SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Harbor House Community Service Center’s annual Flamingo Festival begins Friday, kicking off four days of celebration centered on the iconic lawn ornament that has come to signify summer fun on the Quietside: the pink plastic flamingo.
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 a pancake breakfast, golf scramble, children’s games and a craft fair.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Christmas in July.”
“It’s something different,” said Diana Novella, Harbor House’s events and communications director. “The kids will love it.” She promised a “surprise guest” will make an appearance.
The festival kicks off Friday at 5:50 p.m. with a lobster dinner on the Pemetic Green sponsored by American Legion Post 69. Along with Maine’s signature crustacean, diners will be served mussels, corn on the cob, dessert and a drink. The cost is $20.
A full slate of activities is scheduled for Saturday, beginning at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast on the Pemetic Green prepared by volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard. A blueberry sauce and maple syrup will be available for topping the pancakes. Sausage, orange juice and coffee will be served. The cost is $5 per person.
At 9:30 a.m. is the Flamingo Parade, which many consider the most popular event of the weekend. More that 40 units are expected to march down Main Street. Among them will be past favorites like the Friends of Acadia Imprecision Drill Team and the literary ladies of the Southwest Harbor Public Library. First-timers such as the Mainely Heaven ice cream shop’s mascot Udderella also will participate.
Following the parade, the Kids’ Carnival at the Pemetic Green, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at noon, features games, a bounce house, dunk tank and giant slide. Lobster rolls, burgers, hot dogs, kettle corn and lemonade are among the “yummy foods” available for purchase, said Novella.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and again on Sunday is a craft fair on the Pemetic Green. The events Saturday also include an open house at the Coast Guard base on Clark Point Road. Tours will be conducted from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Sunday morning, runners are invited to take part in the Flamingo 4-Miler road race. Registration can be done by visiting Harbor House on Main Street or on the morning of the day of the race at the Tremont Consolidated School, which is the finish line for the race. The cost is $20. Registration on the day of the race begins at 7 a.m.; the school is located on the Tremont Road in Tremont. The first 75 entrants will receive a specially designed Christmas ornament, Novella said.
Racers will gather at the school and be transported to the starting line at the Seawall picnic area for the 8 a.m. start. A free one-mile fun run for children 12 or under will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the school.
Pink golf shirts are optional Sunday afternoon as the Feathered Friends Golf Scramble gets underway at 3 p.m. at the Causeway Club on the Fernald Point Road. The cost is $50 per golfer. The price includes admission to the Southwest Harbor Polo and Yacht Club cocktail party, which begins at 5 p.m. in the Causeway Club barn.
The cocktail party is another event not to miss. The tongue-in-cheek polo and yacht club has but one purpose – to host the cocktail party. Tickets cost $30 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks and dancing to the rockabilly band The Crown Vics.
The Flamingo Festival ends Monday with a 7:30 p.m. concert on the Pemetic Green by the steel drum band Flash in the Pans. A donation of $5 is suggested, with the proceeds to benefit Harbor House and Acadia Family Center.
Novella urges everyone to take part in the celebration.
“Come out and have a good time,” she said. “It’s a great family event.”