Belfast Harbor Fest 2023 highlights include boats, shipyard tours, food, music, auctions and more

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    BELFAST — The Belfast Rotary Club Harbor Fest, a free celebration of the city’s maritime history and traditions on the Belfast waterfront Friday, Aug. 18, Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 20, has something for everyone, according to Belfast Rotary Club, in a news release.

    “Over three days, Harbor Fest will offer a boatbuilding contest, a rowing regatta and two tours of Front Street Shipyard on Saturday and a Sunday morning Cardboard Boat Race,” said event chairperson and Waldo County YMCA Executive Director Russell Werkman.

    “And that’s just the boat-themed activities,” Werkman added.

    Saturday will include food trucks, live entertainment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Annie and the Rainmakers, Jonesville and the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, and a Pinewood Derby competition starting at 11:30 in the morning, hosted by Waldo Boy Scouts and open to everyone.

    There will be children’s activities, a Touch-A-Truck area, a blueberry pancake breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, and a Saturday morning 5K run with 20 pounds of lobster as first prize.

    The event opens Friday evening at United Farmers Market with Evening by the Bay, a gala and auction to benefit the RSU 71 and RSU 20 elementary school clothes closet programs. Tickets for the August 18 Evening by the Bay gala are available at, at the Belfast Chamber of Commerce office or at the door.

    “Throw in a puppet show on Saturday afternoon and even a Marshall Wharf brewing beer garden and Harbor Fest promises to be an incredible weekend,” said gala chairperson and Cornerspring Montessori School Head Teacher Sue Beemer. 

    The National Boatbuilding Challenge, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., offers $1,750 in cash prizes and provides Harbor Fest visitors with the chance to watch a half-dozen boatbuilding teams build 12-foot skiffs, then race them in Belfast Harbor. The free Front Street Shipyard tours are Saturday at 11 a.m. and 12 noon. Noon is the start of the Come Boating!’s 21 st regatta alongside the Harbor Walk.

    Among Harbor Fest’s nearly 50 sponsors are Stanley Chevrolet Buick, City of Belfast, Front Street Shipyard, Ducktrap River of Maine, First National Bank, Viking Lumber, Kim Fleming and Mark Bulmer, Waldo County General Hospital (Maine Health), Bangor Savings Bank, Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug, John and Pat Carrick and Cold Mountain Builders. Other sponsors include United Farmers Market, Robbins Lumber Company, Hammond Lumber, K Construction, J Black Printing, Cornerspring Montessori School, Waldo County YMCA and Waldo Boy Scouts.

    For more information go to


    Belfast Rotary Club celebrates a century of service in 2025. Its $150,000 in yearly charitable gifts include support for seven food pantries, year-end holiday clothing and toys for more than 200 children and $80,000 in scholarships for local college-bound high school students. For information on membership or to make a tax-deductible donation in support of the Club’s year-round service programs, go to

    Event Date: 

    Fri, 08/18/2023 (All day)
    Sat, 08/19/2023 (All day)
    Sun, 08/20/2023 (All day)