LAUNCH! A Maritime Festival

 

COMING June 17-18-19

 

The Kennebunks will kick off summer with the first LAUNCH! A Maritime Festival, which gets underway on Friday, June 17. Fresh local seafood, nautical history and an array of events at locations throughout Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel will celebrate the community’s rich maritime history - one that continues to this day. Shipbuilding, lobstering and commercial fishing remain a vibrant part of the community. Here's a sampling of events:

Clam Jam: It's all hands on deck for this family friendly fest, feast and fun! Who doesn't love bouncy houses, face painting and delicious clam cakes? 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Captain's Cook-Off: Watch local chefs turn Maine ingredients into a gourmet dish, and see one crowned the winner. Amateurs, professionals and even kids can enter their own cooking contest, with prizes awarded for best chowdah, best blueberry dessert and best maple dish. Those who don't want to cook can still taste all of the entries and vote for people's choice winners, as well as enjoy the food truck court featuring local food trucks. 11-2 Saturday. AMATEUR & KIDS SIGN-UP

Lobster Bake: Think red and white tablecloths, lobster, corn and blueberry pie, all eaten along our working waterfront. Fun for the whole family! 4-7 p.m. Saturday.

BUY YOUR TICKETS

Rock the Boat: But don't tip the boat over! This special VIP after-party will feature live music, a champagne toast, creative cocktails and small bites of delicious food on board one of our local vessels. It's the perfect way to end Saturday night and have a front-row seat for the boat parade! 8-11 p.m. Saturday. SOLD OUT

River Lights Boat Parade: Let's light up LAUNCH! with a boat parade featuring sparkling lights and fun decorations! After sunset, Saturday night. Dusk.  SIGN-UP            

Bringing to life this vital part of the towns’ cultures and culinary scene, LAUNCH! will highlight the community’s love of the sea through various anchor events and activities: from a Clam Jam at the Seafood Center of Maine with homemade clam cakes and ice cream, buoy decorating and a bouncy house for kids; to a "Chopped" style chef competition and chowder cook-off and local food truck gathering in downtown Kennebunk; to an authentic Lobster Bake with red and white checked tablecloths at the Pilot House, overlooking the Kennebunk River; to a River Lights boat parade and a VIP "Rock the Boat" adults-only shipboard after party. Throughout the three-day festival, visitors can also enjoy historic walking tours with costumed interpreters from the Brick Store Museum and White Columns (Kennebunkport Historical Society), brewery tours and tastings at the Shipyard Brewing Company, a craft fair on the river green, the Sailors & Sirens 5K, and more. Sunday morning, the festival will conclude with a resurrection of the traditional Blessing of the Fleet, wishing captains and crew a safe and bountiful season.

It will be an “all hands on deck” weekend with area hotels featuring nautically-themed packages, restaurants preparing their finest seafood delights, and local shops and boutiques showcasing unique and creative crafts and gifts. The weekend will evoke memories of yesteryear mixed with modern day style, sure to be fun for the entire family!

The Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel Chamber looks forward to helping visitors plan their stay this June to set sail on this fantastic voyage! For information on hotel room availability and more event details, please call 207-967-0857.

For up-to-the-minute information, join our Facebook page.

Interested in volunteering? We need you! Click here to sign up.

Take a peek at our schedule; scroll down for complete event descriptions; for a printable version, click here

Read our coverage in Resorts and Lodges.com

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 17

TIME

LOCATION

Landing School Boat Launch

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

River Basin - Kennebunk/Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport Brewing Company Tour

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – KBC Gift Shop

Historic Walking Tours

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunk/Kennebunkport – Brick Store Museum
& The Kennebunkport Historical Society
@ White Columns

Living History Costumed Interpreters

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunk/Kennebunkport

Clam Jam

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Arundel - Seafood Center of Maine

Cape Arundel Cottage Crawl

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Arundel – Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve

Village Art Walk

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Kennebunk's Lower Village and Kennebunkport

Seafood Night for Pizza Lovers

5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Kennebunkport - Jillyanna’s Cooking School

Buccaneer Ball

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – Federal Jack's

Pirate Party

8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – Pilot House

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

TIME

LOCATION

Sailors & Sirens 5K

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM

Kennebunk Lower Village – Franciscan Monastery

Ship Building Odyssey Experience

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Kennebunk/Kennebunkport – Brick Store Museum

Crafts on the River

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunkport - South Congregational Church

Launch! Kids Zone

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunkport – Historical Society at White Columns

Open House Tours

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Arundel – Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve

Captains Cook-Off

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Kennebunk – Waterhouse Center

Maritime Scavenger Hunt

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunkport – Historical Inns

Kennebunkport Brewing Company Tour

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – KBC Gift Shop

Historic Walking Tours

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunk/Kennebunkport – Brick Store Museum
& The Kennebunkport Historical Society
@ White Columns

Living History Costumed Interpreters

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunk/Kennebunkport

Local Shipwreck History

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunkport – Clement Clark’s Boathouse

Cove Walk

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Kennebunk – KBIA (please call 207-967-2180 for reservations)

Lobster Bake

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – Pilot House Boatyard

Rock the Boat After Party

8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – Spirit of Massachusetts

River Lights Parade

8:30 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village, Kennebunkport

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

TIME

LOCATION

Blessing of the Fleet

8:00 AM

Kennebunkport – Cape Porpoise Pier

Father’s Day BBQ & Open House

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Arundel – Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve

Marine Safety Demo & Open House

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Kennebunkport – Cape Porpoise Fire House

Kennebunkport Brewing Company Tour

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Kennebunk Lower Village – KBC Gift Shop


Friday, June 17

Landing School Boat Launch, 10 to 11:30 AM, Kennebunk River Basin, Mat Lanigan Bridge. View the newly launched Landing School student boats along the river and from the bridge and sidewalk in Dock Square and Lower Village. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunkport Brewing Company Tour, 11 AM to 5 PM, KBC Shipyard Store, 8 Western Ave. #14, Kennebunk. The opportunity to learn and taste a variety of local signature hand-brewed Shipyard/Kennebunkport Brewing products. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunk Historic District Walking Tours, 1 to 4 PM, Brick Store Museum, 117 Main St., Kennebunk. Outdoor walking tours of Kennebunk’s National Register Historic District, which features examples of Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival homes. Tours depart from the Museum, last 60-90 minutes, and cover less than a mile on sidewalks and flat terrain. $10 (combined Kennebunk & Kennebunkport special rate). FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunkport Historic District Walking Tour, 1 to 4 PM, White Columns, 12 Maine St., Kennebunkport. Walking tour is a 1-mile walk through historic Kennebunkport. This 45-minute tour covers Kennebunkport's beginnings in Cape Porpoise and takes you through the history of the seaside town from ships’ captains to presidents. $10 (combined Kennebunk & Kennebunkport special rate). FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Living History Costumed Storytellers, 1 to 6 PM, locations throughout Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Go back in time and hear the tales directly from our popular historical characters. Stories will be told every 10 minutes. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Clam Jam!, 4 to 7 PM, Seafood Center of Maine, 1181 Portland Road, Arundel. It’s all hands on deck for this family-friendly fest, feast and fun! Who doesn’t love bouncy houses, sea life touch tanks, face-painting, a clam cake eating contest, plus so much more? $3 for unlimited bounces. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Cape Arundel Cottage Crawl, 5 to 8 PM, Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve, 1976 Portland Road, Arundel. Enjoy cocktails, appetizers, outdoor fire pits, antique cars and more as you tour Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve and enjoy live music from The Waiters. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Village Art Walk, 5 to 7 PM, Lower Village Kennebunk & Kennebunkport. A self-guided walking tour of the art galleries and studios of Kennebunk’s Lower Village, Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, and Ocean Avenue. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Seafood Night for Pizza Lovers, 5 to 8:30 PM, Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School, 141 Wildes District Road, Kennebunkport. This special pizza class focuses on a gourmet seafood-inspired menu. Practice stretching and rolling out different types of dough. You’ll also have the opportunity to design your own unique pizza using local Maine seafood, premium imported cheeses, salamis as well as vegetables and herbs harvested straight from the garden. $175. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Buccaneer Ball, 7 to 10 PM, Federal Jack’s, 8 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Ahoy maties! Shiver your timbers, polish your peg legs, and get your mermaid fins ready to celebrate LAUNCH! Hoist a few with your salty crew and win a prize for best pirate and mermaid costumes. Don’t have the proper dress attire? don’t worry! Tattoo sleeves and eyepatches will be available! FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Pirate Party, 8 to 11 PM, Pilot House, 4 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Enjoy signature cocktails and get into the pirate spirit at the Pirate, argh, Pilot House. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

 

Saturday, June 18

Sailors & Sirens 5K & Dolphin Dash 1K, 9:15 to 10:30 AM, Franciscan Monastery, 28 Beach Avenue, Kennebunk. Wear your best seaside gear as you run like the wind on this seaside course. You will be sure to encounter many a lovely mermaid (and even a pirate or two) along the way. This event supports the mission of The Downeast Divas: Cure Blood Cancer. Sign-up costs vary. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Ship Building Odyssey Experience, 10 AM to 1 PM, Brick Store Museum Program Center, 4 Dane St., Kennebunk. Learn about the Kennebunks’ shipbuilding era with a brief illustrated look at what life was like in the Kennebunks’ many 19th-century shipyards. Guests then embark on a special, narrated trolley excursion stopping at various historic locations associated with shipbuilding along the Kennebunk River in the 1800s. The morning concludes back at the Museum, where guests will enjoy clam chowder by Alisson’s Restaurant and refreshments and receive a commemorative souvenir of their historical trip. Advance reservations are required as space is limited. $35/$25 for current Museum members. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Crafts on the River, 10 AM to 4 PM, lawn of the South Congregational Church, 2 North St., Kennebunkport. Come enjoy a leisurely stroll on beautiful grounds and view handmade jewelry, pottery, artwork, bags, scarfs, kaleidoscopes and much more. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Launch! Kids Zone, 10 AM to 4 PM, lawn of White Columns, 12 Maine St., Kennebunkport. A perfect place for kids to burn off energy! Bouncy houses, crafts and a card-making station to celebrate Father’s Day. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Rain Gutter Regatta: 11 AM to 5 PM, Make It KPT, 13 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Build your own floating foam sail boat and race it down the rain gutter course.  ($5 per person, ages 3+)

Anchors Away!: 11 AM to 5 PM, Make It KPT, 13 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Paint your own signal flags or anchors, and show off your nautical colors. ($10 per person, all ages)

Captain’s Cook-Off, 11 AM to 2 PM, Waterhouse Center, 55 Main St., Kennebunk. Watch local chefs turn Maine ingredients into a gourmet dish, and see one crowned the winner. Amateurs, professionals and kids can enter their own cooking contest, with prizes awarded for best chowdah, blueberry dessert and maple dish. $5 admission, free admission with COS food pantry donations. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Maritime Scavenger Hunt, 11 to 4 PM, White Columns, 12 Maine St., Kennebunkport. An interactive scavenger hunt throughout Kennebunkport. If you get all 10 answers right, you will be entered to win one of three $100 gift cards to The Select Registry, a portfolio of more than 300 quality-assured premier bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels throughout North America. Cocktail reception to take place at White Columns from 5 to 6 PM to announce winners (winners must be present). Free for inn guests; $5 for the public. Sponsored by the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunkport Brewing Company Tour, 11 AM to 5 PM, KBC Shipyard Store, 8 Western Ave. #14, Kennebunk. The opportunity to learn and taste a variety of local signature hand-brewed Shipyard/Kennebunkport Brewing products. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunk Historic District Walking Tours, 1 to 4 PM, Brick Store Museum, 117 Main St., Kennebunk. Outdoor walking tours of Kennebunk’s National Register Historic District, which features examples of Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival homes. Tours depart from the Museum, last 60-90 minutes, and cover less than a mile on sidewalks and flat terrain. $10 (combined Kennebunk & Kennebunkport special rate). FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunkport Historic District Walking Tour, 1 to 4 PM, White Columns, 12 Maine Street, Kennebunkport. Walking tour is a 1-mile walk through historic Kennebunkport. This 45-minute tour covers Kennebunkport's beginnings in Cape Porpoise and takes you through the history of the seaside town from ships’ captains to presidents. $10 (combined Kennebunk & Kennebunkport special rate). FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Living History Costumed Storytellers, 1 to 6 PM, locations throughout Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Go back in time and hear the tales directly from our popular historical characters. Stories will be told every 10 minutes. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Local Shipwreck History - Illustrated Lecture, 3 to 4 PM, The Clement Clark’s Boathouse, Mill Road, Kennebunkport. Sharon Cummins and Barbara Barwise host an engaging lecture with art, photos, history and details of local shipwrecks from 1770 to 1921. The Wandby near Walker’s Point, The Governor Robie at Timber Island, The Enpress near St. Ann’s, The Horace and The Industry at Kennebunk Beach, The Limer, Carrie G. Crosby at Parsons Beach, and The Mildred V. Nunan at Turbat’s Creek are just a few of the many shipwrecks that will be discussed. $5 and all proceeds will benefit Friends of Town House School. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Cove Walk, 4 to 6 PM, KBIA, 262 Beach Ave., Kennebunk. Explore the cove between Lord's Point and Strawberry Island at low tide with KBIA's marine biologist and visit tide pools with clams, lobsters, snails and more, while learning about the ecology and history of this unique area. Advance reservations requested by calling 967-2180. $10 per family. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Classic Maine Lobster Bake, 4 to 7 PM, Pilot House, 4 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Enjoy a classic Maine staple along our working waterfront. Feast on freshly steamed lobster, corn, pasta salad, and blueberry pie, then sit back, enjoy the live music and beautiful view. $25 for lobster/$15 for non-seafood option. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Rock the Boat After Party, 8 to 11 PM, The Spirit of Massachusetts, 4 Western Ave., Kennebunk. This special VIP after-party will feature live music, a champagne toast, creative cocktails and small bites of delicious food, and creative cocktails at the cash bar. It's the perfect way to end Saturday night and have a front-row seat for the boat parade! Advance reservations are required as space is limited, $50. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

River Lights Parade, 8:30 PM, river basin to Colony Beach via the Kennebunk River. Let's light up LAUNCH! with a boat parade featuring sparkling lights and fun decorations! Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

 

Sunday, June 19

Blessing of the Fleet, 8 AM, Cape Porpoise Pier, 81 Pier Road, Cape Porpoise. A tradition in seafaring communities, our local fleet will be blessed by the Rev. Ruth Merriam of Church on the Cape to ensure a safe and bountiful season. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Father’s Day BBQ & Open House, 11 AM to 3 PM, Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve, 1976 Portland Road, Arundel. Celebrate our dads by enjoying a delicious BBQ lunch and touring the grounds of the preserve. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Rain Gutter Regatta: 11 AM to 5 PM, Make It KPT, 13 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Build your own floating foam sail boat and race it down the rain gutter course.  ($5 per person, ages 3+)

Anchors Away!: 11 AM to 5 PM, Make It KPT, 13 Western Ave., Kennebunk. Paint your own signal flags or anchors, and show off your nautical colors. ($10 per person, all ages)

Marine Safety Demo & Open House, 11 AM to 4 PM, Kennebunkport Fire Department - Cape Porpoise Station, Corner of Mills and Main Street (Route 9), Cape Porpoise. A perfect event for families, kids can experience the thrill of sitting in a fire truck, earn a Kennebunkport Junior Fire Badge, witness a marine safety demonstration from members of KPFD, learn Hands Only CPR from Kennebunkport EMS, and much more! Food available for purchase. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.

Kennebunkport Brewing Company Tour, 11 AM to 5 PM, KBC Shipyard Store, 8 Western Ave. #14, Kennebunk. The opportunity to learn and taste a variety of local signature hand-brewed Shipyard/Kennebunkport Brewing products. Free. FMI: LaunchFestME.com.