Celebrate the Fourth of July on MDI 


MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — When Grand Marshal Tony McKim rides in the 1928 Ford Model A Huckster along the route of the Bar Harbor Fourth of July parade, he will be in a vehicle once owned by his former boss.  

After Ronald MacQuinn died in 2009, his wife, Barbara ‘Binky’ MacQuinn, donated the vehicle to the Seal Cove Auto Museum. For 14 years, Ronald MacQuinn was a member of the Bar Harbor First National Bank’s Board of Directors where McKim has been for the last 29 years, and as president and CEO since 2015. 

“He is famous for quoting to me, ‘Make sure you keep everyone pulling on the same rope,’” said McKim in an email to the Islander, about the late MacQuinn. 

It isn’t the first time the Huckster has been driven in Bar Harbor’s popular annual rolling celebration of the country’s anniversary of signing the Declaration of Independence. 

“It has been in the parade a few times,” said Bill Barter, the curator of collections at the auto museum, about the parade that begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday. “It gets around more than most of our other cars do.” 

Although, as far as Barter and a few others at the museum know, the nearly-century-old vehicle has not traveled too far from home in its lifetime. 

“It was sold new in Ellsworth and, as far as I know, it’s never been out of Hancock County,” said Barter.  


After taking a year off to keep people safe from COVID-19, Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor are ready to celebrate the Fourth of July once again with fireworks on Sunday night. In Bar Harbor, fireworks over Frenchman Bay will be set off around 9:15 p.m. from a barge on the water directly out from the Town Pier. In Southwest Harbor, fireworks will start at 9 p.m., set off from a barge off Clark Point in the Great Harbor. With each show, people will be able to see the display from around the shore.  

 “We do expect it to be an exciting time down by the pier,” said Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alf Anderson. ““It’s going to be a full house. We want people to do what they are comfortable with. If it’s too crowded, [people can] find a place with a good view where they can spread out.” 

This year, in lieu of the traditional lobster races that take place at the recreational fields on Park Street, there is a lobster race scavenger hunt being hosted by the YMCA. Dressed in racing attire, including a race bib number, lobsters can be found in local businesses all around town.  

At the beginning of this week, the YMCA began giving out the scavenger hunt cards to participants. The cards are available to pick up until Monday, July 5. With them, scavenger hunters will be given a list of business locations where the lobsters can be found and will need to record the lobster’s race numbers on the card. All scavenger hunt cards must be turned in to the MDI YMCA by noon on July 6. Contact Jenn Britz at [email protected] for more information. 

On Sunday beginning at 8 a.m., the Island Arts Association will hold a craft fair/marketplace in the YMCA parking lot. Artisans will be on hand selling a selection of Maine crafts that includes jewelry, quilts, photographs, pottery and porcelain dolls. The event is a joint fundraiser for the MDI YMCA and the YWCA of Mount Desert Island. 

Unfortunately, this year’s festivities in Bar Harbor will not include the live lobster races, the Rotary-sponsored breakfast or seafood festival, among a few other regular town events. 

“There aren’t quite as many events going on this year, but it’s still expected to be lots of fun,” said Anderson. 


July 4 events:

8 a.m.  to 3 p.m. — Craft Fair/Marketplace featuring Maine crafts for sale as a fundraiser for the town’s YMCA and YWCA. Located at 21 Park Street. Call (207) 288-5008 for more information. 

Fourth of July parade route.

11 a.m. — Bar Harbor’s Fourth of July Parade begins at the athletic fields at the intersection of Park and Main streets, goes to the intersection of Cottage and Main streets and along Cottage Street, left on Route 3 to Mount Desert Street and right onto Ledgelawn Avenue back to Park Street. 

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Bake sale at the Holy Redeemer Church, located at 56 Mount Desert Street. 

9 p.m. — Fireworks in Southwest Harbor on the water off Clark Point.

9:15 p.m. — Fireworks over Frenchman Bay from the Bar Harbor Town Pier. 

June 28 to July 5 — Lobster Race Scavenger Hunt: Pick up cards at the YMCA on Park Street and look for ‘racing lobsters’ around town in designated businesses. Cards need to be returned to the YMCA by noon on July 6. 

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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