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Midcoast lens: Camden's downtown bustles over the weekend

By Susan Mustapich | Jun 29, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Camden is Blooming took place June 26 and 27 with sidewalk sales throughout the downtown business district.

CAMDEN — Visitors to Camden enjoyed sidewalk sales and shopping inside downtown stores, a wide selection of eateries open for outdoor, indoor and takeout dining and live music around town June 26 and 27.

Local businesses, the Camden Area Business Group and the Penboscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce all participated in making the Camden is Blooming event a success.

Some visitors traveled to Maine from other states, and others came from Maine towns including Boothbay Harbor and Skowhegan. Many groups walked through town with a canine companion or two on leashes.

Lots of outdoor seating at eateries as well as picnic tables at the Village Green, Harbor Park and on the Public Landing, is a response to what people are looking for as the coronavirus pandemic lingers on. Town officials have loosened rules to help eateries offer more outdoor seating, more spacing for indoor dining and places for people to eat takeout.

The event and good summer weather helped chase away the doldrums, which descended across the area in past months, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mask wearing and 6-feet social distance is requested indoors, and encouraged in more crowded areas outdoors.


Canine companions were popular with many groups who visited Camden June 26 and 27. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Shoppers find unique stores lining Camden's downtown streets. Pictured here is Jo Ellen Designs. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Waterfront Restaurant on Bay View Street improvises to expand outdoor seating, in response to an upswing in demand.
Barbecue sizzles and craft beer is served on the harbor-side deck at Blaze on Bay View Landing, during Camden is Blooming. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
A full-house is outdoors on the deck at Peter Otts on the Public Landing in Camden. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
A family group from Skowhegan and North Carolina sit outside Peter Otts on the public landing at Camden Harbor June 27. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Daysailer boats are taking visitors out for sailing cruises from Camden Harbor.
The Maine Sport kiosk on Camden's public landing opens the weekend of June 26, booking daysail cruises and kayak tours around Camden Harbor.
The Smiling Cow and other stores in downtown Camden offer masks for those who need them. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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Comments (2)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jun 30, 2020 08:31

Well Phyllis Rockland could have similar success, but it would require several structural changes and lots more motivation from ALL the downtown business.  Also Camden and Rockland have several notable differences.  Camden's downtown overlooks a beautiful harbor, ours overlooks the sewerage treatment plant.  Camden has more Downtown "Green" space,  we have ugly paved places with decorative jersey barriers.  Camden has mostly "retail" stores lining their Main street, we have mostly Art galleries & museums that DO NOT participate in most of our retail promotions.  Really the only thing both have in common, Route One runs right thru town.  If Rockland wants to compete with Camden they need to improve their parks and green space and require participation from ALL downtown businesses.  Perhaps a summer Sidewalk art festival.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Jun 29, 2020 13:45

Why can't Rockland do something similar without closing Main Street to traffic?

Phyllis Merriam

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