Camden celebrated its maritime heritage and living traditions at the annual Camden Windjammer Festival Aug. 29-31.

The schooners maneuvered into the harbor to start off the festivities on Aug. 29. Following dinner on board the fleets, a talent show by schooner crews was enjoyed in Harbor Park prior to the annual fireworks.

Click for photos from Windjammer Festival.

On Aug. 30, the National Crate Race was held. Thirty-two participants braved the chilly waters to cross 27 tightly-knit crates. Emerson Brott emerged the winner this year, crossing 288 crates to beat out defending champion Lauren Rothwell, who missed by two. A tie for third place was between Jonah Lovejoy — last year's runner up — and Luke Drinkwater, each with 270 crates. The event was sponsored by Camden National Bank.

The build-a-boat construction also began on Saturday, with six competitors of all ages putting their hopeful winning maritime structure together. They tested their finished product Aug. 31 with a race around Camden Harbor.

All entrants finished the race with Team Watermelon taking first place. Ahah came in second, followed by Bail Outs in third. It took a while, but The Green Torpedo, Sea Turtle, and Piece of Cake all eventually made it back to the dock.

Man's best friend was featured in the Sea Dog Show, sponsored by P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center in Harbor Park Aug. 31. Contestants were judged on their speed and agility around the obstacle course.

And of course, what maritime event would not be complete with the Pirates of the Dark Rose ascending on land to demonstrate their weaponry and cannons.

Other events included the West Bay Rotary Chowder Challenge, tours of the windjammers, demonstrations of old engines by Sail, Power & Steam Museum of Rockland, and numerous musical numbers throughout town.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at