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BAR HARBOR — A day of family activities are planned for this year’s annual Independence Day celebration in Bar Harbor. From an early morning pancake feast to a spectacular nighttime fireworks display over the ocean, this year’s events are sure to enliven all of the senses.
Concerts, kids’ games, seafood galore, lobster races, delicious desserts and an eclectic parade are just a few of the many activities in store.
Everyone is invited to start off the day with a hot pancake breakfast at the Bar Harbor Athletic Field. Beginning at 6 a.m., the Mount Desert Island Rotary Club will serve blueberry and plain pancakes, sausage, milk, juice, coffee and blueberry granola yogurt parfait.
The seventh annual Around Mount Desert Island Relay, sponsored by the Crow Athletics running club, starts at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Mainely Meat Barbecue restaurant at 369 State Route 3, across from Pirate’s Cove miniature golf course. The 61-mile race passes through almost every town and village on MDI, with eight legs ranging from two to 10 miles in length.
The Island Arts Association will host a craft fair/marketplace at the YMCA, just across from the athletic field on the corner of Park and Main streets. Jewelry, quilts, photographs, pottery, and porcelain dolls are some of the many items that will be available at the fair. The event is a joint fund-raiser for the island’s YMCA and the YWCA.
At 10 a.m., the annual Independence Day Parade kicks off at the athletic field, and winds down Main Street, up Cottage Street, across Eden Street (Route 3), down Mount Desert Street, and down Ledgelawn Avenue and back to the ballfield.
This year’s theme is “Past, Present and Future.” The grand marshall will be the current Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Cadillac Award winner Jill Goldthwait. Give her a wave as she rides by.
After the parade, the fun continues back at the athletic field. From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the Rotary hosts the annual Seafood Festival, with great eats and plenty to do for the whole family in store for the afternoon.
Before you eat, catch the 32nd annual Lobster Races, a benefit for the MDI YMCA Scholarship program. Local businesses will put their clawed crustaceans to the test, pitting them against one another in what promises to be a series of close contests.
For a taste of lobster on your plate, check out the Seafood Festival itself. This year’s grand meal features 1,000 pounds of boiled lobster, lobster rolls, crabmeat rolls, hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries, watermelon, mussels, corn on the cob and chocolate chip cookies.
As with the pancake breakfast, all of the proceeds from the seafood festival will benefit area charities and nonprofits. The rotary typically raises $20,000 from the day’s events, Mr. Read said.
Both breakfast and lunch are environmentally friendly affairs, as the Rotary Club will provide biodegradable “spudware” knives, forks and spoons composed of vegetable starch from corn and potatoes.
Many other organizations will add fun and adventure to this year’s festival at the athletic field.
The Conners-Emerson School’s eighth-grade class will have a yard sale, while the Bar Harbor garden club stages its annual pie sale. A kayak will be raffled off by the Beth C. Wright Cancer Center, and Camp Beech Cliff will be selling bag lunches and popcorn, and will offer photos with characters and face painting.
The Bar Harbor Conservation Commission will be working on a conservation survey, while the Downeast Dog Scouts hosting a pet item sale. The Ecuador field studies group from the high school will man a bounce house, offer strawberry shortcake, and enable children and others to paint a car.
Eden Nursery School will have balloons for sale, while the First Baptist Church youth group will offer iced coffee and smoothies. The Hancock County Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals will have sno-cones, while Healing Hands holds a quilt raffle and the Medical Mission hosts a silent auction.
Justice for Autism with Compassion and Kindness will share information on autism awareness, while students from the Maine Youth Music Academy perform at the festival.
Roots, an ecological group, will sponsor recycling activities, while Serendipity has a secondhand clothing sale. The Summer Festival of the Arts sponsors a lobster raffle, while the Shriners raffle off a scooter. Special Children’s Friends will have a fair for younger children, while the Southwest Harbor Junior Firefighters show off an antique handpumper and will sell other fire items.
The Town Hill Village Improvement Association will raffle a kayak, while United World Citizens holds a clothing sale and auction. The Carol Dyer Benefit will sell luminary candles and the Jesup Memorial Library will have a sale of patriotic items.
From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Bar Harbor Town Band will play a free concert on the Village Green. For more than 100 years, the Town Band has entertained thousands with their free, summertime shows.
Finally, at 9:15 p.m., a spectacular fireworks display over Frenchman Bay off the Bar Harbor Town Pier wraps up the day’s events.