Best of the North Fest returns to Bangor this weekend

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Things are going to be extra festive along the Bangor waterfront this weekend.

Like its name, the Best of the North Fest is the coming together of some of best the state has to offer.

"We have 25 breweries, we have five distilleries and we have eight wineries that will be there on Saturday," explained Kerrie Tripp, Executive Director of the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Like last year's people's choice brew - Mason's, who plan to defend their title this weekend..

"It's great to get the support of the local community and it's great to get all the brewers together downtown," said owner Chris Morley. "It's very important to us. It's in our backyard and it's good to see the people that visit us if it's good to see the other breweries that we don't get to see in the summertime."

This year the festival has moved - from its old home on the actual waterfront - a few hundred yards away to the Waterfront Pavillion.

"The CVB has done an amazing job with this event for years and years and we are not reinventing the wheel," said Chris Rudolph of Waterfront Concerts.

Fittingly inside the concert venue there is a new wrinkle this year and part of the event's evolution, live music. Three acts - cover bands for Grateful Dead, Eagles, and Bruce Springsteen.

"The bands that we have that's a party atmosphere," said Rudolph. "It's going to be a lot of fun for people. The idea is to keep growing it and growing it where all of a sudden we can have a daylong event with a headliner on top of it."

The organizers stress this is an event for everyone.. prices on tickets, including designated drivers' passes. those that just want to listen to music visit BestOfTheNorthFest.com

"Our goal always is to bring people in from outside of our region to play, enjoy and spend money right here," said Tripp. "Then it's also to support the local community. By local this is state wide where we are supporting the local industry of the craft beer, the craft distillery and craft wineries."

"You see how far we've come," said Rudolph. "Bangor is no longer a stop over for gas on your way to Bar Harbor or to Baxter. People are spending their time in Bangor and then doing day trips to Bar Harbor, day trips to Baxter State Park. To see the growth in this region is really what the goal of the CVB is, but also where we take pride in being local people trying to do some concerts here."