Mount Desert Island is a place a lot of people visit to have a great time. And whether you’re into craft beers on a laid back afternoon or cocktails at a giant party (or something in between), here are the top five regular events where you can raise a glass (or two).

First Friday Art Walks

When: First Friday of the month June 2018 and October 2018
Downtown Bar Harbor’s (and Northeast Harbor’s to a lesser extent) local galleries open from 5-7 PM serving wine while letting locals and tourists check out their art. Besides the galleries, a lot of local bars and restaurants also have specials during this time. While Bar Harbor’s event seems to be officially sanctioned, events also happen in Northeast Harbor and typically, if Artemis Gallery is having an artists reception, other galleries are also holding events.
FMI: and

Acadia Oktoberfest

When: October
This annual event is the biggest event of the Acadia (Southwest Harbor) Chamber of Commerce. Local (not only MDI, but Maine) brewers bring their craft beers and those attending the event get small sampling glasses to be able to taste their wares. There are also food trucks, live music, a keg toss, and fundraisers from several area groups like the local volunteer fire department. Held at a campground, you can either take an Island Explorer shuttle, park a half mile away or so and walk, or get a campsite for the weekend if you don’t feel like going anywhere at all.


Belt Sander Races And BBQ

When: October-ish
If you want to attend a very New England event, the belt sander races are for you. Belt sanders (yes, as in the power tool) are decorated and travel down a long track for the fastest time to a cheering crowd. The event is at Atlantic Brewing’s Town Hill location which is Mainely Meat adjacent, meaning you can enjoy beer and BBQ while watching a ridiculous and local event.

Carmen Verandah’s Halloween Party

When: October
Want to have the feeling of being at ‘the club’ while enjoying the small town benefits of Bar Harbor at the end of the season? This party is for you. People actually do get dressed up (there’s a costume contest that usually has a prize worth trying for), there is a DJ and drinks…. plus there are other areas you can break out into if dancing isn’t your thing. There is a GIANT Connect 4 game board, a pool table, and an outside porch. In other words, enjoy Halloween craziness (you can walk down Ledgelawn on your way there to get the full Bar Harbor Halloween experience).

Side Street New Year’s Eve

When: December
If you are looking for THE New Year’s Eve party, this is it. Side Street Cafe’s owners Jeff and Jena Young got married on New Year’s Eve and throw a great party that they are constantly trying to make better year to year. You can at least count on drink specials, a DJ, great apps, a photo booth with crazy getups, a photographer capturing it all, and an event ticket that is half the price of other NYE events we’ve seen in the area. Get it early though; they’ve sold out the last couple years.

Whether you are a one and done toaster or want to go all night, Mount Desert Island has something for you at least once a year. 

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