Everyone is invited to kick off the Labor Day holiday weekend with Camden Windjammer Festival, offering two full days of fun activities Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, along the town’s waterfront; at its library and opera house; and in the harbor itself.

Friday gets an earlier start this year, at 9 a.m., and the festival fun runs all day and into the evening, concluding with 9 p.m. fireworks over the harbor. Saturday gets going even earlier, thanks to the Camden Rotary pancake breakfast, and also runs into the evening: the festival ends with a 7:30 p.m. concert by Jonathan Edwards (see story linked below) and an 8 to 10 p.m. Harbormaster’s Dance Party, fueled by Primo Cubano, on the public landing.

Primo Cubano plays the traditional Cuban dance music called son, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century. The band was formed in 2007 by Paul D’Alessio, after an inspiring artist exchange trip to Trinidad De Cuba run by Brunswick/Trinidad Sister City Association brought him into contact with son music and the local Cuban musicians who still play it.

Son is the most popular style to come out of Cuba and is the primary contributor to the blend of Latin styles today known as salsa. It was first a music of the country people and eventually migrated to Havana, where it was urbanized and began to draw a wider audience.

Primo Cubano comprises D’Alessio on tres Cubano and vocals; Marc Chillemi on trumpet, percussion and vocals; Lenny Hatch on congas, bongo and bell; Duane Edwards on upright bass; and Eric Winter on timbales, percussion and vocals. The free Harbormaster’s Dance Party is sponsored by The Camden Herald.

Other performances include a concert by the Bay Winds North wind ensemble Friday at 6 p.m. in Harbor Park, followed by the annual Schooner Talent Show, also sponsored by The Camden Herald. Every year, schooner crews and passengers present a variety of talents, worked up over the preceding days’ cruises on Penobscot Bay.

Another annual offering combines the visual and performing arts, as Buckley Smith executes a “live drawing” during the Schooner Talent Show, to be auctioned off as the finale. On Saturday, Smith teaches a children’s drawing class at 1 p.m. on the public landing. Also on Saturday, Camden Public Library presents its annual screening of “Captains Courageous” at 3 p.m. Portions of the 1977 made-for-TV movie were filmed in Camden and aboard its windjammers. Many locals appear in bit parts, including Capt. Jim Sharp and the Adventure.

Throughout the two days, the fest will live up to its name as Camden Harbor fills with the largest gathering of windjammers in the Northeast. Nautical-themed exhibits and events abound; for the full schedule of events, visit the Camden Windjammer Festival’s Facebook page.