BELFAST — From the Boathouse to the pedestrian bridge, the Belfast Rotary Club’s 15th annual Harbor Fest will stretch along the waterfront from Friday evening, Aug. 19, through Sunday morning, Aug. 21, with nautical events that offer something for just about everyone.

The free three-day celebration of the city’s maritime history and traditions will include the National Boatbuilding Challenge competition, a harborside exhibit of vessels and equipment, tours of Front Street Shipyard, the 21st annual Come Boating! rowing regatta, a 5K “Bug Run” road race, a blueberry pancake breakfast, boat gear swap, live music, food trucks, children’s activities including Touch-a-Truck and a puppet show, and the usually hilarious Sunday morning Cardboard Boat Race.

Harbor Fest kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday with food, entertainment and both live and silent benefit auctions at “Evening by the Bay” at the new United Farmers Market building on Front Street. Proceeds benefit Waldo County Technical Center’s student fund.

“Thanks to nearly 50 sponsoring businesses, organizations and generous individuals, Belfast Harbor Fest is bigger and better than ever,” said Duke Marston, the Rotary Club’s longtime chairman of the event.

This year’s National Boatbuilding Challenge begins Saturday at 11 a.m. Pairs of builders race the clock and each other to finish and race 12-foot skiffs built from scratch in less than four hours.

Three sponsors are providing $1,750 in prize money for the top three teams: Downeast Credit Union is the $1,000 first prize sponsor, Belfast residents John and Pat Carrick are the $500 second prize sponsors and Mathews Brothers is the $250 third prize sponsor.

Boatbuilding starts after the 5K “Bug Run” race (sponsored by First National Bank and First National Wealth Management) begins on the hill above Steamboat Landing; it ends at the Boathouse where the blueberry pancake breakfast will be held, sponsored by Nordic Aquafarms.

Saturday is also the day for free Front Street Shipyard tours at 11 a.m. and noon, Touch-a-Truck through mid-day, and the Come Boating! afternoon regatta. The Adventure Boat and Outdoor Equipment Show, music, food and children’s activities will run all day.

Harbor Fest concludes Sunday morning with the Cardboard Boat Race (sponsored by Front Street Shipyard), complete with the popular “Best Sinking” award, followed by a lobster bake gala to benefit Waldo County Habitat for Humanity.

Marston thanked the event’s sponsors, exhibitors, vendors and boatbuilding participants, including major sponsors First National Bank, First National Wealth Management, city of Belfast, Front Street Shipyard, Nordic Aquafarms, Down East Credit Union, United Farmers Market, Mathews Brothers, Waldo County General Hospital, Bangor Savings Bank, Viking Lumber, Blueberry Broadcasting, Hamlin’s Marine, Robbins Lumber Co., Hammond Lumber, K Construction, Varney Agency, Cold Mountain Builders, Coyote Moon, Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug Co., Viking Lumber, J. Black Printing, Cornerspring Montessori School and Belmont Boatworks.

For more information about Harbor Fest, go to

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