Celebrating the end of summer, Maine style
August 30, 2013
Labor Day weekend is a special weekend in Camden as thousands of people come from far and wide to help celebrate the Camden Windjammer Festival, our annual community-led celebration of Camden’s maritime heritage and traditions.
Often called the “windjammer capital of the world,” the festival celebrates the maritime history of the area - from the great age of sail when four, five, and six-masted schooners were launched into the harbor, to the birth of the windjammer business here in the 1930s, and continuing to today with our bustling harbor where daysails take guests out into the waters of Penobscot Bay and elegant yachts frequently visit or call Camden home every summer.
The largest gathering of schooners on the East Coast, the Camden Windjammer Festival provides visitors with a unique opportunity to see most of the Midcoast fleet from the Camden Public Landing, or even take a cruise on one of the daysailers to see the boats, with full sails, out on the water before they enter the harbor.
No matter what you decide to do, the festival offers everyone a unique opportunity to see an experience these beautiful ships up close and personal. You can watch as they maneuver into the harbor to kick off the weekend’s celebrations or enjoy “open house” tours of the Camden fleet, along with several privately owned classic boats that are rarely on view to the public, on Saturday and Sunday.
With the arrival of the majestic ships today, and a variety of events and activities throughout the weekend, the town is buzzing and the energy and excitement is palpable. After the 15 windjammers make their way into Camden Harbor, tonight’s celebration will include a dinner auction, music, the popular schooner talent show, and fireworks over the harbor. With activities continuing through Sunday, there is something to do and enjoy all weekend long, including boat parades, maritime exhibits and demonstrations, a lobster crate race, a build-a-boat contest, a radio controlled boat race, tours of the schooners, and even a pirate invasion of Camden!
All festival events are free to visitors, so everyone is invited to join in the celebration. No matter what your plans for Labor Day weekend may hold, be sure to include a trip to Camden if you can. And even if you can’t make it this year, you can start planning early for next year!
For more information on the Camden Windjammer Festival and a complete schedule of events, click here.