Those who like their entertainment al fresco have plenty of options in the coming weeks, and the Independence Day holiday offers music, dancing and more — and fireworks overhead, as well.

Thomaston brings it on

Thomaston’s Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration is the coastal town’s biggest day of the year, one townsfolk share with people from near and far. This year’s sees the return of a long-missing element — yes, the carnival is back. East Coast Midways Carnival is setting up at the ballfield next to Lura Libby School.

Carnival hours will be 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, Wednesday, July 3, and Friday, July 5; noon to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 4; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 6. Each ride costs four tickets; there will be a pay-one-price deal Tuesday and Saturday.

Thomaston’s day begins 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Masonic Temple; the parade down Main Street, traveling south from Erin Street, steps off 11 a.m.; and booths and other behind-the-business block activities begin at noon. Cowboy Billy will perform on the parking lot stage at 12:30 p.m.; and local favorites Freeze Frame will play from 5 to 9 p.m., leading up to the big fireworks display. In the event of rain, the fireworks will be rescheduled to the following night. For the complete schedule of events, visit

USO Show for Independence Day

A spirited USO/Songs of America Show will be presented by Cold Comfort Theater/Belfast Maskers in several Waldo County towns. The annual celebration of America’s birthday and honoring its armed forces, past and present, is open to the public and admission is free, although donations will be gladly accepted.

The outdoor show will be presented July 4, at 11:30 a.m. on the Castine Common; 1:30 p.m. in the Peapod Picnic Area of Searsport’s downtown Penobscot Marine Museum; and 3:30 p.m. at the corner of High and Main streets in downtown Belfast (start times are approximate, as the troupe travels from town to town). On July 5, the show will be presented at 7 p.m. on the Bayside dock.

Jamie Hagedorn will accompany the performers. The show’s playlist includes “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “You Belong to Me,” the national anthem, “God Bless America,” “Livin’ in the USA,” “This Is My Country,” “This Land is Your Land” and many more. All shows are weather permitting. For complete details about times and venues, visit

Music by the Sea

The Camden Rotary Club brings three Maine bands to Camden July 4, for this year’s Music by the Sea, beginning at noon in Camden Harbor Park and Amphitheatre, Atlantic Avenue. An Independence Day tradition for many years, the free public concert is organized by the Camden Rotary Club and supported by Rotary members, local businesses and individuals.

This year’s lineup offers the Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra at noon on the Harbor Park stage; New Relm at 1:30 p.m. on the Harbor Park stage; and the Bath Municipal Band at 3 p.m. in the Camden Amphitheatre. Admission is free, but food will be sold and donations accepted. Camden Rotary Club’s goal is to raise $20,000 from the concert to contribute to local 501c3 charitable organizations.

Mondaynite Jazz Orchestra — MoJO — is a community jazz band coordinated by Ray Faria of Friendship and directed by Doug Kennedy of Rockland. MoJO specializes in the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Jaco Pastorius, Terry White, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Its musicians come from all across Midcoast Maine.

New Relm is what happens when modern country and bluegrass collide. The toe-tapping, danceable, high energy, four-piece band features lead vocalist Elise Sproul playing guitar, banjo, dobro, fiddle or bass; lead vocalist Harold Olmstead on guitar, harmonica or fiddle; and bassist and guitarist Rod Moore; and drummer Mike Heath, both of whom also sing.

There has been a musical band in Bath for more than 90 years. The current, Bath Municipal Band, plays a varied repertory that always offers march selections by John Phillip Sousa or Maine’s own R.B. Hall and goes on from there to include Broadway show tunes, classical works and light jazz.

Music by the Sea is part of the greater Midcoast's Festival of Independence organized by the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Bay Chamber Concerts, Camden Public Library and the Camden Rotary Club.

Dancing and fireworks

Bay Chamber Concerts again presents dance band The Engagements in a free evening concert at the water’s edge July 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Harbor Park. Everyone is invited to dance the night away to classic funk and soul covers, ’80s favorites and everything in between. Picnics on the lawn, dancing in the streets and the performance will be immediately followed by the town's fireworks display over the harbor.

Building on the success of the past three years, Bay Chamber is bringing back Brooklyn’s best party band. The Engagements' faithful renditions of classic pop and rock songs are mined by each member of this nine-piece band whose members have played with classic rock, soul and jazz acts, as well as the "Rock Of Ages" musical. The concert will take rain or shine; rain location is the Rockport Opera House.