Top 10 Maine Summer Events of 2020

From grand sailing ships to succulent seafood, our list of the top 10 Maine summer events has something for everyone.

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 06 2020

Top 10 Maine Summer Events of 2017

Rocky the Lobster promises to be one of the biggest attractions at the 70th annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland this summer.

Photo Credit : Maine Lobster Festival
EDITORS’ NOTE: The nation is still dealing with COVID-19 at the time of this post, meaning it’s not known whether the 2020 dates for these events are confirmed. We’re hoping for the best, but please check with organizers before making your summer travel plans! 
From grand sailing ships to succulent seafood, our list of the top 10 Maine summer events has something for everyone. Read on to see our picks, then tell us about your own favorite Maine summer events in the comments!
Rocky the Lobster promises to be one of the biggest attractions at the 70th annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland this summer.
Rocky the Lobster is among the stars of the show at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, one of our favorite Maine summer events.
Photo Credit : Maine Lobster Festival

Top 10 Maine Summer Events of 2020

Acadia Birding Festival Mount Desert Island | May 28–31, 2020

Celebrate our feathered friends at this four-day event based on beautiful Mount Desert Island. A wide variety of birding adventures is on offer, ranging along rocky coasts, through northern forests, and on the water. Register now for field trips, boat trips, workshops, socials, and evening talks. SEE MORE:Best of Mount Desert Island | Editors’ Choice Awards

Windjammer Days Boothbay Harbor | June 21–29, 2020

Delight your inner ocean adventurer with a trip to Boothbay harbor for this weeklong nautical gala. Can’t-miss highlights include the Parade of Sail, showcasing a dozen beautifully maintained examples of the grandest of merchant sailing ships, and Lighted Boat Parade. Plus: pancake breakfasts, waterfront concerts, fireworks over the harbor, tours of Navy vessels and a Coast Guard station, and plenty of pirate mischief. SEE MORE:Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Yarmouth Clam Festival Yarmouth | July 17–19, 2020

Over 100,000 people are expected to descend on Yarmouth for this homage to the clam, and they’ll be bringing their appetites: From start to finish, more than 6,000 pounds of clams (along with 6,000 lobster rolls, 2,200 pancake breakfasts, and 400 homemade pies) are expected to be consumed this weekend, making it one of the most delicious Maine summer events on record. There’s more to the fun than the food, though, thanks to live music on four stages, a clam-shucking contest, a parade and street dancing, fireworks, a professional bike race, and a firefighters muster. [text_ad]

Maine Brewers Guild Summer Session Beer Festival Portland | July 25, 2020

Billed as the state’s biggest beer festival of the year, this is the premier showcase for Maine craft brewers, more than 70 of whom will be on site to talk the finer points of brewing with attendees. Worthy out-of-staters make an appearance, too, with past guests including Massachusetts cult favorite Tree House. Factor in the live music and delicious fare from local food trucks, and it’s a summer day in beer heaven. (But get your tickets early, as this event has been known to sell out.) SEE MORE:Best Things to Do in Portland, Maine

Maine Lobster Festival Rockland Harbor Park | July 29–August 2, 2020

Some Maine summer events are a larger spectacle than others. Gorgeous Rockland Harbor is the backdrop for the Maine Lobster Festival, a venerable lobster blowout and Midcoast tradition since 1947. The five days of fun and feasting will see 20,000–25,000 pounds of lobster—all freshly caught by local lobstermen—served to hungry festivalgoers, who can also amble through maritime displays and demonstrations, browse arts and crafts vendors, take a harbor cruise, cheer on competitors in the lobster crate race in the harbor, and listen to live entertainment. Don’t miss the crowning of the Maine Sea Goddess on opening night! SEE MORE:Scenes From the Maine Lobster Festival

Maine Antiques Festival Union | July 31–August 2, 2020

The largest event of its kind in the state draws more than 100 dealers from across New England to the fairgrounds in Union for a three-day antiques shop-a-thon. Comb through everything from porcelain to postcards, folk art to fine art, heirloom furniture to vintage jewelry—then restore your energy with tasty fried seafood, blueberry pie, lobster rolls, and other great Maine fare. 

Acadian Festival Madawaska | August 14–16, 2020

Maine’s largest cultural festival puts a spotlight on the state’s long French-American heritage. Enjoy Poutine Palooza, along with its poutine eating contest, and the 5K “color run.” Among the other highlights are the reenactment of the first Acadian landing in northern Maine, a traditional Acadian supper, a golf scramble, a softball tournament, live entertainment, cultural displays, and a parade. 

Great Falls Balloon Festival Lewiston | August 14–16, 2020

More than 40 hot-air balloons take flight over the city of Lewiston at dawn and dusk. Reserve your spot now (and be prepared to shell out $200) for a launch ride; otherwise, brief tethered rides are offered for $10–$15 per person. Other attractions include live music, a carnival, craft and food vendors, and fireworks.

Wild Blueberry Festival Machias | August 14–16, 2020

The scenic Downeast village of Machias invites everyone to come taste its summertime harvest of wild blueberries — but that’s just for starters. There are blueberry farm tours, cooking and pie eating contests, art and crafts for sale from more than 250 artisans, a quilt raffle, and more.

Open Lighthouse Day September 12, 2020

Sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, the American Lighthouse Foundation, and the Maine Office of Tourism, this event draws upward of 15,000 visitors each year. The attraction? More than two dozen historic Maine lighthouses, all open to the public and ready to be explored. Check the website for full list and locations. What are your favorite Maine summer events? Let us know! This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.

SEE MORE: Best New England Summer Events10 Favorite Things to Do in Maine | A Yankee Bucket List10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in Maine