When the Winthrop Summer Festival launched last year, it was an outgrowth of an event that had already been happening for 27 years, the Sidewalk Art Show held downtown on Saturday.

This year’s festival will include many of the same offerings — live music, a barbecue organized by the Winthrop Area Rotary Foundation, a 5K obstacle course — but organizers have upped the ante. The festivities will now start a day earlier, on Friday, and feature a new event: a night devoted to poetry.

The inspiration for the poetry night came from Sarah Fuller, president of the Winthrop Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the art show, according to a news release.

After a reading in Winthrop by renowned poet Richard Blanco last summer, the release states, Fuller “thought a grand idea would be to declare an official poetry day for the town of Winthrop to take place each Friday” before the art show.

The poetry night will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Coffee and Cones on Main Street. Any poets, young or old, novice or practiced, will be free to drop their name in a hat and, if it’s picked, read a poem.

At 6:30 p.m. at Cafe at 130, across the street, Maine poet Jay Franzel will deliver a reading, and musician Brian Kavanah will play covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and other artists. Also beginning at 6:30 p.m., Sully’s Tavern will host poet David Moreau and musician Rick Dale.

According to the news release, organizers also have convinced 50 poets from around the state to donate sealed copies of their original poems, which will be placed in baskets at each event and provided to guests for free.

The festival will continue Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s events will include a 7 to 9 a.m. breakfast at the Winthrop Grange, the sidewalk art show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street, paddling opportunities at the town beach, and various other sales, art shows, concerts and smaller fairs at locations around town.

There also will be a mural painting from 1 to 7 p.m. behind Winthrop Grade School and recreational pickle ball for all ages between 3 and 7 p.m. at 29 Town Hall Lane.

The barbecue will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the football field behind the grade school, with proceeds benefiting the Rotary’s efforts to end hunger in the area.

On Sunday, the Helluva Hill 5k Obstacle Course will be held at United Fitness & Marshal Arts on Route 133 at 8:30 a.m. Later that day, concerts and an open mic event will be held at Norcross Point from 2 to 4 p.m.

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