Southern Maine Tourism Calendar

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Southern Maine tourism in York Beach and the surrounding towns can mean a lot more than basking in the sun at the beach, if you want it to.

All summer long, you can always bask in the moonlight instead while listening to wonderful music at the evening concert series under the gazebo at Ellis Park (Short Sands Beach in York), sponsored by the Ellis Park Trustees!

Even during the winter, Maine tourism includes some terrific lesser-known activities and events in Maine's southern seacoast, tucked away here and there.

On this page you'll find both the large, well-known activities and events in Maine and New Hampshire, and those that are small and largely unpublicized.

These are Maine tourism events that I think would be of interest not only to families with children, but to couples as well. Most of these will be special one-time events and activities, as opposed to ongoing happenings.

York Beach, Maine is featured, of course, but there are also some excellent Maine tourism opportunities in nearby towns and cities, all within 10-30 minutes from your vacation base in York.


Helpful Maine vacation planning pages you might enjoy...




With yours truly as your friendly neighborhood York Beach, Maine tourism guide, you can easily plan your vacation or weekend getaway to include some of these fun activities and events in Maine.

One last thing...

Maine tourism doesn't necessarily mean you have to stay in Maine the entire time.

The venues listed below are all less than an hour from York -- some much less -- and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the top national acts that play here. Check them out for live music, dance, cinema and theater - there's always something going on, year-round:



Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - June 2012


June 2, Portsmouth, NH -- 28th Annual WOKQ Chowder Festival. More than a dozen area restaurants vie for the title of of Best Chowder at New England's oldest and largest chowder tasting. Sponsored in part by Taste of the Seacoast magazine. FMI: http://www.prescottpark.org/chowder.cfm.

June 4-10, Ogunquit and York, ME -- Ogunquit Restaurant Week. Special dining deals at participating restaurants. FMI: http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=19.

June 5-9, Kennebunkport, ME -- Kennebunkport Festival. A celebration of food, wine and art on the coast of Maine. Produced and presented by Maine Magazine in cooperation with The Kennebunkport Festival Committee. FMI: http://www.kennebunkportfestival.com/.

June 24, Eliot, ME -- New England's Vintage Car Show. Sponsored by NEVT and held on the grounds of the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum, this is New England's Premier Thunderbird and all vehicle extravaganza. FMI: http://www.raittfarmmuseum.org/NEVTCarShow.html.

June 30, South Berwick, ME -- South Berwick Strawberry Festival. Run entirely by volunteers and returning all profits back to the community, the Strawberry Festival is filled with entertainment, food, artisans, and truckloads of strawberries! FMI: http://southberwickstrawberryfestival.com/index.html.

Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - July 2012


July 4, Ogunquit Main Beach -- Independence Day Fireworks. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m., music provided prior to fireworks. For a list of sponsors and information, please see http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=28.

July 4, Portsmouth, NH -- An American Celebration at Strawbery Banke Museum. A real old-fashioned fabulous 4th of July! Complete with children's bike & wagon parade, giant kite fly, potato sack races, kids liberty treasure hunt, garden crafts, live music, historic garden tours, costumed role-players, colonial hearth cooking, basket weaving, Island Pond Spinners, hand-thrown pottery, food, and fun for all. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=224.

July 14, York Beach, ME -- Nubble Light Challenge. A benefit for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Nubble Light Challenge is a USAT sanctioned 2.4 mile swim race around Nubble lighthouse, finishing with a sprint to Short Sands beach. FMI: www.nubblelightchallenge.com.

July 14-August 11, York Harbor, ME -- 23 Annual Decorator Show House. Sponsored by the Museums of Old York, Harmon House, located at 19 Harmon Park Road in historic York Harbor, can be viewed Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursdays until 7 p.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. The house is closed on Tuesdays. The $20 showhouse ticket includes admission to the 5th Annual Old York Antiques Show at the Parsons Center as well as a discounted admission price of $5 to visit all of the museums’ buildings. Free parking is available on-site.

July 27-August 5, York Beach, ME -- York Parks and Recreation Department's York Days Festival. Road races, Christmas in July Lighting of the Nubble, concerts on the beach, fireworks and more. For a full schedule, please visit http://parksandrec.yorkmaine.org/special%20events.html#York%20Days%20Festival.

July 27-29, Eliot, ME -- 17th Annual Eliot Antique Tractor & Engine Show. Featuring a large assortment of antique tractors, farm equipment displays, hit & miss engines, shingle mill demonstrations, auction, live music, Ladies Skillet Toss, bean hole beans, strawberry shortcake and other fair food, crafts, flea market, tractor parades, Garden Tractor Pulling, Antique Stone Boat Pulling, Transfer Sled pulling, kids pedal tractor pulls, the Raitt Farm barrel tractors, Colonial Encampment and more. Presented by the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum. FMI: http://www.raittfarmmuseum.org/EliotAntiqueTractorandEngineShow.html

July 29, York Beach, ME -- Christmas in July Lighting of the Nubble. See the lighthouse as it appears each year during the Christmas season. Entertainment provided. Sponsored by the York Parks and Recreation Department. FMI: http://www.nubblelight.org/#Anchor-ANNUA-25590.

Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - August 2012


August 4, York, ME -- Fireworks over Short Sands Beach. Music provided by the United Air Force Big Band of Liberty. Concert at 7:00, fireworks at dusk. Sponsored by the York Parks and Recreation Department.

August 11-12, Eliot, ME -- SummerFest. Throughout the entire weekend families can enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, a colonial encampment, live music, live kids shows, barrel tractor rides, homemade food, beanhole beans, artisans, crafters, marketplace, grilling & cooking demos, BBQ vendors, Shipyard Brew Garden, Woodsman Competition, the official KCBS & NEBS sanctioned Mainely Grillin' & Chillin' BBQ Competition, King of the Hill Truck Pull and more. Held on the grounds of the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum. FMI: http://www.raittfarmmuseum.org/Summerfest.html.

August 23, Ogunquit, ME -- 39th Annual Sidewalk Art Show & Sale. 36 Main Street, Ogunquit, ME 03907. 9:30-5:00. FMI: http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=5

Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - September 2012


September 8, Portsmouth, NH -- Strawbery Banke Museum Vintage & Vine. In partnership with the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets, Vintage & Vine offers guests a rare opportunity to taste hundreds of wines alongside selections created by some of the Seacoast’s best chefs and restaurants. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=183&Itemid=218.

September 15, Portsmouth, NH -- PASSPORT: A Craft Beer and Culinary World Tour. Held at Strawbery Banke Museum. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186&Itemid=221.

September 22, Portsmouth, NH -- 4th Annual New Hampshire Fish & Lobster Festival. Seafood, maritime songs, a seafood "throwdown" competition, maritime history, demonstrations, and much more. Supported by the City of Portsmouth, Smuttynose Brewing Company, NH Division of Ports and Harbors and many others. FMI: http://www.prescottpark.org/fish.cfm.

Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - October 2012


October 12-13, York Village, ME -- York Village MarketFest. Juried craft fair and fall festival with live music, food, historic re-enactments, artisan demonstrations and other special events. Presented by the York Village Business Association, in conjunction with First Parish Church and Museums of Old York. FMI: http://yorkvillagemaine.com/york-village-marketfest-2012/.

October 13, Portsmouth, NH -- 23rd Annual WHEB Chili Cook-Off. Presented in conjunction with Strawbery Banke Museum's Fall Festival and held on the grounds of Strawbery Banke, this chili competition presents more than a dozen restaurants from the Seacoast and beyond. Beer by Red Hook Brewery. Bring your appetite! FMI: http://www.prescottpark.org/chilli.cfm.

October 13, Portsmouth, NH -- Strawbery Banke Museum's 4th Annual New Hampshire Fall Festival. Experience a traditional New England autumn country fair. Held in conjunction with the WHEB Chili Cook-Off, one ticket price for both festivals. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=112.

October 19-21, Ogunquit, ME -- 9th Annual OgunquitFest. Activities include pumpkin and cookie decorating, costume parade, classic car show, craft bazaar, haunted house, high heel race, bed race, ghost tours, wagon rides, storytelling, and a scarecrow contest. Great fun for families! FMI: http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=6.

October 21, Kennebunkport, ME -- The Nonantum Resort Fall Wedding Show. FMI: http://www.nonantumresort.com/elegant-weddings/bridal-shows.

October 26 & 27, Portsmouth, NH -- Ghosts on the Banke. Presented by Strawbery Banke Museum. A spooky evening for the whole family of ghosts, pirates and trick-or-treating. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&Itemid=113.

Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - November 2012


November 11, Ogunquit, ME -- 4th Annual Celebrations by the Sea Wedding Expo. Free admission, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce. FMI: http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=17

Southern Maine Tourism Calendar - December 2012


December 1, York Village, ME -- Festival of Lights. Special events, holiday concerts, evening parade and much more. The Festival of Lights is held annually on the first Saturday of December to give thanks to the community for making York the delightful place it is and to celebrate the warmth and tradition of the season. The festival is hosted by a committee of business people and citizens working together for the betterment of the community.

December 1-2, Ogunquit, ME -- Annual Christmas by the Sea Celebration. Special holiday events and dining for couples and families. FMI: http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=7

December 1-2, Portsmouth, NH -- Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum. Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire's oldest waterfront neighborhood. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=114

December 7-9, Ogunquit, ME -- Annual Christmas by the Sea Celebration. Special holiday events and dining for couples and families. FMI: http://visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=7

December 8-9, Portsmouth, NH -- Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum. Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire's oldest waterfront neighborhood. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=114

December 15-16, Portsmouth, NH -- Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum. Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire's oldest waterfront neighborhood. FMI: http://strawberybanke.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=114





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