The free family-friendly event is held at Rockland’s Snow Marine Park on July 28

First-ever Midcoast Maine Seaweed Fair to combine art, beauty, food and ecology

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 11:30am

    ROCKLAND — This coming weekend, the Maine Seaweed Exchange is hosting Rockland’s first Maine Seaweed Fair on Saturday, July 28.

    In case you’re wondering, “What does one do at a seaweed fair?” — here’s the rundown:

    Much like a festival that revolves around oysters, Moxie or Maine lobster, this is collaborative festival dedicated to the celebration of Maine’s seaweeds.

    “There are so many uses for seaweed from aquaculture to fertilizers and from medicine and foods to cosmetics,” said Sarah Redmond, one of the festival’s organizers. “This festival is to inspire people about all of the many things you can do with seaweed as a base.”

    Starting at 10 a.m., vendors who harvest or cultivate seaweed all over the state will be set up to talk about what they offer and what they do.

    The day will then unfold featuring artists who use seaweed in their creations.

    Nationally recognized artist Celeste Roberge will give a visual presentation of seaweed artworks and talk about how and why she makes collages, drawings, and sculptures with marine macroalgae.

    Following her, Mary Jameson of Saltwater Studio, will teach people how to press and preserve seaweed to make your own herbarium or beautiful works of art. Concurrently all day long, a collective called Women Mind the Water, will offer up stories that trace the connections of women to water.

    “I’m personally excited about the morning talks by the artists,” said Redmond. “Rockland is considered the art capital of the Midcoast and we really wanted to try and bring in some of the artisan community who are inspired by seaweed as a medium. Celeste has a lot of sculptural works and drawings that are worth checking out and Mary will be showing people how to utilize seaweed in art, because it is just so beautiful on its own.”
    The afternoon leads into a cooking demonstration at 1:15 p.m. for at-home chefs interested in flavoring food naturally with a product chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
    “It will be a general overview followed by the tasting of a couple of dishes,” said Redmond. “Seaweed as a food is an important aspect of this industry and Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, one of our sponsors, has been a leader in this industry for a long time.”
    Beyond food, seaweed’s byproducts end up being stellar beauty products and cosmetics, which will be the focus of two afternoon demonstrations by Dulse and Rugosa, a local mother-daughter skin care company, who will be giving pointers on how to eliminate everyday uses of plastic that end up in the ocean at 3 p.m. The next talk features Planet Botanicals, who’ll be giving a talk at 3:30 p.m. on the nutrient rich, natural ingredients of seaweeds with anti aging, anti-inflammatory, revitalizing, and nourishing properties for your skin.
    “We are going to be doing an overview of the seaweed industry in Maine and at the end of the day we have a really interesting speaker, Orlando Delogu, who will be talking about the issues of intertidal zone ownership, which is really a hot topic not only in the seaweed world, but also for anyone who cares about ocean access,” said Redmond.
    For families, this is an ideal way to get children to see their future right before them in the ocean’s natural resource. There will be a Children’s Tent with hands-on activities and play all day, with a  11am: “Seaweed Science” kid-friendly event at the Children’s Museum next door.
    For more information and to see the Schedule of Events visit:

    Kay Stephens can be reached at