The Brick Store Museum is putting on its first Kennebunk Heritage & Culutre Festival this year, July 11-14. Photo by Amy Paradysz

“History doesn’t really stop anywhere,” said Cynthia Walker, executive director of The Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk. “It just continues.”

That’s why the first Kennebunk Heritage & Culture Festival includes high fashion inspired by indigenous people, interactions with Civil War re-enactors, walking tours past ship captains’ mansions, an early 20th-century garden party and a modern-day exhibit, called “The Art of Cute,” in collaboration with Illustration Institute and sponsored by The Crewe Foundation.

“Since we’re a local history and art museum, we decided to do a heritage festival to highlight not just maritime history or art history but all types of history of Kennebunk,” Walker said.

Festivities begin July 11 with a Maine lobster bake (6-8 p.m.) at the Brick Store Museum courtyard, hosted by board president David Moravick ($65 registration online). Guests at this fundraiser will be the first to view a fashion display by Decontie & Brown, a Wabanaki husband-and-wife haute couture fashion house based in Bangor.

On Friday night of the festival, the focus is on art with the opening of a new exhibit by oil painter Ken Fellows and a drawing workshop for various ages led by All Hands Collective (5-8 p.m., free). (Also, the Kennebunk Free Library Road Race on Main Street starts at 6 p.m., making the Museum a great spot for spectators.)

The festival kicks into high gear on Saturday with old-fashioned fun around town. At Field Day at Parsons Field (19 Park St.), the 3rd Maine Regiment Volunteers will be in their Civil War apparel, talking about life during that period in the Kennebunks. Lighter entertainment includes lawn games, kites, races and a cursive workshop with all the flourishes of days gone by. Field Day is all free (except food truck purchases) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Back at the Museum, a narrated walking tour leaving at noon (or multiple tours, depending on crowd size) will take historic architecture lovers past a cluster of mansions once inhabited by ship captains ($10).


Then there’s a Saturday afternoon garden party (3-5 p.m.) at George Lord Little House, an 1875 Victorian mansion, with iced tea and sweet and savory early 20th-century treats and a chance to tour the mansion’s interior (tickets $35 in advance).

Sunday’s event, the History Mystery Tour, is inspired by Maine Historical Museum’s popular fundraiser with a similar name. Participants start at the museum, where they receive a map of the 10 surprise locations around Kennebunk and set out at their own pace ($10).

“The History Mystery Tour is about discovering places that we pass by every day,” Walker said. “You’ll hear about the people who created these places, worked at these places and preserved these places.”

Museum admission is free throughout the four-day festival. Tickets to the lobster bake and garden party are available in advance at, and admission to the tours can be purchased online or at the museum (117 Main St., Kennebunk). For more information, call 985-4802.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer from Scarborough.

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