I remember when I first went to work for The Republican Journal in 1980 and the editor, Jay Davis, used to talk about how this was the best place on earth to live. I used to laugh and reply that everyone believes where they live is the best.

I still don’t know which one of us was right but after the recent weekend of Aug. 19-21, I have a new appreciation for what a special place Belfast is and how special its people are.

Friday night, I listened to the bands at Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.’s Launch Party, with little white lights draped over trees that had been artfully placed around the stage, and watched the sun set over the harbor. It was a wonderful night with a large group of happy people.

On Saturday, Steamboat Landing came alive again with the Belfast Rotary Club’s blueberry pancake and sausage breakfast. Then there was the 5K Bug Run that drew 130 registered runners. Volunteers had turned out in force to help with both and it was clear that they really knew what they were doing.

Then the fog burned off, the bands started playing, and there were many truly beautiful classic small wooden boats to admire. The sight of seven gigs powering down the harbor during ComeBoating!’s rowing regatta just added to the thrill of the day.

Then the National BoatBuilding Challenge got underway. Teams of two had just four hours to make a 12-foot skiff under the watchful eyes of a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts were leading children’s activities that must have been fun based on the laughter coming from that area while another group of Scouts was selling sausage subs. The Lions’ Club was serving up doughboys and french fries left and right, cooking hot dogs, and putting together crabmeat rolls. Two local businesses were selling amazing Thai food and shaved ice.

There was food for everyone and the proceeds will, for the most part, benefit Waldo County citizens who could use the help.

After the boatbuilding challenge, hundreds of people made their way to the shore to watch the boat builders in a rowing race. Everyone cheered as the rowers did their best, in some cases in boats that weren’t quite what you’d call “reliable.”

Then it was Sunday and time to get ready for the Habitat Lobster Gala. The board members from Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County knew they were taking a big chance when they agreed to support the fundraiser.

Would enough people pay $25 for a lobster or steak dinner? Could they reasonably estimate how many lobsters, steaks, clams, ears of corn, and desserts they would need?

They needn’t have worried. What a great day. They even had to get more lobsters and clams, as people continued to enjoy the food, music and view. The profit from ticket sales and additional generous donations will go toward the building of the next home in Searsport. What a generous area we live in!

As I left Steamboat Landing Sunday afternoon, I remembered what Jay had told me about this being the best place on earth to live and I decided he was right. I had spent the weekend surrounded by beauty, happy people and generous volunteers, listening to incredible music, while raising money for good causes. How could it possibly be any better?

Toni Mailloux, a Belfast resident, is a former longtime Waldo County journalist, having worked for both The Republican Journal and The Waldo Independent.