It was fifty years ago, in 1968, that Hallowellians celebrated their first Old Hallowell Day. As the story goes, the city’s bicentennial in 1962 had been such a great success that (once they fully recovered from it) citizens eventually decided to throw a citywide party every year on the third Saturday of July.

Through the years and, indeed decades, hundreds of dedicated volunteers have pitched in and lent a hand; area businesses have generously helped to underwrite expenses. And generations of residents and visitors have made an annual tradition of celebrating Old Hallowell Day from the early morning road race and the big parade to the spectacular fireworks finale on the banks of the Kennebec.

Again this year, as was the case half a century ago and every year since the very first Old Hallowell Day, there will be exhibits at the Harlow Gallery and at the Hubbard Free Library, a luncheon at the American Legion hall, festivities at the Cotton Mill, the Hallowell Community Band and other musical performances, arts and crafts, and of course, food. Other traditions – such as the road race, cribbage, bocce, the bake-off, and of course, the parade and the fireworks – have sprung up over the years and also become an integral part of the day.

Each year, Old Hallowell Day is all about class reunions and family gatherings; a chance to catch up with old friends, and enjoy making new acquaintances; a time to share and savor old memories and to create new ones.

Though some early Old Hallowell Day events – historical reenactment pageants, for example, Flying Farmer airshows and house tours in which ladies were asked to kindly remove their spike heels (!) so as not to mar pristine wooden floors – have gone by the wayside, the sense of community pride and appreciation for all there is to celebrate in Hallowell remains stronger than ever.

Here is the schedule of events for Old Hallowell Day 2018 although for last minute updates, please visit, check out the Old Hallowell Day Facebook page, call 207 462-4067 or inquire in person at the information booth on Old Hallowell Day.

Old Hallowell Days 2018 SCHEDULE
Through Sunday, July 22nd
Old Hallowell Day Poster for sale at Boynton’s Market, City Hall, Hubbard Free Library, and online. Price: $20. Old Hallowell Day 2018 commemorative buttons for sale, $3 each, limited quantity. T-shirts for sale for $15.

Thursday, July 19th
6 pm – Old Hallowell Day Art Poster Print Signing, Harlow Gallery and Craft Shop, 100 Water Street. Meet the 2018 Old Hallowell Day artist Jen Greta Cart and have your 2018 commemorative poster print signed and personally inscribed.

Friday, July 20th
Noon – 6 pm – Summer Members’ Show (upstairs) 3 Faces/3 Forces (downstairs) Harlow Gallery and Craft Shop, 100 Water Street

5 pm – 6:30 pm – Lobster Roll Supper, St. Matthew and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 20 Union St. with parking on Academy St. Menu: Lobster Roll, Chips, Pickle, Beverage, Homemade Pie $18.00; or Hot Dog Roll, Chips, Pickle, Beverage, Homemade Pie $8.00.

5:30 pm – The 26th Annual Cribbage Tournament, Hydeout at the Wharf, Water StreetCome show off your best moves and strategy. The tournament is single elimination and you must sign up at Hydeout at the Wharf beginning at 5:30 pm. Play begins at 6 pm. $10 entry fee. Bring a cribbage board and deck of cards. $75 first prize and $50 second prize. Sorry, but play is limited to adults.

7:30 pm – 9 pm – Red Cloak Haunted History Tour of Hallowell. Join The Lady in the Red Cloak for a lantern-lit walking tour of Hallowell. Discover the back streets and hidden stories of this “Antique Riverport,” its mysteries and haunts. The moderate walk is suitable for all ages and is by reservation only. 207-380-3806 or online.

 Saturday, July 21st
6 am – 7 am – Old Hallowell Day 5K Road Race Registration, Vaughan Field, Vaughan Field Way near Middle & Lincoln Streets. This is the same site that has been used for the finish area in recent years.

7 am – 9:30 am – Old Hallowell Day Café, Sacred Heart Parish Hall, Summer Street
Serving a breakfast of mixed fruit, yogurt, juice, pancakes, bacon, kielbasa hash, bagels, English muffins, coffee cakes, muffins and Bolley’s famous donut holes. Plenty of good “wake-up coffee” and other beverages. Children under 12: $3.00, others: $5.00, family: $15.00

7:30 am – Old Hallowell Day 5K Road Race, Vaughan Field, Vaughan Field Way near Middle & Lincoln Streets. Start and finish at Vaughan Field. Out and back course along Middle Street. Spectators welcome.

7:30 am – Hills and Thrills Bike Ride,  Hallowell Boat Landing The 4th Annual Hills and Thrills bike ride takes cyclists on a 20-25 mile journey through the beautiful rolling hills of Hallowell and neighboring communities. For those who prefer more of a challenge, there is a hilly detour that adds another mile and an additional 200 feet of climb. This detour ascends one of the more notable hills in Hallowell – Central Street.  This recreational ride is for moderately experienced cyclists. Due to the distance and the hills, beginners and children will not do well.

8 am – Old Hallowell Day Fun Run for Children 10 and under. Vaughan Field, Vaughan Field Way near Middle & Lincoln Streets. Participant refreshments and 5K awards.

8 am – 1 pm – Second Annual Yard Sale, Cox Memorial United Methodist Church, Central and Middle Streets The church hosts its Indoor Yard Sale and Bake Sale with all proceeds benefited the Hall -Dale Elementary School Food Pantry hosted at the church. Items in the Indoor Yard Sale are “sold” by donation versus any set pricing. The church also offers free parking, restroom facilities and bottled water for those making the trip up the hill to stop in and shop or just rest a while.

8 am – 2 pm – Cotton Mill Fair, Cotton Mill Apartments, 2 Academy Street Stop by for fresh donuts and coffee ($1), lobster rolls ($9), or hot dog plates ($3.50). An individual hot dog and roll, $2. Water and soda, $1. An assortment of baked goods and baked beans will be offered. Also a White Elephant Table along with discounted crafts, jewelry and plants. Check out a raffle table of gift cards and gifts donated by local merchants.

8:30 am – 11 am – “Anything Goes As Long As It’s Flat” Old Hallowell Day 2018 Bake-Off, Slates Bakery parking lot, 161 Water Street For this year’s bake-off, Old Hallowell Day announces a fun and different contest coinciding with the “Down with the Crown” Water Street improvements in downtown Hallowell. All bakers are invited to “construct” their best and most original entry with the theme “anything goes as long as it’s flat” – think cookies, brownies, bruschetta, tortillas.  Contestants must bring a flat item that is divided into 12 equal portions or 12 individual serving items, such as cookies. The categories are: Best Flat Savory and Best Flat Dessert. There will be first and second place prizes for Adult and Under 15 for each category. NOTE new time! Entry drop off begins at 8:30 am, and the contest starts promptly at 9:30 am. Check out the unique entries. All contest entries will be sold for $1.00 each.

9 am – 1 pm – Hubbard Free Library GIANT BOOK SALE, 115 Second Street Terrific bargains on large selection of fiction and nonfiction, paperback and hardcover, as well as videos and audio books. For all ages and interests.

9 am – 3 pm – Hallowell Citizens Initiative Committee booth, Water Street in front of McAllister’s Real Estate Stop by to learn more about the community’s commitment to restoring the fire station hose tower. Support the efforts and buy a T-shirt for $15.

9 am – 3 pm – “Down with the Crown” booth, Water Street in front of McAllister’s Real Estate
“Down with the Crown” supports Hallowell’s people and businesses during the reconstruction of Water Street. Stop by to learn more or check out our website here.

9 am – 1 pm – Literacy Volunteers Children’s Bookmark Making, Hubbard Free Library, 115 Second Street Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta will hold a children’s bookmark making activity in support of family literacy. Table will be located just inside the library. There is no cost for families to craft a bookmark together. All materials are provided.

9 am – 1 pm – Sale of student work (with a pottery wheel demonstration at 11:30) Hallowell Clay Works, 157 Water Street

9 am – 2 pm – Hallowell Age-Friendly Committee booth, Water Street in front of McAllister’s Real Estate Visit Hallowell’s Age-Friendly booth and sample a great fruit smoothie made with a bicycle-power blender! Learn about Hallowell’s Age-Friendly Committee’s action plan and view a selection of adaptive tools for everyday living spotlighting an extensive selection of items to make people safer in their homes and make it easier to do household tasks. Special information and publications from AARP Maine will be available as well.

9 am – 3 pm – Old Hallowell Day Committee Booth, Central & Water StreetSwing by to pick up your free schedule of events. The booth will be selling posters, T-shirts, buttons and raffle tickets.
9 am – 4 pm – Arts and Crafts Festival, Central and Water Streets and McAllisters Real Estate. Come and see arts and crafts presented by local and not-so-local artisans and crafters. Find unique gifts for an upcoming birthday, wedding … or for yourself! There will be first, second and third place ribbons.

9 am – 9 pm – Old Hallowell Day Food Court, Granite City Park, the base of Winthrop Street
Enjoy a snack, lunch or dinner in Granite City Park at the base of Winthrop Street by the beautiful Kennebec River where sturgeons may be jumping and eagles may be flying. Vendors will be open from right after the parade until after the fireworks.

10 am – 10:45 am – Old Hallowell Day parade down Water Street An annual favorite! Pick your spot early. Wheelchair seating in front of the judges’ stand at the corner of Water and Wharf Streets offered.

10 am – 2 pm -“Water Street Then and Now!” pop-up museum, Hubbard Free Library, 115 Second Street Come see a display of artifacts uncovered during the reconstruction of Water Street and other recent projects around town. Open during Old Hallowell Day and beyond! This pop-up, mini-museum is presented by the Historical Hallowell Committee in cooperation with the library and features a selection of historic downtown photos from the Library collection.

10 am – 4 pm – Open House for Kennebec Masonic Lodge 5, 330 Water Street – across from Maine Tourism Association Early Hallowell was founded by people who shared a passion for Education, Arts, Sciences, Social, Civic and Moral virtues. In 1796 Paul Revere, Grand Master of Massachusetts, chartered the early founders of Hallowell to open a Masonic Lodge named “Kennebec.” The Kennebec Lodge of Masons has been active in the community for 220 years promoting the same moral and civic values. Plenty of parking around the back of the building.

11 am – Noon – Hallowell Community Band, Cotton Mill Courtyard, Water Street. The Hallowell Community Band will continue their tradition of entertaining you with many of your old favorites. Again this year, the performance is hosted by the Cotton Mill residents.

11 am – Noon – Old Hallowell Day Art Poster Print Signing, Harlow Gallery and Craft Shop, 100 Water Street Meet the 2018 Old Hallowell Day artist Jen Greta Cart and have your 2018 commemorative poster print signed and personally inscribed.

11 am – 1 pm – Strawberry Shortcake Luncheon, American Legion Hall, 114 Second Street
An annual tradition. Stop in for a sandwich, chips, a beverage and, of course, the Legion’s famous strawberry shortcake – a freshly baked dessert biscuit smothered in fresh Maine strawberries and heaped with whipped cream topping for $6.

11 am (or after the parade) – 1 pm -“The Heavenly Bites of Hallowell,” Old South Congregational Church, 2 Chestnut Street Do you have a bar or cookie recipe that your friends and family rave about?  Enter it in the community taste competition. The judges: anyone who attends Old Hallowell Day. Winners will be announced just after 1 pm.  Prize: Old South Etched Slate, Blue Ribbon and bragging rights. Categories: Chocolate or Not Chocolate. To enter please email [email protected] by July 15. Please include your name and category. And, plan to deliver at least one 9×13 pan of bars (do NOT cut) or 3 dozen cookies to Old South by 10 am on Old Hallowell Day. To judge, a $5.00 entrance fee will allow you to taste one of as many bars/cookies as you like and then vote on the most heavenly in each category.
11 am (or after the parade) – 2 pm – Super Fun in Motion, Vaughan Field Way, near Lincoln and Middle Streets Children and families are invited to the 6th Annual Super Fun in Motion hosted by the Hearts for Ezra Foundation.  Come listen to music by Mark Horn. Super Fun in Motion! is an amazing children’s event celebrating how strong and active our bodies can be. Fun includes 2 bounce houses, a kids’ obstacle course provided by Kennebec Valley Coaching, face painting, arts and crafts, and more. Fresh Ella’s Ice Cream Truck will be on site selling yummy treats.  Fun for all ages.

11 am – 1 pm – Firefighters’ Lunch, Slates Bakery parking lot, 161 Water Street
Come have lunch with your favorite firefighters. Menu will include hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and assorted drinks by donation.

11 am – 3 pm – “Touch a truck!” Old Hallowell Fire Station, 124 Second Street
Join us for the opportunity to “touch a truck.” Kids will be able to sit in and play with our fire trucks.

Noon – 2 pm – ‘Create and Take’ button making, Harlow Gallery and Craft Shop (downstairs), 100 Water Street. By donation.

Noon – 6 pm – Summer Members’ Show (upstairs) 3 Faces/3 Forces (downstairs) Harlow Gallery and Craft Shop, 100 Water Street.

Noon – Swingtime, City Bandstand, Water Street. Kicking off this year’s entertainment perennial favorites Swingtime! Elaine Bender and her crew of exceptional local players return to Old Hallowell Day with a fabulous collection of songs from the golden age of American music. Whether dancing or just listening, everyone is sure to enjoy the sounds of Swingtime!

1 pm – 4 pm – Bocce Tournament,  Vaughan Field, Vaughan Field Way near Middle & Lincoln Streets. Come and enjoy traditional lawn bowling. Elegant in its simplicity, bocce is played between two teams of two players on a team. Learn about the game at the US Bocce Federation website. Entry fee: $15 per team. Prizes presented for first, second and third place teams. Register at Boynton’s Market. Play is limited to 16 teams so register early. First come, first serve. Didn’t make the list? Stop by the bocce field on OHD and you may find a spot. Sponsored by Fortin & MacDonald Real Estate.

1:30 pm – Primo Cubano, City Bandstand, Water Street Welcome back a favorite: Primo Cubano plays traditional Cuban dance music dating back to the turn of the 20th Century. Son is the most popular style to come out of Cuba and is the primary contributor to the blend of Latin styles today known as Salsa. A music of the country people, it migrated to Havana and now with Primo Cubano to Maine.

3 pm – Mes Amis, City Bandstand, Water Street Mes Amis means “my friends,” but it also means Gypsy Jazz! Led by guitarist, vocalist and composer Steve Lynnworth – and featuring Shane Ellis on clarinet and saxophone, Harry Richter on rhythm guitar and Wells Gordon on upright bass, the quartet plays an infectious mix of traditional Gypsy, Latin and American jazz standards along with many original compositions. Insistent rhythms, bouncing bass lines and sweetly intricate melodies are easy on the ears for those unfamiliar with jazz and can stand the scrutiny of an aficionado.

4:30 pm – The Cavemen, City Bandstand, Water Street Fronted by Hallowell icon Jeffrey Farnsworth, The Cavemen always get the crowd going. These boys thump to the stalwart rhythm section of Greg “The Shiv” Lindholm on bass and Derek “D-Rock” Gannett on drums (Both of School Street Band fame.)

6 pm – Tim Sullivan Band, City Bandstand, Water Street Tim Sullivan has a long history of popular musical projects in Maine. He is currently the leader of both The Maine Dead Project and The Shakes. Tim recently released his third solo CD “From The Root Cellar” to rave reviews. From the first downbeat The Tim Sullivan Band will have you dancing with their powerful groove.

7:30 pm – Hallowell Does Neil Young, City Bandstand, Water Street The folks who brought us tributes to The Last Waltz, Woodstock, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan are turning their attention this Old Hallowell Day to the music of Neil Young. Some of our hometown’s finest musicians once again come together to honor the enduring music of a rock and roll legend.

9 pm – Fireworks, Downtown Hallowell
The Grand Finale! Fireworks will be set off from Butter Nut Park on the Chelsea side of the Kennebec. The fireworks will be presented by Central Pyrotechnics. Bring the whole family…it’s a delightful way to cap off Old Hallowell Day.

Sunday, July 22nd
Noon – Raffle Prizes Drawing, Boynton’s Market, Water Street

Noon – 4 pm -Summer Members’ Show (upstairs) 3 Faces/3 Forces (downstairs) Harlow Gallery and Craft Shop, 100 Water Street

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.