseum.org.
Vintage Motorcycle Festival, September 4–5
Before summer rides off into the sunset, indulge your inner outlaw at the largest motorcycle meet in Midcoast Maine. This event is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days at the Owls Head Transportation Museum (which is worth a visit in its own right). For more information, contact Toby Stinson, (207) 594-4418 or [email protected].
International Seaplane Fly-In, September 9–12
This popular event draws pilots and aircraft from around the globe, features displays of aviation skill, a wide variety of aircraft to be viewed downtown and at the Greenville Municipal Airport, and one of the largest craft fairs of the season. Spectators of all ages flock to the shores of Moosehead Lake to nosh food truck fare, browse the artisan booths, and watch pilots compete in the Bush Pilot Canoe Race and other contests. Visit seaplanefly-in.org for more information.
Sixteenth Annual Eastport Pirate Festival, September 10–12
While 2021 details had not yet been announced at press time, this swashbuckling celebration typically includes live music for all ages, pirate-themed meals, fun walks/runs, a treasure hunt, and pirate boat rides. There are also presentations at the Tides Institute, Museum of Art exhibitions, a gold and silver doubloon scramble, a pirate parade, barrel relay race, street dances, story times, children’s pirate ship races, opportunities to interact with the pirates, and more. Visit eastportpiratefestival.com for more information.
Maine Open Lighthouse Day, September 11
This popular event, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism, and the American Lighthouse Foundation, usually attracts 15,000 to 18,000 visitors annually. Visitors have rare opportunities to climb into and learn about over two dozen historic Maine lighthouses dotting the rocky shore from West Quoddy Head in Lubec, down to Goat Island Lighthouse near Kennebunkport. For a list of participating lighthouses, visit www.lighthousefoundation.org/maine-open-lighthouse-day.
Twenty-first Annual Capriccio Festival of Kites, September 11
Kite enthusiasts of all skill levels will want to gather from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ogunquit’s Main Beach. This festival is part of a one-week celebration of the arts. Over 300 kites will be given away for kids to decorate and fly. Volunteers assist families with setup, decorating, and judging and provide kite-flying demonstrations. Call Tracy Smith of Crickets Corner Beach & Toy, (207) 646-2261, for more information.
Black Fly Brewfest, September 11
Head to the John A. Millar Arena in Houlton to choose from over 100 selections of beer, wine, and spirits to sample. This adult-only event is scheduled from 1 to 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the County Yankee Grocer, the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce, and on Eventbrite. Call (207) 532-4216 for more information.
Thirty-third Annual Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival, September 11–12
The Summer Solstice and Nature Crafts Festival is proceeding this year with “cautious optimism.” Held at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm, this two-day event includes more than 120 juried exhibitors, live music, and local foods. Visit wellsreserve.org for more information.
2021 Maine Cheese Festival, September 12
Celebrate Maine cheese and cheesemakers with the Maine Cheese Guild from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. at Manson Park in Pittsfield. A highlight this year is the inaugural Maine Cheese Awards. This family friendly festival includes music, food trucks, demonstrations, adorable goats, and of course, plenty of cheese! Visit mainecheesefestial.org for more information.
Bath Art Hop, September 17
The Bath Art Hop is a collaboration of people passionate about art and community. They have joined together to highlight the area’s talented artists via a self-guided art experience of local galleries and artist tables. The events take place in downtown Bath on the third Friday of each month from June to September. Live music and a beer garden add to the fun. Follow the Bath Art Hop’s Facebook page for more information.
Maine Celtic Celebration, September 18
This event in Belfast, typically held for three days in July, has been pared down to one day this year. Festivities take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Steamboat Landing and around the Boathouse. There will be a robust lineup of Celtic music, dance, and storytelling, as well as a “kilt kontest.” The event also includes Highland Games, a dog show, and several workshops. For more information, follow the event’s Facebook page or visit mainecelticcelebration.com.
Twelfth Annual Poland Heritage Day, September 18
This rain or shine event, held on the grounds of the historic Poland Spring Resort and Preservation Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., includes historic tours, wagon rides, kid’s games, inflatables, craft vendors, live animals, and more. New this year, there will be food trucks, stock car racing, a zip line, bingo, and interactive gameshows. There is no gate fee. Many activities are free. Proceeds benefit local charities and the Poland Spring Preservation Society. For more information, email [email protected].
Virtually Canoe Maine’s Allagash Wilderness Waterway, September 19
Join New England author and humorist Tim Caverly at the Milo Town Hall at 1 p.m. and discover the ten books that detail his experiences as ranger-supervisor while living on the banks of our nation’s premier Wild and Scenic River. The event is hosted by the Milo Historical Society. For more information, contact Allen Monroe at [email protected].
The Dempsey Challenge, September 25–26
This year’s event offers a global option so that anyone in the world can participate in this annual fundraiser for people impacted by cancer. The goal is to raise $1.5 million while collectively moving 1.5 million miles over the weekend. Saturday’s in-person 5K walk/run and 10k run will begin at Simard-Payne Park, in Lewiston, with the bike event launching from the same location on Sunday. Event organizers said they also have Challengers who kayak, hike, and even horseback ride. Registration is $50 per person, with a $250 fundraising minimum to participate locally. For more information or to register, visit DempseyCenter.org.