A large and diverse fleet of windjammers, schooners, historic yachts, and sail boats will drop their sails and land in Camden Harbor on Sept. 2 to celebrate the annual Camden Windjammer festival. Kicking off the three-day festival that will focus on Maine’s maritime heritage and the coast’s windjammer history, the fleet is expected to be welcomed by thousands who flock to the area for a taste of the seafaring life.

The full schedule is available at camdenwindjammerfestival.com/events.

Over the course of the past two decades Camden’s annual windjammer celebration in its various forms has become a popular event for tourists as well as locals. The annual Camden Windjammer Festival is a celebration of Midcoast Windjammers and the living traditions of maritime heritage that make today’s fleet such an integral part of coastal Maine life. Every year on Labor Day weekend, thousands of visitors from across the country and just across town gather along Camden’s wharfs and parks to explore the ships themselves, learn salty crafts and skills, and swap sea stories and songs in talent shows and concerts that appeal to landlubbers and maritime types alike.

This year, Camden is going the extra nautical mile with a full schedule of events to celebrate the history of windjammers in Maine with a harbor full of beautiful vessels – including 14 historic rigged vessels still working in a commercial capacity and more. By contrast, bringing the waterfront well into the 21st century will be the US Navy’s fast frigate USS John L Hall who will be visiting for the entire weekend.

“This festival has so many things to offer all of our visitors from couples who are looking for romance at sea to dog lovers who fancy seeing Rover dressed up as a sailor, to families who want to build and race their own makeshift boats on Camden harbor,” said Dan Bookham, executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber, in a news release. “Watching the fleet arrive is an event in itself as all the ships with full sails come into the harbor makes for a spectacular sight.”