Before there were planes, trains, and automobiles, sailing ships were the best way to transport goods and travel the world. Boothbay Harbor, Maine has been a center of American shipping for centuries and brings back the golden days of sail with Windjammer Days. This week-long event celebrates maritime history with parades, boat tours, and plenty of exciting festivities. It’s the perfect way to kick off the summer season! Here’s why attending the Windjammer Days Festival should be on your Maine bucket list.
What Is the Windjammer Days Festival?
The history of Windjammer Days dates back hundreds of years when wooden ships raced up and down the eastern seaboard in hopes of being first to market with their goods. One of the most popular boats was the windjammer – a large sailing ship built to carry cargo in the 19th and early 20th century. Windjammers were the grandest of merchant sailing ships, with three to five large masts and square sails. Today, instead of carrying fish, granite, and lumber, these tall ships sail the bays of Maine, transporting guests to a bygone era.
Attend Windjammer Days 2017
The 55th Annual Windjammer Days Festival takes place June 25 – July 1, 2017. This year’s schedule features a wide range of events and attractions, from a lobster eating contest to the Cod Fish Race. Classic events like waterfront concerts, museum exhibits, boat excursions, and a street parade will also be returning. Some of the most anticipated events include:
Blessing of the Fleet | June 25
Every year, residents and visitors gather in Boothbay Harbor to remember those who have lost their lives at sea. It’s also a great time to pray for the safety of those who still earn their living on the water. The Blessing of the Fleet is a beloved part of Windjammer Days and is performed at Fisherman’s Memorial Park at 4 p.m.
Antique Boat Parade | June 27
Over 40 antique boats will grace our harbor during the Antique Boat Parade at 3 p.m. We recommend watching from the deck of Coastal Prime Seaside Dining where you’ll enjoy music, cocktails, and boat tours during a post-parade reception.
The Grand Parade of Sail | June 28
The best part about attending Windjammer Days is (of course) seeing the boats! During the Grand Parade, the windjammers gather off Cabbage Island to begin their glide into Boothbay Harbor. You can view them from a number of spots on the east and west side of the harbor, including Whale park, the Footbridge, Fisherman’s Memorial Park, and our inn! The Parade of Sail takes place from 1 to 3 p.m.
Fireworks Over the Harbor | June 28
Pull up a chair on the front lawn of Topside Inn and enjoy a spectacular display of fireworks! Our guests love watching the sky light up over the majestic masts of the windjammers. Fireworks kick off at 9:15 p.m.
Book Your Stay at Topside Inn
The annual Windjammer Days Festival is a wonderful event for Boothbay locals and visitors alike. If you’re planning to attend this year, make your reservations at the Topside Inn. Our bed and breakfast overlooks the harbor and offers top-notch accommodations and amenities. You can even watch the action right from our front lawn! Just minutes from Main Street, Topside Inn provides easy access to one of Boothbay Harbor’s most popular events. We look forward to seeing you this summer!
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