Party-goers at last year's Southwest Harbor Polo and Yacht Club cocktail party at the Causeway Club. FILE PHOTO

Flamingos flock to MDI

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Harbor House Community Service Center’s annual Flamingo Festival begins Friday, kicking off four days of celebration centered on the pink plastic flamingo.

Whether considered déclassé, kitsch or, as one New York Times reporter recently wrote, postmodern irony, the lawn ornament has become the symbol of summer fun in Southwest Harbor.

As usual, the highlights of this weekend’s activities are the Flamingo Parade on Saturday morning and the cocktail party Sunday evening at the Causeway Club Barn. The schedule also includes food, sporting events, a children’s carnival and a craft fair.

The theme this year is the 50th anniversary of Harbor House, said Diana Novella, the organization’s events and community relations director. Harbor House also plans to honor Don Featherstone, the designer of the pink plastic flamingo. Featherstone, who died last month, began coming to the flamingo festival in 1996 and attended until 2012, when health issues kept him from returning to Southwest Harbor.

The festival begins Friday at 6 p.m. with a lobster bake on the Pemetic Green sponsored by the American Legion Post 69.

Saturday, from 7-8:30 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard is hosting a pancake breakfast on the green. The cost is $5 and includes pancakes, blueberry topping, sausage, juice and coffee.

Next up is the Flamingo Parade, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Arguably the pinkest parade on the planet, more than 50 units are expected to make their way along Main Street from the Seal Cove Road to the Clark Point Road. Among the participants will be the ever-popular Friends of Acadia Imprecision Drill Team, the Acadia Ukulele Society and the Seal Cove Auto Museum.

“The best part of the parade is seeing how creative everybody gets,” Novella said.

Following the parade is the children’s carnival on the Pemetic Green. A water slide, bounce house, dunk tank and games are on tap. Food and drinks will be available from a number of vendors, including Sips restaurant and Moe’s Barbecue, Novella said.

The Pemetic Green also is the site of the craft fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. More than 30 craftspeople will be selling crafts that include jewelry, paintings and photos.

The Coast Guard is holding an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. All are invited to tour the base on the Clark Point Road.

Sunday begins with the Flamingo 4-Miler Road Race. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Tremont Consolidated School. From there, runners are to be bussed to the Seawall Picnic Area for the run back to the school. Registration is $20. A fun run for youngsters also is scheduled.

The Friends of Harbor House Golf Scramble starts at 3 p.m. at the Causeway Club. The $50 entry fee includes admission to the Southwest Harbor Polo and Yacht Club cocktail party in the Causeway Club barn.

The name of the club is strictly tongue-in-cheek, and it exists solely to host the cocktail party. That mission is accomplished by providing plenty of food, drinks and dancing. This year, the rockabilly and blues band The Crown Vics is scheduled to perform. The cost is $35 per person.

The festival ends Monday with a 7:30 p.m. concert on the Pemetic Green by the steel drum band Flash In The Pans. A $5 donation is suggested, with proceeds going to Harbor House and the Acadia Family Center.

For more information, call Harbor House at 244-3713 or visit

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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