Labor Day Weekend means the end of summer for some, but the Camden Windjammer Festival helps pump the summer energy back up for the coming weeks, which can be some of the season’s finest. Starting Friday at noon and running through the end of the day Sunday, the fest celebrates the Midcoast windjammer fleet with nautical events and displays, children’s activities, live entertainment, a “wet art” auction, schooner open houses, fireworks and, this year, an invasion by the Rockport-based Pirates of the Dark Rose.

The fleet will be arriving all Friday afternoon, so the Camden waterfront will be the place to stroll and check out the Maritime Heritage Fair on the public landing. Crew and passengers have had the week to work up their acts, which will be presented during the annual Schooner Talent Show starting 7 p.m. in Harbor Park. Around 9 p.m., the big fireworks show will begin over the harbor.

Saturday offers all-day festivities on the public landing, in Harbor Park and on the harbor and, yes, Capt. Tom Crudbeard and his mates will be on hand — dueling, showing off their piratical weapons and capping the afternoon with a cannon demo. There will be less outlaw demonstrations throughout the day, build-a-boat, talks, a lobster crate race, the Chowder Challenge and more. Live music will fill the streets around town from noon to 5 p.m., and artist Buckley Smith is back with his popular drawing classes for children at 1 p.m. on the public landing.

On Friday and Saturday, festivalgoers will notice artists hard at work around the harbor. Camden Falls Gallery, located on the public landing, is hosting an inaugural plein air wet paint auction, which will take place Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on the public landing. Among the dozens of artists who will be painting in and around picturesque Camden Harbor are Ian Bruce, Paul Bonneau, Allen Bunker, Daniel Corey, Kathleen Galligan, Roberta Goschke, Alison Hill, Monique Lazard,  Scott Moore, Stefan Pastuhov, Laurie Proctor, Judith Schuppien, Tony vanHasselt, Cali Veillux, Michael Vermette and Janis Sanders. There will be a public reception for the artists Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery.

Also participating is Guy Corriero, who has been painting on Monhegan Island every summer for nearly 40 years and is an award-winning Signature Member of the American Watercolor Society. Not able to attend the plein air event, he has offered an original unframed watercolor painting with 100 percent of the sale proceeds going to the Camden Windjammer Festival. Participating in person will be Paul Garnett, an internationally known self-taught maritime painter whose illustrations have been widely published and whose work has been exhibited coast to coast. Garnett also has committed to donating 100 percent of the sale of his plein air painting to the Camden Windjammer Festival.

Other artists are donating a portion of their sales to the festival. Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries will conduct live bidding; sealed bids also will be accepted. Each painting also will have a “take-it-now” price determined by the individual artist.

The final day of the festival gets going at 10 a.m. with a variety of activities for all ages; the Sea Dog Show is at 11 a.m. Smith offers another drawing class at noon and at 12:30 p.m., watch out as those pirates are set to sail in aboard the Must Roos and attack. An hour later, Veilleux will start wielding the gavel as the art, some surely still wet, goes to bid. The fest will end on a nautical note as the build-a-boat crowd sees what floats best, followed by an All Comers Boat Parade. For a detailed schedule of the weekend, visit

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