ROCKPORT — They danced until midnight, in gowns, dress attire and jeans and T-shirts, while Creatures of Habit rolled through the favorites — Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, And She Was — in the Samoset Knox County Ball Room. It was the Firefighters’ Ball, hosted by the Rockport Fire Department and the town’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, a chance for firefighters and friends to kick up a storm July 29. Even a fire on West Street that the entire Rockport Fire Department rushed off to in the middle of the ball failed to dampen spirits on the dance floor. The firefighters just came back to the dance scene after they cleaned up the scene, and cleaned themselves back up.
The Ball, which drew firefighters from Camden, Rockland, Owls Head, Lincolnville and beyond, was the first event of a weeklong celebration of Rockport’s anniversary as its own town. On Saturday, July 30, a community parade marched through the village, and events will continue through the week, culminating Aug. 7 with the Goose River Bridge Dinner, an outdoor community dinner.
The week included a community dance at the Samoset, a Maine Pro Musica concert, a big and creative parade through Rockport Village, a free Bay Chamber Jazz Concert at Marine Park, bluegrass jam and sing-a-long with Miners Creek, a cardboard box boat race at Rockport Harbor, and community dinner on the Goose River Bridge. It’s all happening in Rockport.
Last February, Rockport marked the anniversary of its 1891 separation from Camden with pomp and ceremony, as well as three days of fun that included a Blood Feud Blood Drive, Fireside Chat with Elders, dinner, children's theater and dance. (See Rockport celebrates with heart and soul)
The Celebrate Rockport summer schedule is as follows (For up-to-date details, visit Facebook.com/Rockport125 or http://www.town.rockport.me.us):
A dance party for the entire community at the Firefighters Ball, Samoset Resort, Rockport, with great food and music of the popular band Creatures of Habit. Begin with happy hour on the Samoset's patio, overlooking Penobscot Bay, and then head for the ballroom to kick up your heels.
Tickets available at the Rockport Town Office, Rockport Fire Department orbrownpapertickets.com/event/2531469; or can be purchased at the Rockport Town Office, 236-9648.
1 p.m. Rockport's 125th Community Parade through Rockport Village. The parade is open to anyone who wants to participate, but don't delay in signing up. Deadline for registration in the parade is July 26, at noon.
The parade – with floats, color guards, dignitaries, horses, bagpipes and music, firetrucks and much more -- began at Graffam's Seafood Shack and head down Union and Central streets, travel across the Goose River Bridge to Pascal Ave., turn right onto West Street and will finish at the former Rockport Elementary School site.
At RES, there was ice cream for all, with more than 200 dishes served up to the community.
7:30 p.m. Evening Concert with Maine Pro Musica. Music of Frozen, Stars and Stripes and more at the Rockport Opera House. Maine Pro Musica is a professional orchestra, which brings together musicians living in Maine to perform throughout the state.
Music Director Janna Hymes has created a program that includes music from Frozen, 76 Trombones and Sousa’s Stars and Stripes, plus familiar classical pieces by Dvorak, Rossini, Piazzolla, Faure and Bizet.
Jam and Sing-a-Long in the Barn with Miners Creek Band, at Barnswallow Books, 166 Russell Ave, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Miners Creek Band and Barnswallow books will host an evening of home grown music. The evening will include a bluegrass jam and sing-a-long. All acoustic instruments and skill levels are welcome.
Don’t play an instrument? Attend anyway to hear great music and sing along. Miners Creek will be leading a sing-a-long of old work songs from the early days when folks used song to aid in the sailing of ships and sowing of fields. Light refreshments will be provided by Barnswallow Books. The event is free. For more information, email MinersCreekBand@gmail.com
11 a.m.: Cardboard Box Boat Race, Goodie's Beach, Marine Park. Guidelines for this special and creative event will be soon available at the Rockport Harbor Master's office at Marine Park. Stay tuned for details.
5 p.m.: Jazz on the Water, a free concert at Rockport Marine Park, courtesy of Bay Chamber Concerts and in memory of Irene and Billy Wolf.
Featuring the Creative Ensemble Collective with with saxophonist Donny McCaslin, this free outdoor jazz performance begins at 5 p.m.
Donny McCaslin was a David Bowie collaborator and will perform with an ensemble of artists from around the world brought together by the Creative Ensemble Collective, a nonprofit fostering exceptional and diverse music.
The program will feature a number of original compositions that have been developed over the past three years at workshops around the globe, with a selection of standards from the Great American Song Book. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit baychamberconcerts.org
6 to 9 p.m.: Goose River Bridge Dinner. Tickets, at $35 per person, are now on sale for this unique catered community dinner that will take place outdoors, on the bridge. Get tickets now, because they are going fast, at the town office, or online at at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2569858.