Maine Harvest Festival returns to Cross Insurance Center this weekend

Attendees can taste, smell, feel, and learn all the ways Maine celebrates farm fresh ingredients and products.
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 2:40 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Over 200 Maine-made vendors congregated at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday to kick off the 11th annual Maine Harvest Festival.

There are no shortage of offerings at the festival, including food (with plenty of samples!), bath and body goods, clothing, jewelry, crafts, and more. Attendees can taste, smell, feel, and learn all the ways Maine celebrates farm fresh ingredients and products.

“They get out in one space, be able to see so many unique items that they can find here that they don’t easily find in a store. They can come to events like this, walk around, meet the people that have grown the product or made the product, talk to those people like we’re doing to talk about people’s potatoes,” Maine Potato Board Executive Director Don Flannery says of the event’s appeal. “I think that’s the way Maine people are, they want to talk to somebody that grew the product or made the product and understand it and I think that’s where these events are very good.”

Daniel Finnemore, vendor and owner of Box of Maine, says the festival is a way to celebrate all things Maine. “Maine is a wonderful state, I’m born and raised here, we have something special, from the agricultural to the people. The community, we come out together, we support each other, and we have great foods, great crafters, woodworking.”

At the Box of Maine booth, they are collecting donations for the city of Lewiston and selling Lewiston Strong ornaments.

Maine has a long history of honoring homemade goods, says Flannery, “It’s part of your heritage, people have done it for years, the crafts and the homemade things, you know. The pickles and the honeys and all those sorts of things are traditions in Maine. Not everyone wants to make pickles, but a lot of people like homemade pickles. So this puts the two together.”

A little known fact about Maine is our abundance of potatoes. While other states like Idaho may come to mind in terms of potato production, Flannery says it’s most likely due to the funding for public campaigns than real numbers. “If you look at potatoes in Maine, we are the largest ag commodity in the state and we raise about 53 to 55,000 acres of potatoes a year,” explains Flannery. “You’d like to see Maine, the way life should be, and I think we add to that, we keep open space and supply a lot of good paying jobs and support the local economy.”

Overall, Finnemore describes what attendees can expect simply: “You come here, and you get to taste all sorts of different types of foods and get to meet some really amazing people.”

Maine Harvest Festival is at the Cross Insurance Center Nov. 18th and 19th, doors opening at 10 a.m, both days. For more information, check out the Maine Harvest Festival website.