The waterfront is the place to be Friday night through Sunday afternoon, Aug. 17 through 19 as the third annual Harbor Fest takes over some of the city’s most delightful real estate. In addition to all the nautical diversions, there is plenty of live music on tap.

The Launch Party

Other taps will be flowing Friday night during the Launch Party, hosted by Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. under a 9,000 square foot tent. Three bands will play this year, starting with indie rockers The Milkman’s Union from Portland at 7 p.m. The eclectic trio draws from classical, jazz, electronic and various non-western genres to create a distinctive sound. Featured band for the second straight year will be Toughcats, originally from the Fox Islands of North Haven and Vinalhaven and spending time there and in Portland when not out on the road. The energetic trio has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish their third album, “Woodenball.” They will start playing around 8 p.m. Portland’s A Severe Joy, alter ego of Jose Ayerve, former frontman for underground indie rock group Spouse, played in this year’s Belfast Free Range Music Festival and will take the Launch Party stage around 9:30 p.m. Ayerve also will bring his energetic dancers with him.

Among the beers available will be Toughcats IPA, which was introduced at last year’s Launch Party to such acclaim it is now brewed year-round. There will be other beers on tap as well, along with wine and soft drinks, and there will be food available for purchase. There is a $10 cover charge and the event will be held rain or shine. All ages are welcome, with wrist bands designating whether the attendees are 21. The gates will open at 6 p.m.

Harbor Fest music

Admission is free to Belfast Harbor Fest Saturday and the live music will begin at 10 a.m. with the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, playing to 11:15 a.m. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Irish sea chantey purveyor George Lirakis will perform, followed at 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. by the Mcfarland Brothers. Local favorites the Willy Kelly Band will rock the outdoor stage from 3 to 4:45 p.m.

On Sunday, from noon to 3 p.m., the Habitat Lobster Gala is back, a great meal and great tunes for a great cause. Tickets for the meal — lobster (or steak), clams, corn on the cob, chips and homemade pie — is $25. The local Juke Rockets, who won this year’s Maine state competition in the Road to Memphis International Blues Challenge, will play during the shore dinner.

For more information about all the weekend events, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or