There’s no denying that coastal towns around the world have a deep connection with the water that surrounds them. Here in Camden, Maine, it’s no different. Local rivers, harbors and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean have provided not only jobs and sustenance for generations, but also recreational activities, serenity and much more. The Camden Windjammer Festival is just one of the ways residents and visitors alike celebrate Camden’s nautical heritage. When you attend this annual festival, you can expect to see plenty of beautiful sailboats, to enjoy craft and food vendors, and, perhaps most importantly, to learn about the maritime traditions that have been a part of our coastal culture for generations.
Camden Windjammer Festival History
Just in case you’re not familiar with maritime terminology, a windjammer is a ship propelled by sails. Camden’s harbor has always been filled with these sailing vessels. The town was known as a port and shipbuilding hub beginning in 1791 when the town was incorporated. At times, as many as 10-12 sailing ships would be built and launched in the Camden Harbor. Initially, the boats were used to haul goods from port to port, but by the 1930s, many of these workhorse sailing vessels were being turned into private boats for pleasure sailing.
The Camden Windjammer Festival is a nonprofit event with a mission of raising awareness about these beautiful boats and the impact they’ve had on our lives and livelihood through the generations. The event has turned into one of the best festivals in the state.
This year’s Camden Windjammer Festival will be held Sept. 4-6, 2015. The festivities begin at 12 p.m. when the Windjammers sail into the harbor. Gather around as these majestic boats glide into the harbor to the narration of a local captain. Opening night features several special events, including a dinner auction and fireworks!
You’ll be able to tour several of these boats on Saturday and Sunday during the “Open Boat” tour.
During the weekend, you can also experience:
- The Maritime Heritage Fair – Open each day, this fair gives you a chance to view art, crafts and more.
- Build-a-Boat – You can create your own boat during this event!
- Relays – Have a blast in several races that require participants to walk across floating crates or carry slippery fish to the finish line!
- Live Music – An array of live entertainment will be available for your enjoyment all weekend long.
The weekend is capped off on Sunday with a fun Boat Parade that’s open to everyone with a boat!
Be sure to visit the website for a full schedule of events.
Planning Your Visit to Maine
Now’s the time to starting planning your trip to the Camden Windjammer Festival! Be sure to download our handy and FREE Vacation Guide to Camden, Maine. The guide is chocked full of information regarding things to do, places to see, restaurants to try and more. The Hartstone Inn is also happy to make arrangements for you to stay in one of our luxurious rooms or suites. After a rejuvenating night’s rest, enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast each morning.
Photo Credit: Dan4th Nicholas / Camden, ME / Flickr