2017 Native American Festival and Basket Makers Market Courtesy of Abbe Museum


Everyone knows summer is tourist season on MDI. Millions of people flock to the island from across the globe as the weather warms. The warm weather also welcomes festival season. With a diverse grouping of festivals all over the island, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here we have organized everything nicely for you into our first annual officially non-official MDI Festival Guide. We’ll write this in three parts with this part being the Bar Harbor edition. (Part Two will be Southwest Harbor and Part Three will be the rest of the island and island-wide festivals).

Acadia Night Sky Festival

Happening: every year in September
Maine’s small population and low industrial development also means lack of light pollution and thus high visibility for stars. The festival has night time stargazing parties, lectures, and more all celebrating the night sky. Most events are free and family friendly. To see dates, a schedule and more, visit the official website: http://www.acadianightskyfestival.com/

MDI Seafood Festival

Happening: July 4th every year (after the parade)
There is nothing more patriotic than kicking off the 4th with a nice Pancake Breakfast (6am to 10am) and following that up with the delicious offerings of the Seafood Festival (11am to 2pm). The Bar Harbor Rotary Club not only knows how to fill up patriotic stomachs on the 4th with lobster, crab rolls, and more but all proceeds go to local non-profits and scholarships. For more info, visit the official website: http://mdiseafoodfestival.com/

Mount Desert Summer Chorale

Happening: June to August every year
Mount Desert Summer Chorale provides “opportunities for skilled, non-auditioned, volunteer singers, choral arts education for young people and adults, and opportunities to work with professional musicians.” MDSC also provides locals and tourists with the opportunity to hear great performances. For more info, visit the official website: https://summerchorale.org

Eden Track Festival

Happening: late Summer and early Fall every year  
Eden Athletics helps keep the local populous in shape through its many events. It is a supportive group that encourages runners, joggers, and walkers of all ages and all levels. Eden Athletics hosts events throughout Downeast and the Seacoast, and comes to MDI several times throughout late summer and early fall.  Get in shape with a nice group of people! For more info on Eden Athletics and the Eden Track Festival, visit the Eden Athletics website: https://www.edenathletics.com/

Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

Happening: early July every year
The Abbe Museum partners with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance to put on this unique annual event. Jewelry, drums, carvings, beadwork, and sweetgrass baskets are just some of the amazing crafts represented by local natives. But yourself something nice, get a gift for a loved one, or simply enjoy the beautiful work of these local artists. For more info, visit the festival’s facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/NativeAmericanFestival/

The Acadia Trad Festival

Happening: late June every year
The Acadia School of Traditional Music and Arts puts on a fabulous annual festival on the campus of College of the Atlantic. There are classes, concerts, and jam sessions led by a world-class faculty. Students are all ages are welcome, so sign up by yourself or make it a family affair. Either way, it is a great opportunity. For more info, visit the official website: https://acadiatradschool.org/festival/

The Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival

Happening: early August every year
Naturally if you are reading this blog you are a cultured person who enjoys the finer things in life–such as fine art. As such, it would only be natural that you will enjoy a fine arts festival that features artists from across North America and overseas as well. For more info: http://www.marcfink.com/shows/

The Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival II.

Happening: early September every year.
 Sometimes sequels are better! Maybe you can’t make it to the first fine arts festival in August–or maybe you simply want to enjoy a good thing a second time. Either way, early September is another opportunity to enjoy some fine arts fun. For more info: http://www.marcfink.com/shows/

The Bar Harbor Music Festival

Happening: Every July
From the opening day Tea Concert to the closing day Festival Gala, The Bar Harbor Music Festival is an opportunity to enjoy some of the finest musicians from across the globe in comfortable, intimate settings. Events occur in various venues throughout July, so there should be a concert that fits your schedule. For more info, visit the official website: http://www.barharbormusicfestival.org/

Summer Festival of the Arts (SFOA)

Happening: Every July.
From music, dance, crafts, and visual arts to filmmaking, theatre, creative writing, and much more, this vibrant festival for kids has helped empower youth with creativity since 1979. This is a great way to get your kids involved in the arts early and leave them with an wonderful experience they will remember for the remainder of their life. For more learn more about SFOA and registration, visit the official website:  http://www.sfoamaine.org/ 

Bar Harbor Kids Book Festival

Happening: Late in the Summer most years.
A great festival that brings respected children’s authors to MDI and gives children (and adults) the opportunity to engage with them and learn more about their creative processes. Stay tuned for updates and details for this year’s festival at http://www.barharborbookfestival.com/home.html.

Stay tuned for next week’s post about Southwest Harbor festivals. In the meantime, please leave comments about your favorite festivals or any we may have missed in our research!

More: Southwest Harbor Festivals
More: Island Wide Festivals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.