Julia Dilger and Bill Boguski of Foulmouthed Brewing of South Portland raise a glass of one of their beers at last year's Acadia Oktoberfest celebration. This year, Oktoberfest is set for Saturday, Oct. 6 at Smuggler’s Den Campground in Southwest Harbor. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Celebration set for Southwest Harbor

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Quietside of Mount Desert Island is gearing up for Southwest Harbor Week celebrations, which begins next Friday.

Organized by Acadia Chamber, the Southwest Harbor & Tremont chamber of commerce, Southwest Harbor Week aims to raise awareness of the institutions and businesses outside the familiar confines of Bar Harbor.

“Many people don’t realize that Acadia National Park covers nearly half of Mount Desert Island, and that many of the island’s attractions lie near Northeast and Southwest Harbors,” Acadia Chamber president Alan Feuer said. “Southwest Harbor Week will shine a light on areas away from the tourist hub of Bar Harbor.”

Wine tasting

On Friday, Oct. 5, a wine tasting is planned at Smuggler’s Den Campground hosted by Sawyers Specialties. The tasting will include more than 45 different wines from around the world. Industry professionals will be on hand to give insider information about the wineries and to help tasters compare wines.

Rounding out the event will be food catered by Sips Restaurant of Southwest Harbor.


Acadia’s Invitational Oktoberfest at Smuggler’s Den will be Saturday, Oct. 6 from noon to 5 p.m. The event features music by Banned From Eden and Jones’n the Eclectic Dance Band.

A craft fair on the Pemetic Green is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., hosted by the Island Arts Association.

The beer fest will feature selections from brewers such as Bissell Brothers, Fogtown, Mast Landing, Marsh Island, Blank Canvas, Dirigo, and IDB.

Tyler Johnson of the Liquor Locker will host an infusion table that combines distinctive beers with spices, herbs, coffee, and fruit to create novel drinks.

Accompanying the beer will be offerings from local restaurants and food trucks, such as sausages from Colvard & Company, barbequed meats from Bar Har BQ, raw and grilled oysters from Bar Harbor Oyster Company, baked goods and hot dogs from the MDI Lioness Club, and freshly-popped corn from Sweet & Salty Kettle Korn.

There will be games, including the traditional stein-hoisting tournament, a beer-less pong tournament, and the 15-pound torpedo keg toss.

New this year is Acadia’s Oktoberfest homebrew competition, with the winning beer to be brewed and bottled by Ellsworth’s Fogtown Brewery.

Each entry will be scored by three expert judges in a blind tasting with winners announced on stage at the festival.

“Adding the homebrew competition furthers our mission of bringing beer creators and consumers together to enjoy and discuss great beer,” said festival organizer Kristin Hutchins.

Belt sanders

Atlantic Brewing Company presents its 15th annual Belt Sander Races & Buffet BBQ event at its Town Hill facility Sunday, Oct. 7. A war canoe race on Long Pond begins at noon, followed by live music from Mondo Charlie at Mainely Meat from 12–3 p.m.

The belt sander races begin at 3 p.m. Contact [email protected]


Monday, Oct. 8, will be geology day for the festival, including talks and demonstrations of granite quarrying at the Maine Granite Industry Museum in Somesville. Steve Haynes, founder of the museum, will offer guided tours of a local quarry at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. He’ll also give a granite cutting demonstration at 10:30 a.m. at the museum.

Duane and Ruth Braun, authors of “Guide to the Geology of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park,” will reveal some of the clues that tell the 400-million year old story of MDI. The pair will lead two walks, one from Seal Cove beginning at 12:30 p.m. and one from Seawall Pond beginning at 3 p.m.

ArtWaves will offer geology-related art classes, including “Rocking mosaics,” “Geological printmaking” and “Felted cairns.”


Birds and nature are the theme for Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Sean Charette, executive director of the Wendell Gilley Museum, will lead small groups through the landscape paintings of Barbara Ernst Prey at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Michael Good, owner of Downeast Nature Tours and the founder of the Acadia Birding Festival, will lead explorers on a bird watching expedition on the coast at Seawall beginning at 12:30 p.m.

A watercolor nature-journaling workshop with local artist Amy Gagnon, whose work is on view at the Gilley Museum, is planned for 1-3 p.m.

From 5-6 p. m., Karen Zimmerman will lead a workshop about exploring nature with all five senses, based on her book “Nightwalk.”


On Wednesday, Oct. 10, U.S. Coast Guard members will lead tours of the Bass Harbor Head Light lighthouse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A lighthouse cruise with Eli Strauss of Island Cruises is planned for 4:30 p.m.


On Thursday, Oct. 11, a history cruise on Somes Sound is planned with MDI Historical Society Director Tim Garrity and actors from The Barn Arts Collective. The cruise aboard the Sea Princess will leave the Northeast Harbor marina at 1:15 p.m.

A birdwatching cruise from Southwest Harbor with Michael Good leaves at 11 a.m.

A program of Wabanaki songs, history and drumming hosted by the Abbe Museum will be held at Harbor House from 5–7 p.m.


Boats are the focus of festival events Friday, Oct. 12.

The Southwest Harbor Coast Guard Station will host an open house and tour of their fleet from 10–11 a.m.

A lobstering cruise is planned aboard a historic Friendship sloop with Sail Acadia founder Karl Brunner from 10 a.m. to noon.

From 2-3 p.m., Phillip Bennet of the Hinckley Company will offer a shop tour of the company’s Manset boatyard.



This 1922 Detroit Electric car, part of the collection of the Seal Cove Auto Museum, will lead Mount Desert Island Marathon runners to the finish line in Southwest Harbor Oct. 14. “Car Day” events for Southwest Harbor Week are planned for Saturday, Oct. 13.

The Seal Cove Auto Museum presents a tour of the “Art, Advertising and the Automobile” exhibit on display, and rides in early Ford cars, Saturday, Oct. 13. Tours of the exhibit will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Also at the auto museum will be a hood ornament carving workshop, in conjunction with the Wendell Gilley Museum.

Finish line festival

For the 17th time, marathoners will leave Bar Harbor on Sunday morning (October 14) and run 26.2 miles to the center of Southwest Harbor. Leading the runners into town will be a 1922 Detroit Electric car, courtesy of the Seal Cove Auto Museum. In town will be boosters cheering the marathoners and a festival to celebrate their achievement. This year’s Finish Line Festival will feature live music, fresh sausages, local beer, flatbread pizza and barbequed pork.

Getting to, and parking in, Southwest Harbor has always been a challenge during the Marathon as Main Street is closed from 9:30 a.m. until the early afternoon.

This year, spectators will be able to take a ferry from the Northeast Harbor Marina to Dysart’s Marina in Southwest Harbor, avoiding congestion on the marathon route and the need to find parking near the finish line.


Sail Acadia will run a ferry service on the Elizabeth T between Southwest and Northeast Harbors from 7:45 a.m. until early afternoon on Sunday, Oct. 14 for the Mount Desert Island Marathon.

The ferry will be operated by Sail Acadia using the 21-passenger Elizabeth T. Timed tickets are available online from the Chamber of Commerce website. Space is limited, so advance purchase is recommended.

Music at the Finish Line Festival will be provided by The Fox and the Hound, playing Americana and country music. Food vendors include Colvard & Company, RockBox, and Bar Har-B-Q. Coda Restaurant will host a beer garden, with beer from Rising Tide and Fogtown on tap. The vintage Detroit Electric car will be on display, along with information from the Seal Cove Auto Museum, A Climate to Thrive, and Friends of Acadia.

Visit AcadiaChamber.com for a complete calendar of events or to purchase tickets for tours, boat trips, and Octoberfest. Contact Cynthia Crow at 244-9264 or [email protected]


Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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