News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 11, 2019
Festival to highlight maritime traditions
Blue Hill to take part in Maine’s 200th celebrations

by Bronwen Rogers

Honoring Blue Hill’s maritime past, present and future will be the focus of the first Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival, planned for August 17, joining state-wide celebrations for Maine’s upcoming bicentennial. Based at the Blue Hill town wharf, the festival will also feature attractions along Water Street. The event is organized by the Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Committee, under the umbrella of Blue Hill Community Development.

The day’s events include a photography contest to be judged on the day of the festival. Prizes will be awarded to the top three contestants. Subject matter must relate to the Blue Hill Bay to be considered. Photographers are challenged to evoke a sense of maritime heritage into their images. The deadline for the photography contest is August 2 and requires both a digital and hardcopy submission. More information is available at

In addition, John Brooks of Brooks Boat Designs will give a lesson on boat building assisted by George Stevens Academy students and the Shaw Institute will give a talk on the health of the bay. Guests can expect refreshments, “sea shanties and fiddle tunes,” and children’s activities, as well as an artist “flea market” at Emerson Park, pending approval by the town. Other maritime-themed exhibits and demonstrations may be added as the event develops.

Sponsors are still needed, and donations are being accepted to help the committee reach their $2,000 goal to fund the event. The committee is also seeking volunteers to assist in set up, clean up, parking, and coordinating.

“I really want to see the whole village involved,” said event organizer Steve Brookman.

Brookman came up with the idea for a heritage festival while planning a “mess-about” in the bay earlier this year, and hopes to make it an annual event. The festival is being spearheaded by Brookman, and committee members Greg Bush, Val Libby, Lori Sitzabee, John Warren and Veronica Young.

According to the festival website, the festival’s goal is to “celebrate and preserve the significance of Blue Hill Bay to our history, economy, and culture.” For more information and to volunteer, visit the Maritime Heritage Festival website at