Every Labor Day weekend, Camden hosts the Windjammer Festival, a celebration of Maine’s maritime heritage featuring the largest gathering of windjammers in the Northeast. The two-day family-friendly event kicked off the morning of Friday, Aug. 30, beginning with a remote-controlled sailboat race in the harbor, followed by a lobster-hauling demonstration and a Camden walking tour. The day ended with a schooner talent show and fireworks over Camden Harbor.

Saturday’s events began with a Windjammer Festival 5K, organized by the Camden Fire Department. The Camden Rotary Club provided a pancake breakfast, with proceeds benefiting local charities. The Ale House String Band played live music all morning in the center of the festival.

P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center held a Nautical Dog Show, which included a doggie costume contest and an agility course. In the costume contest, the crowd saw doggie sailors, mermaids and more. First place in the costume contest went to Finley, who was dressed as a sailor. Second place went to Bella as a mermaid and third went to Bailey, who was dressed as a chicken.

In the agility contest, the five competitors jumped hoops, ran zigzags, climbed a seesaw, and leapt over hurdles. The competitors included Bailey, a 3-year old Chiweenie; Davis, a Portuguese water dog; and Maddie, Mckenzie and Jett, all border collies.

The iconic lobster crate race took place in Camden Harbor under sunny skies. Contestants ran across a series of lobster crates over the water, attempting to hit the most crates before two minutes were up. Ten-year old Havana Kriste, of Lincolnville, won in the girls category by hitting 188 crates. Lucas Drinkwater, 13, of Standish, covered 287 crates, to win in the boys category. The event featured children as young as 5, and even a few adults participated. This year, there was a new record for participants, with 48 people joining in.

A schooner open house tour was held in the afternoon, giving residents and tourists the opportunity to walk the docks and climb aboard one of the Camden windjammers. The Camden Public Library showed a maritime movie in the afternoon and Saturday night ended with a harborside dance party with local dance band Primo Cubano.