The three day Windjammer Festival is a community-led celebration of Camden, Maine’s maritime heritage and living traditions. The first day of festivities had the arrival of the windjammers along with a Maritime Heritage Fair with booths and displays of maritime history, traditions and skills. The first day ended at dark with the sky full of pyrotechnics as fireworks lit up the sky.
Saturday’s festival highlights were the Lobster Crate Race and the Schooner Open House in Camden Harbor. The Lobster Crate Race is an event where lobster traps are strapped together end to end in the sea and children get the opportunity to run across them as fast as they can without falling into the water. Lots of fun was had by all watching these kids try their best to beat their rivals. A few even made it across several times without falling in the cold North Sea waters of Camden Harbor.
The Schooner open house was held on both Saturday and Sunday as festival goers were allowed the opportunity to board the schooners and windjammers. Once on board you could tour and explore the ships to better get a feel for what it is like to journey on these vessels. There are some really nice ships here that have been restored and are now active commercial cruise liners of sorts. They take 3-6 day sailing tours of coastal Maine. Pricing varies but seemed to be about $150 per day per person and the sleeping quarters are near as luxurious as the less than $100 per day price of commercial cruises on lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Celebrity.
Other Sunday highlights were the Sea Dog Show, the Build-a-Boat race (where contestants built a boat and tried to race to the finish without sinking – not all were successful), and the Boat Parade. The Boat Parade marked the end of the three day festival and what fun it is as the boats sail by one at a time while the harbor master tells details about each one of them. Great fun at this festival – Don’t miss it!!!