June 26 - July 8
Eastport Maine certainly takes July 4th seriously! It is host to the largest Independence Day celebration in the state of Maine. It begins on July 1st with a nod to our northern neighbor - Canada Day. This year was special - Canada's 150th anniversary. Boat races across the Bay, fireworks (delayed to July 2 due to fog).
July 1st also heralded the arrival of the USS Lassen Naval ship, after a grand reopening of the main pier which had been closed for several years for repairs. I have to say that I was really moved by the sight of all of the starched white uniforms wandering around the town all weekend. Both men and women - I was surprised at the high ratio of female sailors. All very friendly and respectful.
There were so many events happening over the 4 day period, that I needed extra strong readers to see the fine-print on the schedule of events flyer. I'm not exaggerating! From pet parades, to blueberry pie eating contests, to haddock-toss relay races, to the yummy fish chowder sold by the church-ladies as fundraisers, non-stop action!
The year-round population of Eastport is only about 1,300, but over 10,000 descend on the town for the 4th. Including Susan Collins, the Republican Senator who I'm sure you know is a key player in the health care bill. Her participation in the parade put Eastport on the Washington Post and other national news!
Enjoy the images from Eastport - hope you all had a happy and safe July 4th.
Maine Army band playing on the deck of the Port Authority.
My view of the band from the rocks, opening for the fireworks to come.
Short snippet of the Music Man medley played by the Army band with panorama of the port.
I have to say - it was a very impressive fireworks show!!
Moose Island Follies - a benefit show for the Eastport Art Center
I had seen a flyer at the Eastport Art Center asking for performers to participate in the Follies, an annual fund-raiser, to be held on July 3rd. I contacted Chris, the Executive Director of the Art Center to see if they had a place for me. She was thrilled and connected me with other musicians - exactly what I had hoped! The show included 2 talented local female jazz singers, family bands, Celtic band Keltic Schmeltic (love the name!), plus comedy, magic, yo-yo, you name it.
Well, it was an absolute blast! I was able to play as a duo with guitarist Robert Sanchez - a solid jazz player, he is the music teacher at the high school here (AND plays tennis - bonus!!!). I played my ukulele-bass and we played Route 66, Black Orpheus (I even played lead on u-bass!) and closed out both sold-out shows with All About that Bass - complete with backup singers/dancers.
In the green room - hanging with some great folks!
Melissa was one of the All About That Bass backup singers. And I found out later she is my next door neighbor!
Chris - on the left - is the energy behind the Art Center. Amazing woman. Naphtalie will start a job in Spokane in August.
Bay views from the Sipayik trail
The Sipayik Trail is located on the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribal land just north of Eastport. It is a 2 mile paved trail (4 miles RT) along the bay. When the tide is low, you can walk out to a couple of the islands for beachcombing. I had intended to develop a run/walk routine along this path as it is flat, paved and not very busy, but dang it, I truly don't like to run and need to admit it and embrace that fact! So the dogs and I just enjoy the walk a couple times a week!
Lubec at dusk
Lubec is about a 45 minute drive from Eastport. There used to be a ferry which cut the trip in half, but the pier was damaged in a storm a few years ago and the ferry probably won't resume. Bummer. Robert's band - Minor Characters (fun gypsy jazz) was playing at the Lubec Brewing Company so I went to check it out. Tasty beer and I had a nice vege-rice bowl.
I had to go out in the middle of their set because the light was so pretty at dusk I had to pop outside to take some pictures. The lighthouse is the Mulholland Point Lighthouse across the bay on Campobello Island. My pictures don't truly capture the beautiful light.
Beach Party at the Art Center
I became an official Art Center volunteer by performing at the Follies, so I was invited to the volunteer party, with a beach party theme. They had fruity cocktails, beach-ball volleyball, pupus. And a shark photo booth. My only regret was that I didn't have my shark hat with me, but who knew I would need it!
It is now my last week in Eastport - boo hoo - I'm just getting settled!