Maine’s capital city of Augusta is a favorite place to visit for both residents and tourists looking for a summertime outing. Don’t miss the Riverside Flavorfest 2018 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on June 9 in the Mill Park. Enjoy beer on draft, food trucks, music and fun! The Patriots Cheerleaders will be there from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. for a meet and greet. For more information visit

One of the highlights of the summer is the annual Whatever Family Festival which offers many fun activities throughout the Kennebec Valley for the entire family.
Most of the activities are free, with more than 100 area businesses joining in to make the festival possible each year.

The Greater Gardiner River Festival, June 23, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., kicks off the annual summer celebration again this year. Activities planned include an open-air craft fair on historic Water Street, live music and entertainment all day, active outdoor “field day” events for all ages, a talent show, games and giveaways, specialty food vendors, a chainsaw sculpting demonstration, a blacksmith demonstration, and a fireworks display at dusk. The event is expected to bring thousands to the area.

Kennebec River Day, June 30, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., will replace the Kids’ Day in Capitol Park that was formerly a part of the celebration. This is an event for all ages. It will include games and activities for children, craft vendors, food trucks, live music and entertainment. It will be held at Mill Park located on State Street in Augusta. For more information about other events planned for the Whatever Family Festival, see

Old Fort Western, located at 16 Cony Street in Augusta, will be open throughout the summer for general tours. This year they will again participate in the city’s Independence Day celebration on July 4. Visitors will have the opportunity throughout the day to tour the Fort, Store and House to view period rooms and exhibits and to talk with historical interpreters about daily life in the 18th century.

Daniel Savage’s Company will be present to demonstrate life as Revolutionary War soldiers and their role at Fort Western. At 12 noon, a special ceremony will be held in accordance with George Washington’s orders given on July 4, 1778 by “firing thirteen Pieces of Cannon” honoring the original colonies, followed by the lowering of the British colors and the raising of the new American flag.


At 4 p.m., the Augusta Parade will begin at the State House and end at Fort Western. At 5:30 p.m., Augusta’s Mayor, David Rollins, will give the traditional reading of the Declaration of Independence in 18th century costume. A “feu de joie” (musket salute) by Daniel Savage’s Company will accompany the reading. Admission will be free for Augusta residents. There will be a fireworks display at Mill Park at 9 p.m.

In addition to the general tours, there will be two adult education opportunities at the Fort. One program “Introduction to life as a French & Indian War soldier” will be held on June 16 and July 14. During that session, participants will experience what life was like for soldiers during the French and Indian War in Maine. The program will include the daily life of a soldier, an introduction to war, followed by a mustering into military service. After going through musket firing protocols, participants will be given the opportunity to fire an actual musket (no ball – only black powder). Proof of background check or Teaching Certificate will be required to fire the musket.

A second program “Introduction to daily life during the 18th century” will be held on July 21 and July 28. Participants in this program will have the opportunity to experience daily life in 18th century Maine that will include dressing in period clothing, working in the garden, cutting wood for the kitchen hearth, fetching water, building a fire on the hearth and cooking food for afternoon tea.

Each five-hour program requires pre-registration. CEUs are available for teachers. Participants need to be at least 16 years of age.

An apprenticeship program for children (ages 8-12) will be held August 6-31 at Fort Western.

Children attending any of the week-long sessions during that time period will experience life in the 18th century by exploring life at home, the varied world of work (blacksmithing, midwifery and storekeeping), the life of a French and Indian War soldier and what children and adults participated in for entertainment. Graduates of the apprenticeship program become eligible to participate in the Junior Interpreter Program (ages 13 and up). Interpreters will assist with the apprenticeship program, in which youth will learn about collections management, how to interpret the history of the Fort, develop necessary skills for demonstrating 18th century hands-on activities to the public, and learn how to conduct research by reading and deciphering original documents.


The James Howard’s Company re-enactors of Fort Western will hold an encampment at Fort Western August 25-26, representing the summer of 1758, when the Kennebec forts were under threat of attack by the Abenaki Indians. The members of the garrison will have a boat drill on Saturday morning, putting the fort’s bateau into the river in front of the fort and firing the boat’s swivel guns. In the afternoon, the soldiers will practice different types of musket fire. Sunday there will be a soldiers’ worship service in the morning.

For more information on any of the programs at Fort Western call 626-2385.

Maine State Museum
Marine Mammals of Maine (a non-profit organization dedicated to marine mammal and sea turtle response, rescue, care, research, and education) will offer a free, hour-long program “Charismatic Creatures: Marine Wildlife in Maine Waters” at the Maine State Library and Museum at 2 p.m. on Friday, August 10. The program is for all ages.

Bug Maine-ia with lots of exhibitors provides fun, educational activities related to the creepy, crawly world of bugs. It will be held at the Maine State Museum and Library from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11. Admission to the museum is free that day.

The Maine State Museum’s newest exhibition “Maine + Jewish: Two Centuries” will open on Friday, September 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be special events and activities. Admission to the museum is free that day as well.

Farmer’s Market
The farmer’s market at Turnpike Mall (the corner of Western Avenue and Whitten Road) is open Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. late May through October. Vendors there offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, baked goods, and more. They’re open rain or shine.


Some of the scheduled events at the Maine State Museum June – September

Fri., Aug. 10, 2 p.m.
Charismatic Creatures: Marine Wildlife in Maine Waters at the Maine State Library and Maine State Museum in Augusta. Free and geared to all ages.

Tues., Sept. 11,
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Bug Maine-ia at the Maine State Museum in Augusta. Lots of exhibitors with fun, educational activities about the creepy, crawly world of bugs. Free admission all day.

Fri., Sept. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Opening of the Maine State Museum’s Newest Exhibition, Maine + Jewish: Two Centuries. Special events and activities. Free admission all day.

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