BAR HARBOR — Plenty of food, fun and festivities will be the order of the day on Monday as the Mount Desert Island area celebrates 240 years of American independence. From a roaring parade to music concerts and more, there is something for everyone during this year’s Fourth of July celebrations. Emera Maine is the “green” sponsor for events in Bar Harbor.
Fireworks shows are scheduled for both Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor.
“Since I was a kid, Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite days in Bar Harbor,” Chamber of Commerce Director Martha Searchfield said. “The energy of the community supporting our parade sets the tone for the day, and I often think how lucky we are to live on this island.”
The fun begins bright and early in Bar Harbor at 6 a.m. with the annual Bar Harbor Rotary Club blueberry pancake breakfast at the town’s athletic fields on lower Main Street. It features blueberry and plain pancakes, sausage, sausage-and-egg sandwiches, coffee, tea, juice and plenty of maple syrup. It runs until 10 a.m. Both the pancake breakfast and seafood festival lunch support Rotary’s community service projects, including a planned rebuild of the Park Street Playground.
Activity at the fields increases prior to the start of the parade at 10 a.m. The parade heads downtown on Main Street, across Cottage Street, back along Eden Street to Mount Desert Street, right onto Ledgelawn Avenue and back to the fields. See map of parade route.
The theme of this year’s festivities, including the parade, is “Acadia’s Centennial.” The grand marshal of this year’s parade will be Dean Read, former president of Bar Harbor Bank and Trust and the 2015 recipient of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s Cadillac Award. BHB&T also is the official parade sponsor.
Each parade entry will be scored by a panel of judges, with trophies being awarded for these categories: most creative, best youth entry and best theme depiction.
“We are happy to be able to celebrate Acadia’s Centennial and share it with so many new and familiar faces in Bar Harbor,” Searchfield said. “I think it will be really exciting to see how everyone is choosing to represent the centennial theme.”
Back at the athletic fields, the Rotary’s Annual Seafood and Lobster Festival gets underway at 11 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. A complete shore dinner, including lobster, corn, steamed mussels, chips and a beverage, is just $25. Lobster and crabmeat rolls, hamburgers and hotdogs, veggie burgers, french fries and more also are on the a la carte menu.
At the same time, more than a dozen other area nonprofit organizations will offer booths with dessert including strawberry shortcake and whoopie pies, information and activities. There will be a silent auction, pie sale, used clothing sale, children’s games and raffles.
The MDI YMCA will hold its annual lobster races where attendees can place bets on sponsored lobsters as they head down a stepped track to victory.
The Island Arts Association hosts an artisan and craft fair marketplace in the YMCA parking lot on Park Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All proceeds from these activities support area charities.
Because of the traffic disruption due to the parade, the Island Explorer shuttle buses will run on a special schedule. Visit www.exploreacadia.com for details.
The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s Harborside Concert Series, presented by G.F. Johnston & Associates, will feature live, family-friendly music on the town pier. First up at 3:30 p.m. will be Djar Djar, featuring Kevin Elk, Will Miller, Simon Robertson and Jack Sasner. The Blake Rosso Band plays at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Crown Vics at 7:30 p.m.
Over on the Village Green, the Bar Harbor Town Band plays a free concert at 7:30 p.m.
As the day turns to evening, the annual fireworks display will light up the sky over Frenchman Bay beginning at approximately 9:15 p.m. off Agamont Park at the town pier. Ocean Properties is the event sponsor.
Fireworks will color the sky over Southwest Harbor beginning at approximately 9 p.m. The Southwest Harbor-Tremont Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the display. Fireworks will be shot from a barge moored in the harbor and should be visible from most areas around the periphery.
In the event the fireworks are called off due to inclement weather, notices will be posted on social media, including the Mount Desert Islander’s Facebook page.
Because of heavy traffic leaving Bar Harbor after the fireworks, police will restrict routes motorists can choose. Specifically, drivers on Mount Desert Street will not be allowed to head north on Eden Street and will, instead, be directed over the Eagle Lake Road, Route 233, towards Somesville. See related map.
Call 288-5103 or visit www.barharborinfo.com.