Belfast Rotary will host Harbor Fest, with boat building, racing and food

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The Rotary Club of Belfast’s 15th annual Harbor Fest on Friday August 19, Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21 will fill Belfast’s waterfront with a live, silent auction kicking off the Friday night event at the new United Farmers Market building on Front Street.

The free three-day celebration of the city’s maritime history and traditions will include the National Boatbuilding Challenge competition, this year with $1,750 in cash prizes, a harborside display of classic boats, tours of the shipyard from Front Street, the Come Boating! rowing regatta, the 5km “Bug Run” road race, blueberry pancake breakfast, live music, food trucks, children’s activities and the popular Sunday morning cardboard boat race .

“Belfast Harbor Fest is back, bigger and better than ever,” longtime Rotary Club event chairman Duke Marston said in a press release. “As many as eight National Boatbuilding Challenge teams will compete for a top prize of $1,000. Touch-A-Truck is back, as are Kids Activities, Boat Gear Swap and Blueberry Pancake Lunch and Cardboard Boat Race. Harbor Fest is a celebration for Belfast and everyone who is here during the event. Rotary is sure everyone will have a great time.

“Evening By the Bay” live and silent auctions begin at 5:30 p.m. in the new United Farmers Market building at 15 Front Street. This year’s auctions, the proceeds of which will benefit the Waldo County Technical Center Student Fund, will include restaurant and experience gift certificates, as well as artwork including oil painting original Sandy Dolan “Summer Breeze”, the chart chosen by Harbor Fest 2022.

Saturday is anchored by the National Boatbuilding Challenge, which begins at 11 a.m. Couples of builders race against the clock and each other to finish and race 12-foot skiffs built from the ground up in less than four hours. Cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 are sponsored by John and Pat Carrick, Mathews Brothers and an anonymous donor. Boat building begins after the 5K “Bug Run” (sponsored by First National Bank and First National Wealth Management) starting on the hill above Steamboat Landing and ending at the Boathouse where breakfast will be held at blueberry pancakes (sponsored by Nordic Aquafarms). Saturday is also the day for free tours of the Front Street Shipyard at 11 a.m. and noon. An all-day adventure boat and outdoor gear show, the 21st Annual Come Boating! Harbor Rowing Regatta, music at the Steamboat Landing Lookout, food trucks and activities for children.

The Belfast Harbor Fest ends on Sunday morning with the Cardboard Boat Race (sponsored by the Front Street Shipyard), with the ever-popular ‘Best Shipwreck’ award, followed by a lobster cookout gala to benefit Waldo County Habitat for Humanity.

The Rotary Club’s Marston thanked the event’s dozens of sponsors, exhibitors, vendors and boat building participants, including major sponsors First National Bank, First National Wealth Management, City of Belfast, Front Street Shipyard, Nordic Aquafarms , Down East Credit Union, United Farmers Market, Mathews Brothers, Waldo County General Hospital, Bangor Savings Bank, Viking Lumber, Blueberry Broadcasting, Hamlin’s Marine, Robbins Lumber Company, Hammond Lumber, K Construction, Varney Agency, Cold Mountain Builders, Coyote Moon , Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug Co., Viking Lumber, J Black Printing, Cornerspring Montessori School and Belmont Boatworks. For more information on Harbor Fest, visit belfastharborfest.com.

The Belfast Rotary Club, founded in 1925, is one of the largest and most active clubs in Maine. Its members meet in person or via Zoom on Wednesdays at noon at the Shrine Club in Belfast. The club raises funds throughout the year through activities such as the Belfast Harbor Fest, an annual charity golf tournament, 5k road races and pancake lunches. His more than $140,000 in annual giving includes support for seven food pantries, year-end clothing and toys for 200 children, and $80,000 in scholarships for local high school students. For more information on membership or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Club’s year-round service programs, visit belfastrotary.org.

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