Both Camden and Thomaston offer a range of activities to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Around here, Fourth of July weekend is considered the real kickoff to summer. Consider renting one of our fine local homes so you can be here to join in all the festivities!
When I was a kid, the town of Thomaston, just south of Rockland, was the place to go on the Fourth. We’d head over there from Camden first thing in the morning to spend the day at the home of family friends, where we’d watch the road race and parade in the morning, eat and play all day, and enjoy what was then the area’s only fireworks display at night. Camden now offers its own set of events for the Fourth, but my fond memories of celebrating the Fourth in Thomaston remain. Both towns put a lot of effort into offering a variety of entertainment for all ages.
Thomaston’s traditional Independence Day celebration kicks off with a pancake breakfast in the Masonic Temple on Main Street. After stuffing yourself, you can run it off by participating in the 5K Firecracker Race (there’s a one-mile fun run for kids), which starts at 8:30 AM. The Craft Tent opens at 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM, and there’s a Pet Show at 9:15 AM–even Fido and Fluffy can get in on the fun!
The big parade starts at 11:00 AM, moving south through Main Street. Main Street is Route One, so don’t plan on driving through town for a while. This year’s parade theme is “Hometown Proud – Hometown Talent.”
After the parade, at noon, booths offer food, face painting, souvenirs, and more right up until the evening fireworks show. Also happening: a chicken barbecue and two bouncy houses (to raise money for future Fourths), a hot dog eating contest, the Cod Adams Memorial Horseshoe Tournament, and live music from The Scolded Dogs and Animal House. All this is going on right downtown, mainly behind the block of businesses along the west side of Main Street.
Local band Animal House will play until the fireworks show at 9:15 PM. In the event of rain or fog, the show will be rescheduled to July 5. For more information, click here.
Camden’s Independence Day celebration takes place primarily in scenic waterfront Harbor Park right downtown. From 2:00 to 9:00 PM, Camden Rotary Club’s Music by the Sea concert features a series of free performances by (in order): Mes Amis (acoustic gypsy jazz), Casco Bay Wind Symphony, Roosevelt Dime (rhythm and blues), and finally, The Lowdown, featuring local singer-songwriter David Dodson (folk, rock, blues, and country). The music will play until the fireworks show begins. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch or dinner and plan to stay awhile. Click here for more information.
Fireworks over the harbor start at 9:00 PM. Several of the area schooners offer Fourth of July evening cruises, so you can watch the display from out on the bay, with the Camden Hills as a stunning backdrop. Check out the cover of the July 2016 issue of Down East Magazine for a beautiful shot of this spectacular show–now, doesn’t that make you want to be here?