By Lin Calista


If there’s ever a time to be in Searsport, it’s the week of July 4.  Searsport reverberates with excitement and fond memories the whole week. This year is especially that way since we are celebrating our 175th birthday (a year late because of COVID) and the planners on the 175th Committee have outdone themselves with events! I would suggest you pick up a program at the Town Hall or around town on the 3rd for more last-minute, precise details.

Thursday, July 1, festivities kick off with “Ripped from the Headlines” on the grounds of the Penobscot Marine Museum from 5 to 8 p.m. as reenactors tell you real life stories of Searsport’s seagoing history, past and present. Tickets are $20 for families up to 10 people.

Friday, July 2

From 9 a.m. to noon, artists will be painting throughout town. At 10 a.m. there is a walking history tour with Charlene Knox Ferris beginning in front of the Congregational Church on Church St.

12:30 to 2 p.m., there’ll be free ice cream at Safe Harbor Church with tours of the church and its spectacular windows.

3:30 to 6 p.m., the Belfast Fiddlers will be serenading us from Penobscot Marine Museum’s Crescent Park. Please bring your own chairs.

3:30 to 5 p.m., the Kindness Program will be offering a takeout meal at the Congregational Church. Always a good meal! Best to order in advance.

7 p.m., Tim Sample performs at the high school gym. Tickets are $20 each and are still available at the Town Office on Wednesday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, July 3

7:30 a.m., early birds can participate or watch the traditional rowboat races at Hamilton Wharf.

9 to 11 a.m., crafts, corn hole games and food booths will be on the Methodist Church lawn, while the Methodist food wagon will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs until 1 p.m.

At 11 a.m., it’s time for the parade! It begins on Norris Street and goes up Main Street to Mortland Road. Call the town manager if you’d like to participate. At 11 a.m., the Lion’s Club will host a chicken barbecue at the Masonic Hall.

From noon to 4 p.m. there is an art show at Mermaid Plaza. From 1 to 3 p.m.,   Historic Preservation is sponsoring a free Poker Run that stops at various historic sites in town. Best five-card hand wins! Prizes include $100 of fuel oil from Maine Fuels, an ice cream certificate from Stone Fox Creamery, and a gift certificate to Hamilton Marine. Go to the tent at the fountain in Memorial Park to sign up.

From 3 to 4:30 p.m., there will be a fiddling concert at Mermaid Plaza. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., there’s a spaghetti supper at the Community Building on Prospect Street. Besides spaghetti, with meat or meatless sauce, there’ll be salad, garlic bread and best of all, a 175th birthday cake. Suggested donation is $8.

At 7 p.m. the popular, traditional Variety Show caps off the day, when local folks unleash their talents  for a good time. This year’s show is dedicated to Phil Wolley, our beloved master of ceremonies in past years. Suggested ticket donation is $8 for adults and $4 for kids under 12.

Sunday, July 4

The art show at Mermaid Plaza continues, noon to 4 p.m. At 1 p.m. there will be a free outdoor concert featuring Terrin Connor at the Mermaid Plaza. (Please bring your own chairs.)

From 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Shellfish Committee is sponsoring a clamming demonstration as well as a green crab hunt on Sears Island.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

At 3 p.m., the Driveway Band, a saxophone quartet, will stage a free concert at Mermaid Plaza. Bring your own chairs. From 6 to 9 p.m., at Mosman Park Jump City Social Club will perform until fireworks start at 9 p.m. Bring your own chairs or blankets for this grand finale — the largest fireworks display Searsport has ever had!

Tuesday, July 6   

Searsport will host a concert by the Maine Army 195 Band in Mosman Park. Again, bring those chairs!

There is no set rain date for these events. If it rains, the indoor venues will, of course, continue, but some of the outdoor ones may have to be canceled. Stay tuned.

Alex Hooper Memorial Dinner

A memorial dinner with all of Alex Hooper’s favorite foods, scheduled for his birthday on Wednesday, July 7, will benefit Alex’s favorite charity, Camp Capella, to upgrade its flagpole. The menu includes lasagna with meat, sausage and vegetables, shepherd’s pie and oven fried chicken with carrot cake (the birthday cake he always requested) for dessert. Call Jayne Snowdale, 407-694-8733, or Sandra Otis-Anderson, 207-548-6530 to reserve your meal. Pick it up, by donation, between 3:30 and 5 on the 7th at Searsport First Congregational Church, 8 Church St., Searsport.

Next week I’ll fill you in about the tall ships coming to Searsport on July 18. You don’t want to miss that! Have a happy Fourth!