Eastport Salmon Festival – 2012

We arrived in Eastport just in time for the annual Salmon Festival although this is the last year they are calling it that. We were talking with a woman from the Chamber of Commerce and she said that they’ve decided to change the name but they haven’t decided what they will change it to yet.

For the festival the downtown section of Water Street, which is the street closest to the harbor, was blocked-off on both ends and at least a dozen stands from local businesses and other vendors were set up on the street. Two large tents with tables and chairs were set up in a small parking lot next to the harbor with a small stage on one end.

Water street in downtown Eastport during the Salmon Festival
Water street in downtown Eastport during the Salmon Festival

When we first came through on Saturday there was a local band on stage with about ten musicians four of whom were playing ukeleles. The band leader played a kazoo and they were a lot better than you might think from this description. They played several Jimmy Buffet pieces and a number of other light tunes and got a lot of applause after each song. They were followed by a guitar and accordion duo that played folk and Celtic tunes that got their share of applause as well.

Ukelele and Kazoo Band
Ukelele and Kazoo Band

On Saturday there was a chowder sampling at lunch time with a half dozen different chowders to choose from. We each had a bowl of salmon chowder and I went back for a bowl of a seafood chowder. Although the seafood chowder had lobster in it the salmon chowder was better by far.

Salmon chowder

Salmon chowder

We got a couple of apple popovers for Susan at a bakery stand and I got some maple-pecan granola from a stand where a mom was supporting her son’s cross-country bicycle ride. The popovers and granola were quite good, so much so that when we came back on Sunday we bought more of each. On Sunday Susan also got a pair of earrings made from sea glass made by a local artist that are quite striking.

On Sunday there was a grilled salmon dinner. They were selling tickets for the dinner faster than they could get the salmon off the grills so I had to wait a bit before I could bring our plates back to where Susan was waiting. Grilled potatoes, corn on the cob, rolls and a dessert was included and only $12. I heard one of the organizers say that they had enough salmon for six-hundred people and that they hoped they didn’t run out.

Salmon dinner
Salmon dinner

Several local groups had raffles, but the proceeds from the Chamber of Commerce’s raffle was intended to help pay for a set of public restrooms in downtown Eastport. For such a good cause I couldn’t help but get $20 worth of tickets.

The weather over this weekend has mostly been cooperative. On Saturday we had mostly blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s. Sunday started off the same way but a lot windier and when the clouds came in a bit after noontime it got a lot cooler.

On our drive to Eastport we noticed the first faint signs of Autumn. For the most part the trees haven’t actually changed color yet, but the shade of green that trees have changes with the season and you can definitely tell it is late Summer. Normally, where we used to live in Massachusetts the trees didn’t start changing color until late September, but we are in northern Maine so they will probably start earlier here.

We were at the Eastport Salmon Festival last year and I think that this year’s was a bit better. There were more vendors on the street and more people attending. It is evident that Eastport’s economy has improved as there are several new businesses downtown and a number of the buildings are undergoing renovation. We like Eastport a lot and are pleased to see that it seems to be doing well.

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