It pains us to say this, but we will not be holding a LAUNCH festival this year. It was a tough decision, but we’ll be honest: It’s been a heavy lift these past two years.
LAUNCH was growing and expanding in the pre-Covid years, but like so many live events, it has struggled to regain its footing since. Last year we had very few volunteers, businesses were so short-staffed they couldn’t really participate, and it was a LOT of work for three staff members to pull off.
When we first created LAUNCH eight years ago, we had a robust committee and a full slate of volunteers. Both have dwindled in the past two years. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is our desire to honor our community’s maritime history and the fishing folk of today. To that end, we will be having a Blessing of the Fleet. We’ll announce the date/time as soon as it’s finalized.
But while we are putting LAUNCH in dry dock for the year, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. We’ve heard from a lot of people eager to see it return, so we’ll spend the next year re-grouping and looking for new, creative ways to move ahead, likely with new partner organizations and businesses to help us do it right.
If you’re looking for ways to keep the LAUNCH spirit alive, consider a donation to the Maine Lobsterman’s Association, based right here in Kennebunk. They are fighting the good fight on behalf of lobstermen statewide and could use your support.
Consider visiting or making a donation to the Kennebunkport Historical Society and/or Brick Store Museum. They are doing an amazing job honoring our community’s maritime history.
And, of course, you can have a little bit of LAUNCH year ’round through the gorgeous prints/posters artist Wade Zahares created for previous festivals. They are still available on his website and capture the vibrancy of our working waterfront.
If you’d like to be a part of a new, improved LAUNCH, or have ideas for how we can do it better, please drop us a line at [email protected]
We’d love you to help us find a way to LAUNCH in the future.