The Winthrop Summer Festival set for this weekend has never been held before, but the events that make up the festival have been around for years.

The festival’s root, the Sidewalk Art Show, will celebrate its 28th year when it kicks off Saturday. The annual show has attracted lots of company over the years from organizations hosting events seeking to take advantage of the crowds going downtown for the show, said Sarah Fuller, president of the Winthrop Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the art show. This year, Fuller said, organizers decided to pull all those events together and re-brand it the Winthrop Summer Festival. For those who have enjoyed the art show, bake sales and other events, the new festival will have a very familiar feel.

“This is the first year we’ve made a concerted effort to pull it together,” Fuller said.

The festival’s linchpin event, the sidewalk art show, kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday. Nearly three dozen artists and craftspeople, working in a variety of media, will set up booths on the sidewalks and in the municipal parking lot, Fuller said. In addition to the painting, pottery and photographs, there will be displays by various organizations, such as the Winthrop Historical Society, and, for the first time this year, live music by local musicians.

“It’s been a pretty good show,” Fuller said. “We’ve had good success with it.”

The first festival does include new events, such as the art mural walks scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon. Participants in the guided walking tours of the town’s downtown murals will meet at the corner of Union and Main streets.

From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., the Charles M. Bailey Public Library on Bowdoin Street will host Naturalist as Artist, which will explore natural objects through the eyes of a scientist. Those who attend also will learn tricks of drawing those objects.

Returning events include the bake sale and luncheon from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lawn at 10 Bowdoin St. The luncheon, hosted by the Winthrop Congregational Church, includes lobster rolls.

Children’s events, scheduled for 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the athletic fields below Winthrop Grade School, will feature a climbing wall for the first time. Events will include strider bike rides, pickup kickball, a moon bounce, snow cones and popcorn.

Award-winning central Maine musicians the Veayo Twins will provide music for a special Saturday edition of the Concerts at Norcross Point series. The concert is set for 2 to 4 p.m.

Saturday’s events wrap up at 4:30 p.m. with the fourth annual Family Barbecue & Gumbo Festival to End Hunger in the parking lot below the grade school. Hosted by the Winthrop Area Rotary Foundation, of which Fuller is a member, the event offers not only gumbo, but also vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as a pig roast.

Live music during the meal will be by Rick & Rog and Hoop Jam.

Rotarians already have started preparing the food for the barbecue, Fuller said. She is expecting a turnout that matches or exceeds last year’s crowd of roughly 500.

“We are ready,” Fuller said.

Proceeds from the barbecue will help support the Winthrop Food Pantry, the Winthrop Hot Meals Kitchen and other local hunger relief efforts.

Tickets to the barbecue cost $12 per person or $40 per family. Advance tickets are available at Paris Farmers Union on Royal Street, but most of the tickets will be sold at the gate, Fuller said.

The festival wraps up Sunday with the United Hillandaler’s Challenge 5K Obstacle Course Race, scheduled for 8:30 a.m., and the Concerts at Norcross Point series from 2 to 4 p.m.

Almost all of the events, except the barbecue, are free, Fuller said, making it an appealing option for families.

“It’s a really great thing,” she said. “There’s tons of free stuff for families to come out and do.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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