LAMOINE — There’s something fishy going on around town. Take a leisurely stroll or drive and you will notice the evidence on mailboxes and fences; in windows and on doors; on stakes, trees, gates and signposts.
This is no crime wave. Instead, the tide has brought in a school of handmade sardines. As part of the Great Lamoine Sardine Haul, residents have crafted fish out of wood, paper, paint, sea glass, shells and other materials as a means to honor the town’s heritage.
Lamoine is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. Pre-pandemic, the Lamoine 150! Committee had planned a year’s worth of festivities. Now, with scheduled gatherings and events on hold, organizers wanted to come up with a playful and safe way to keep the birthday party rolling.
“And thus emerged the Great Lamoine Sardine Haul,” according to a press release from Cynthia Donaldson, co-chairwoman of the Lamoine 150! Committee. “Lamoine was a major player in the Grand Banks fishery in the mid-1800s. Ten or so schooners from Lamoine headed to sea every June, returning in August or September, hopefully with full holds of herring and mackerel. The Jordan River shore was lined with wharves, smoking sheds, and salting and drying racks. A large sardine factory at Lamoine Point processed smaller herring, known as sardines, for sale throughout the United States.”
Sardine Haul participants are invited to get as creative as they like designing, decorating and displaying their sardines. Their handiwork can be admired from a distance by car, bike, on foot or on Facebook on the Lamoine 150! page.
The sardines have popped up all over town and artists of all ages have taken part.