Nautical life seizes spotlight during 2019 Boat and Homes show

By Ryan Martin | Aug 12, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Martin A Cobia boat sits in Rockland Harbor during the Boat & Homes Show Aug. 11.

Rockland — The annual Maine Boat & Home Show took place from Aug. 9 to 11 in Harbor Park.

The festival extended from the main grounds to docks afloat in Rockland Harbor. Yachts, speedboats and iconic boats were on display and allowed visitors to board and look around, with the exception of no shoes.

The festival offered specialty prices for boats, furniture, sheds, apparel and marine accessories. Booths were set up to advertise schooling organizations, insurance coverage, cutlery, blankets and more.

Local food trucks were present, including Rock City Coffee, Up in Smoke BBQ, The Smoothie Shack and Kiwanis Club of Rockland serving Wasses’ hot dogs. There was a play area for children as well as shaded seating. The docks felt the brunt of the sun the most, but the main tents allowed visitors to escape from the heat.

The environment of the festival felt very casual and laid back. Booth representatives were hanging out and didn’t seem pushy for attention, but were more than willing to have a conversation. Other than the docks, there was a decent amount of space to walk around; nothing felt overcrowded.

The theme of this year’s festival was ‘Get Involved.’ The brochure states: “The show’s 2019 theme (Get Involved) pays homage to the many ways that Maine’s rugged coastline continues to be cared for by the people who step up and pitch in.”

Highlighting nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit ones, the festival threw a spotlight on the organizations that see little to no profit but still promotes life on the coast. Show Manager Gretchen Ogden said, “The idea for this year’s theme came from publisher John Hansen, who wanted to highlight the many aggregate nautical nonprofits that help pitch in.”

The event saw its share visitors of of all ages, but was mostly inhabited by middle-aged to elderly attendees. Main Street felt lit up with visitors' hot pink general admission stickers.

Live music could be heard on the festival grounds from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday from Blue Hill Brass and all day Friday and Sunday from Miner’s Creek.

Along with music, food and goods, there were also iconic boats, such as the Wallace Foss, the longest in-service tug in the U.S., and the oldest tug on the Eastern Seaboard. The enormous boat was a sight to behold and was one of the many attractions at the dock.

Those who weren’t touring boats and chatting with representatives were enjoying the sun, scarfing down barbecue, or relaxing in the shade.

The Maine Boat & Home Show takes place the second weekend in August at Harbor Park.

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