AUGUSTA — Two new events are coinciding on Saturday to make the capital area a festive place.

There’s AugustaFest on the city’s downtown riverfront and just west of the city, Reggae Fest: Jamaican Style at Lakeside Orchards in Manchester.

Jamaicans have been hired annually to pick apples at Lakeside Orchards, a common practice in the business. The reggae event will feature a cookout of Jamaican specialties such as jerk chicken and pork, curried goat, coconut rice and beans, and, because it’s an apple orchard, apple pie. It’s also a celebration of Jamaican culture and will feature a performance by Portland-based band Stream Reggae.

The 21-and-older event will also feature beer sales from Lewiston-based Baxter Brewing and begin at 5 p.m.

“The orchard has wanted to do something like this for quite some time, and we’re finally making it happen,” said Doug Ide, an orchard employee and organizer of the festival. Ide has organized the apple festival at the orchard.

Ide said Altamont King is host and chef at the event. He’s head farmer at the orchard who is known locally as King and is a Jamaica native now living locally. Ide said they’re using as much locally produced food as possible for the event, including Maine-raised and processed goat meat that they got by trading tickets with a farmer.

AugustaFest is a full day and night of activities, starting with a Maine Bass Federation fishing tournament on the Kennebec River in the morning and concluding with multiple bands playing in a riverside beer garden.

“We really want to focus on celebrating life in, on and around the Kennebec River and attract families to come downtown and have a great day,” said Dan Emery, chairman of the Augusta Downtown Association’s promotions committee. “We have a ton of different events in a beautiful area. There is absolutely something for every person in the family.”

Events include the nearly daylong Downtown Throwdown strongman event hosted by downtown’s Impact Strength and Fitness, an antique auto show, animal petting area, dunk tank, kids’ explore-a-truck and bounce house on the west side riverfront on Front Street, the 15-piece Al Corey Band and karate and dancing demonstrations at Market Square and a petanque tournament at Mill Park. The event is put on by both the Augusta Downtown Association and city.

Water Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Adult-oriented festivities feature five bands and a beer garden by the waterfront gazebo from 11:15 a.m. until 9 p.m., including Plaid Dragonflies, Acoustic Chi, Archie, Carey Brown Band, and Grand Hotel.

Also in Augusta Saturday, but not officially part of AugustaFest, is the Walker International Events’ Under the Big Top Circus, outside Buker Community Center. Shows are at 3 and 5 p.m. and information is available at

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