AUGUSTA — With bands, beer, balloons, bounce houses, breakfast and bass, AugustaFest is set to bring big variety downtown Saturday.

“The variety of activities really showcases how much can be done in Augusta,” said Dan Emery, chairman of the Promotions Committee of the Augusta Downtown Alliance, which is overseeing AugustaFest in a partnership with the city. “There is something for absolutely everybody here.”

Events start early, with a pancake breakfast at Green Street Methodist Church, and a fishing tournament on the Kennebec River, both starting at 7:30 a.m. AugustaFest continues through the day with activities on Water Street and on the Front Street riverfront on the west side of the Kennebec.

Events continue into the night, with a beer garden for adults open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and five bands playing music from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Front Street, with Leppard Mania, a Def Leppard tribute band, the headliner playing from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Performances will also include KrackerJack Magic, an illusionist, magician and stuntman, who’ll perform in the afternoon and evening on Front Street.

Kids’ activities, on Front Street, will include balloon animals, face painting, a bounce house, and truck displays, from noon to 6 p.m.

The section of Water Street from the Peachey Building to the Bridge Street intersection will be closed for the festivities, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Most downtown businesses will be open Saturday.

A trolley will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., bringing riders from downtown across the river to Fort Western.

Fort Western will host a weekend-long French and Indian War encampment, with multiple re-enactor companies on hand and period activities and demonstrations.

The fishing tournament is open to anyone and two-person teams may sign up Saturday morning for the daylong contest. The tournament launch and weigh-in will both be at the city’s boat landing on the east side of the Kennebec River.

Last year, the inaugural AugustaFest was largely rained out. This year, Saturday’s weather forecast for Augusta is partly cloudy with a 10 percent chance of rain and highs in the mid-70s.

“It’s a celebration of downtown Augusta, the Kennebec River, and bringing the community together to have a day of family fun,” Emery said.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
[email protected]