Local artists David Hurley and Russel Kahn have been putting the finishing touches on Belfast’s new mural on the Family Dollar Building on Main Street. The mural ,The S.S. Belfast, will be officially dedicated on Friday, Aug.17, at 6:30 p.m.

Hurley, who first envisioned the mural about 20 years ago, was able to get support for the artwork from building owner Jim Kaplan, as well as many local supporters, including banks, businesses and individuals.

This multi-maniac event celebrating art, shipbuilding and potatoes will begin at the corner of Main and High streets. Drum and rabble will gather and drum to the beat of “We were way cool and trendy long before Portland was.” Participants are encouraged to bring drums, cans and containers to sound the beat.

The event then moves up to the corner of Main and Beaver streets, where Belfast’s own beauty queen will be presented with a Maine potato while seated on “Couch Potato,” one of this summer’s benches in the Please Be Seated arts event. Then, to the rousing beat of Drum and Rabble, along with potato jugglers, the dance of the wild potatoes will begin. Children and dancers of all ages are invited the show the wild side of potatoes.

The event will culminate at the Belfast parking lot with the christening of the S.S. Belfast by Miss S.S. Belfast. Hurley had difficulty contacting Miss State of Maine and said, “We don’t need an official beauty queen, we can appoint our own.” A beauty queen was appointed for this signature event who has the necessary beauty and strength to anoint the mural with a bottle of champagne. Mayor Walter Ash will speak briefly about the important role that art, shipbuilding and potatoes have played in Belfast’s rich cultural and economic history.

There will then be a “shortest speech” contest where anyone can step up to the microphone with a short speech or poem or haiku that contains themes relating to art, shipbuilding or potatoes in Belfast’s rich history. The event may or may not end with Gov. Paul LePage (he has received an official invitation) citing the importance of public art in Maine communities and 10,000 pounds of potatoes being launched from a dump truck at the top of Main Street, which will create a bow wave 9 feet high that will rush by the giant bow wave in the mural.

Hurley says everyone is invited. Ned Lightner of Insight Productions will film the event and then place it on YouTube. Come and show us what you got, Belfast.