Festivals & Events
Summertime in the Midcoast is a sea of exciting, uniquely Maine events! Our favorite is the Fourth of July in Castine when the whole town comes alive in an outdoor festival of activities, but starting in early May through late October, the whole area comes alive with county fairs, live music concerts, and one-of-a-kind experiences like the Maine Lobster Festival or the regional blueberry festivals. This is really the way life should be…
- Maine Maritime Academy Graduation is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2023. A celebration of the accomplishments of the Class of 2023, the town of Castine shakes off the winter chill for a weekend of excitement.
- “Wings, Waves & Woods”, the annual birding weekend hosted by the Island Heritage Trust in Deer Isle is back for 2023. This excellent event takes place May 19-21 this year.
- Castine’s Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff of the town’s summer season, from May 26-29! On Memorial Day itself, our town hosts a ceremony befitting its military history with the tolling of the bells, speeches & remembrances, and a procession from town green to the water.
- The Acadia Birding Festival is scheduled for June 1-4, 2023, and includes a Pelagic seabird boat trip, a wonderful birding opportunity. Keep an eye out for the regal penguins, unique to our area.
- The Guild School is an annual conference for the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, held on June 10-17 this year. These incredible artists make the smallest pieces of art ever… you’ve gotta see it to believe it!
- Castine’s Fourth of July is the quintessential Americana experience in Maine. The morning starts with a parade around town green, giving way to sack races, tug-o-war, and a blueberry pie eating contest. The Castine town band regales the locals in the afternoon, and a fireworks extravaganza sends the day out with a bang… And this year, the Pentagöet BBQ returns!
- Bastille Day in Castine is a one-of-a-kind experience on Friday, July 14. Paying tribute to our founding as a French settlement in 1613, Main Street businesses fly the French flag, churches serve French toast breakfasts, and a giant Picnic en Blanc is held on Court Street, complete with live music and circus performers!
- Castine Classic Yacht Race, from Castine to Camden is hosted annually by the Castine Yacht Club. This year’s event takes place August 2-3, 2023, with the opening party on the evening of the 2nd. This 19.6nm race will be the first of three day races in conjunction with the Camden Classic Yacht Race to Brooklin and the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta.
- The Maine Lobster Festival is the state’s biggest and greatest celebration of our favorite crustacean, held in Rockland on August 2-6 this year. Complete with a giant parade (with the signature lobster float), the coronation of a sea goddess, and of course, lobster galore, you’ll be partying like a lob-STAR!
- The Machias Wild Blueberry Festival is one of several regional fairs celebrating the state’s favorite little fruit. This year’s 46th annual celebration is on August 18-20, full of artisans, food makers, and pie eating contests!
- The Blue Hill Fair is an old Maine county fair with traditional farm games, oxen and horse pulls, 4-H ribbon-award ceremonies, pig races, barrel relays on horse, and sheep dog trials. This is the origin of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web! Scheduled for Labor Day Weekend 2023, August 31-September 4.
- Maine Open Lighthouse Day is a beloved annual attraction that brings over 18,000 people to the state to view our most iconic of landmarks on a one-day-only event on Saturday, September 9. Climb and learn about 20+ lighthouses throughout the state, including Castine’s own Dyce Head Light—for just one day.
- Maine Maritime’s Homecoming & Reunions is held September 30, and the town comes alive with current students as well as alumni coming in for the weekend. The inn’s pub is always packed every night with folks reminiscing of the old college days.
- The Common Ground Fair is organized by the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association and features organic produce, hand made products, livestock and music—think the giant farmers market of your dreams. It is located in Unity, Maine and draws people from all over the state and New England. Scheduled for September 22-24, 2023.
- Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta—oh my gourd, this is the Midcoast’s funniest, quirkiest fest for the giant gourd. This year’s event is held on October 8 or 9, depending on weather. Get ready to scope out colossal pumpkins, decked to the nines, and watch the truly one-of-a-kind sight of Mainers paddling across the harbor in… that’s right pumpkins.
- Halloween in Castine is a multi-day event to close out the Pentagöet’s final weekend of the season! Going from October 28-31, the inn hosts a giant, town-wide costume contest and potluck, with an open bar. On town green, kids can enjoy a trunk-or-treat… then come down to our haunted lobby for trick-or-treats, if they dare!
Whether you’re coming to the Midcoast for a festival or simply for some much-needed R&R, stay at our award-winning bed & breakfast—we cannot wait to welcome you to Castine!
Gardens We Love
June is when the gardens of our historic inn come to life as the lupine and lilac bloom. In 2000, our gardens were simply an empty lot without grass. Bringing it to life has been a labor of love.
Castine is bursting with immaculate gardens, whether it’s Leila & Jim Day’s rose garden up Main Street or Loi & Tom’s beautifully curated garden of dahlias down Water Street. And you can’t miss the towering American Elms, which the town takes great pride in—the Washington Post famously documented the preservation efforts for these natural wonders.
Further afield are the Asticou and Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor and Merryspring in Camden. And a visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay is well worth while. The Abby Rockefeller Garden is also available to visit by reservation in Seal Harbor.
In Castine there is a thriving summer concert series of guest artists. The Pentagoet Inn now has a jazz trio on Tuesday evenings on the porch—the excellent “Night and Day Trio” perform from 5-8 pm with specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner service available. On Thursdays, pianist Scott Cleveland, a composer and professor of Jazz Studies at UMaine, treats the inn to live jazz from 6-8 pm. The Castine Town band has five concerts each summer performed in the open air for all to enjoy. They’re well worth the flight.
A short hop away is Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, the home of an international summer camp for classical music protégés since 1907. “Flash In The Pans,” a steel drum group from neighboring Brooksville, make regular appearances, as does the Bagaduce Chorale. Not to be missed the annual July 3rd “Blue Hill Pops” concert in Blue Hill. This event features the Bagaduce Chorale singers, Flash in the Pans, jazz luminaries and many other area musicians.