Celebrate the Kennebunks’ Seafaring History

The second annual Launch: A Maritime Festival will take place June 15-18 at locations throughout Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel.

Photography: Robert A. Dennis


Named one of the “Top 10 Maine Summer Events of 2016” by Yankee Magazine in its first year, LAUNCH! A Maritime Festival is getting bigger and better in 2017. There are new events, including a Pirate Pub Crawl and Sirens’ Soiree. And the Kennebunkport Brewing Co., part of Shipyard Brewing Co., will be introducing an all-new LAUNCH! beer, available on tap at Federal Jack’s and in growlers at KBC Shipyard Store.

Fresh local seafood, nautical history and an array of activities at locations throughout Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel will highlight the community’s rich maritime history. Events include a Castaway Cove for Kids at the Seafood Center of Maine with homemade clam cakes and ice cream, buoy decorating, touch tanks and bouncy houses; the Sailors & Sirens 5K, a fabulous beachside run complete with nautical costumes and live mermaids; a "Chopped"-style chef competition, 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 water; and a VIP “Rock the Boat” adults-only shipboard after-party.

Throughout the four-day festival, visitors can also enjoy historic walking tours with costumed interpreters from the Brick Store Museum and White Columns, brewery tours and tastings at the Kennebunkport Brewing Company, a craft fair on the river and more.

The highlight of the weekend is the River Lights Boat Parade Saturday night, where boats bedecked in lights carrying costumed passengers and accompanied by fun music make their way down the Kennebunk River after dark, as hundreds of spectators cheer from shore.

Sunday morning, the festival will conclude with a traditional Blessing of the Fleet in beautiful Cape Porpoise village, 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 themed cocktails, and local shops showcasing unique and creative crafts and gifts.

The Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel Chamber of Commerce 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, visit www.gokennebunks.com or  launchfestme.com, or follow the event’s Facebook page.


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