Happy 200th Birthday, Maine! Bicentennial celebrations around the region

Published: Mar. 9, 2020 at 4:57 PM EDT
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All kinds of events will be happening across the state: Signature Events & Programs of the Maine Bicentennial Commission, plus dozens of others offered by Maine’s large network of cultural organizations, local schools and communities, and more.

To encourage all of Maine to participate in the celebration of its Bicentennial, the State has declared March 14th, 2020 to be “Community Dinner Day.” Cities and towns across Maine will plan their own events for the 14th, and for a single day the whole state will come together to celebrate 200 years of the way life should be.

Saturday, March 14:

**AUGUSTA: Community pasta dinner, 5 PM- 7 PM

St. Michael Parish, 75 Northern Avenue

All are welcome to attend. Admission is free but donations will be accepted to benefit the area’s Meals on Wheels program. The dinner will include pasta with the choice of Bolognese, marinara, and alfredo sauces. Salad, garlic bread, desserts, and beverages will also be offered. If you plan on attending the dinner, RSVP by calling 623-8823.

**AUGUSTA: Saturday Night Supper, 5 PM- 7 PM

Augusta Elks Lodge, 397 Civic Center Drive

Hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw, and strawberry shortcake will be served. $10 per person, tickets can be purchased in advance at the elks Lodge or will be sold at the door. Everyone is welcome to attend.


11 AM, Bangor Public Library

Maine author Lynn Plourde and Maine illustrator Mark Ricketts will celebrate the release of their new book with storytime and book signing.

This new children’s picture book is a fun way to communicate facts and histories about the state of Maine to kids. The story tells of a surprise party to celebrate Maine’s 200th birthday and all the people invited to share in the fun (including some illustrated cameos by notable Maine figures!)

**CAMDEN: Dirigo Rocks! Music Festival

7:30 PM, Camden Opera House

The three-band show features ThunderHeart Lion, The Rugged and Shirt Tail Kin. Tickets $14 in advance/$16 day-of-show at

**ORONO: Maine Bicentennial Celebration and Orono's Birthday Party

3 PM- 8:30 PM

As Maine celebrates its Bicentennial, the Town of Orono will also be celebrating its 214th birthday! or all involved.

3 - 4 PM: Maine Author Mac Smith - “Mainers On The Titanic” (Council Chambers)

4 - 6 PM: Taste of Orono (Stone Manor), Historical Society Open House (Stone Manor), Oral History Project (Stone Manor)

6 - 8:30 PM: Asa Adams PTO Family Dance (Keith Anderson Community House)

7:30 PM: Fireworks (Downtown)

**ROCKLAND: Bicentennial Birthday Bash, multi-venue event

10 AM to 6 PM

The day long event will feature art trails, art making, storytelling and a traditional Maine bean supper. The free event includes museum admission to the Farnsworth and CMCA, as well as the culminating show at the Strand, and no reservations are necessary. The birthday bash will also include a food drive for the AIO Pantry to benefit their child hunger program “snacks for backpacks”. The public is invited to bring food donations and drop them off at any one of the partner organizations throughout the day-long event, or at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church during the bean supper.

The Farnsworth, CMCA, and the Strand Theatre invite the public to Rockland for an all-day, city-wide birthday bash to celebrate Maine’s 200th anniversary of statehood. Participants will be given a “passport” to be stamped at the various activity stations. The day will begin with a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. session that will include the following activities: • CMCA on Winter Street will host a special Maine-themed ArtLab. Alexis Iammarino, ArtLab's lead artist, will engage community members of all ages in creating an original three- dimensional mural sculpture made of polygonal panels to form a multi-faced geodesic piece.

• The Farnsworth will unveil a special audio-guide trail that will lead visitors through a history of Maine as seen through the eyes of its artists.

• At the Farnsworth’s Gamble Education Center, on the corner of Union and Grace Streets, a birthday party will take place featuring Maine-themed games such as a “Lobster Toss” and birthday snacks.

• In the Farnsworth’s library, the Strand’s staff invites the public to share their Maine stories in a series of video interviews to be compiled into a documentary film, shown at the Strand Theatre at the end of the day.

• Historic Maine films will be showing throughout the day in the Farnsworth’s auditorium.

From 12:30 to 5 p.m., the party will continue with a traditional Maine bean supper at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, hosted in partnership with Rockland’s One Community Many Voices, and Café Miranda.

From 2 to 5 p.m. the following activities will take place at other partnering organizations:

• The Rockland Historical Society members will be on location at the bean supper to share information about Rockland's past. In addition to having copies of their historic books for sale, they will provide information for families and downtown businesses who would like to learn more about their home or building's history.

• At the Project Puffin Visitor Center, from 2 to 5 p.m., the public is invited to learn all about puffins with Seabird Sue! Activities will include making a puffin hat, a seabird scavenger hunt, dressing up like a puffin and learning about their adaptations, and making a button to take home.

• At the Rockland Public Library, from 2 to 4 p.m., participants will learn to make a yarn doll. Before there were toy stores, children in Maine often made their own toys. One example is a soft yarn doll. Come to the Children's Room at the Rockland Public Library to learn how to make a yarn doll of your own or one to give to a friend

• The Atlantic Baking Company will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will provide free samples of pastries throughout the day.

Finally, at 5 p.m., the celebration will culminate at the Strand Theatre for The Bicentennial Birthday Bash Show. From 5 to 6 p.m., the public is invited to a show that will include Penobscot

storyteller John Bear Mitchell, Maine tourism commercials created by the Ash Point Community School's 4th grade class, and a short documentary made up of interviews filmed that morning at the Farnsworth. The event will also include the unveiling of the sculpture created that day at CMCA's ArtLab.

**SURRY: Statehood Bean & Potluck Supper

Doors open at 4:30 PM, supper starts at 5 PM, Surry Elementary School gym. No admission charge. Local organizations will supply the beans from traditional family recipes; Surry residents are invited to bring a potluck dish to share. Surry students to present a Reader’s Theater of “How Maine Became a State,” followed by guest speakers Ray and Susan McDonald, who will talk about “Settlers Before Statehood” and “Growing Up in Maine.” The evening concludes with a

“Bicentennial Cake Quilt”, and four choices of gelato provided by Eric and Karl of Pugnuts.


Sunday, March 15

**AUGUSTA: Statehood Day Ceremony

1:00 PM, Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave., Augusta

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will be the MC and Bicentennial Commission Chairman Sen. Bill Diamond will give welcoming remarks. The program will feature the Maine Army National Guard Color Guard, a land recognition with Maulian Dana of the Penobscot Nation, a review of Maine's story with State Historian Earle Shettleworth, reflections from Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum,

addresses from our Congressional delegation, and performances by the combined Bicentennial Choir and Bangor Symphony Orchestra, debuting the specially commissioned piece by Colin Britt "So Also We Sing: A Maine Trilogy."

The event will also include the unveiling of the United States Postal Service Bicentennial Postage Stamp and birthday cake provided by Hannaford Supermarkets.

**DEXTER: The Town of Dexter will be celebrating the State's

Bicentennial at noon, with a ringing of bells from churches (for a 5 minute duration); the fire department will be also be sounding their sirens at that time.

**HAMPDEN: Maine Tourism Association, Maine's Birthday Celebration

1 PM-3 PM, I-95 Hampden Visitor Centers North and South

Attend to enjoy cake, beverages and entertainment

**SEARSPORT: Maine-Ly A Celebration – Happy Birthday Maine!

12:30 PM - 3:30 PM, Penobscot Marine Museum,

2 Church Street

The cost of this program is $5 for Museum members, $8 for non-members, $20 for families, and children 7 and under are free. Participants will have the chance to enjoy crafts and activities including temporary tattoos, slate art, bean bag toss, a photo booth, and Maine state trivia. In a fast-moving, 50-minute program starting at 1:00 p.m., Penobscot Marine Museum’s Education Director, Jeana Ganskop, will lead visitors through 200 years of Maine history using 200 images from the Museum collection.

*This is a compilation of information from various sources and media releases. It may not be all inclusive.

Visit for more information about other events.