Summer sailing spectacular at Maine’s Camden Windjammer Festival
Taking place from 29-31 August, the festival sees Maine’s fleet of windjammers — tall masted sailing ships which traditionally functioned as cargo vessels in the 19th and early 20th centuries — gathering in the small historic town of Camden in the state’s midcoast region. The afternoon of Friday 29 August sees the spectacular arrival of the schooners as they manoeuvre into Camden Harbor to begin a weekend of nautical family fun.
Highlights of the festival include a schooner open house giving locals and visitors the chance to explore the windjammers and other participating vessels for themselves, a maritime heritage fair with displays of maritime history, traditions and skills, and a thrilling fireworks display over the harbour.
Live street music throughout Camden, lobster hauling talks and a chowder cook-off challenge — in which local restaurants compete to offer the best bowl of this New England favourite, with the winner decided by public votes — all add to the maritime magic. Visitors can even take part in silent auctions with the chance of winning a dinner cruise aboard one of the windjammers.
The Camden Windjammer Festival is one of a number of windjammer events throughout the spring and summer in Maine, with other highlights including Boothbay Harbor’s Windjammer Days Festival in June.
Windjammers sail from April to early October and visitors can book their own trips during this period, with a variety of ways to experience these majestic ships, from two-hour trips to five-day live-aboard cruises. For more information on Maine’s windjammer schooners, visit the Maine Windjammer Association website at www.sailmainecoast.com.
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