Southwest Harbor Week begins

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Nearly 30 events are on tap for the 10 days of Southwest Harbor Week, beginning Friday, Oct. 11.

The Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce created the celebration as a way to celebrate what the west side of Mount Desert Island has to offer.

Acadia’s Oktoberfest, founded 24 years ago, is held the second weekend in October. The MDI Marathon, created in 2002, takes place the following weekend.

A few years ago the Chamber created the week-long series of events between Oktoberfest and the marathon and dubbed it Southwest Harbor Week.

“We’ve always wanted to do something to feature our resources over here,” said Cynthia Crow, general manager of the Chamber. The idea is “to have something fun for locals and visitors between the Oktoberfest and the marathon.”

Oktoberfest includes a wine tasting Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and a Brewfest Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., both at Smuggler’s Den Campground on Route 102.

Last year, 1,200 people flocked to the Brewfest to enjoy craft beer, listen to live music and cheer on those competing in the first home brewer competition. There were 16 home brewing contestants in the 2018 competition, with Andy Thibodeau’s Dusseldorf Altbier coming in first. Like last year, the winner will have the opportunity to brew their winning beer at Fogtown Brewery in Ellsworth.

The Brewfest will include live music by Banned from Eden and Pitch Black Ribbons. There are 22 brewers slated to feature three flavors each for participants to enjoy. In addition to food and the home brewer’s competition, games that will be taking place throughout the fest are a stein hoisting tournament, a 15-pound torpedo keg toss, a beer-less pong tournament and open play throughout the day of cornhole and flip cup.

Anyone interested in competing is encouraged to arrive at the start of the Brewfest to sign up, as the games begin early.

Liquor Locker owner Tyler Johnson is scheduled to have an infusion table set up to create some interesting flavors. In collaboration with Fogtown Brewery, Johnson created Lusty Lilac, a smoked stout infused with bourbon and lilac wood. It will be available at Oktoberfest and at the brewery’s Fogtoberfest on Oct. 13.

A couple of new events during the week include a cemetery tour and a photo walk with photographer J.K. Putnam.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 4 p.m., the walk with Putnam will begin at Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina on Apple Lane and continue a little over a mile to Beal’s Lobster Pier on Clark Point Road. Participants will take photos of the harbor along the way.

Red Cloak Tours is hosting a tour of Union Cemetery, below, in Manset at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Red Cloak Tours is hosting a Union Cemetery Tour in Manset at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17. Participants will learn about the early settlers in the burial ground, which is located behind the Southwest Harbor Historical Society’s new home on Seawall Road.

The Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce will host its annual meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17 at their Visitor Center at 329 Main St.

About 2,000 runners from throughout the United States and around the world traversed MDI in last year’s marathon. Jake Shoemaker of Stow, Mass. was the overall winner and Leah Frost of Portland placed first among female runners for her fifth first place title at the MDI Marathon.

To help reduce traffic at the marathon finish line, an MDI Marathon Ferry will be running from Northeast Harbor Marina and Southwest Harbor every half hour throughout the event and tickets can be purchased online. The 12:15 p.m. ferry is already sold out, organizers said.

Information about and tickets for many of the events throughout the week can be found on the Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce website at


Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

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

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