A scene from the celebration of Bowdoinham’s 150th birthday, September 1912, a view up Main Street featuring the Knights of Pythias Hall in full regalia.by Janet Clement
Coastal Journal contributor
BOWDOINHAM — The Town of Bowdoinham has put together a wonderful passel of activities for its 205th Anniversary Celebration, to be held Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15. Favorite events of the past are back, and new ones have been added. Young children, older youngsters, and adults will find plenty to amuse and delight them.
Festivities kick off on Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., with a rededication and Open House at the Jellerson School on Brown’s Point Road.
The action then moves to Mailly Waterfront Park that evening from 5 to 9 p.m., with music, munching and browsing through the flea market, a new event this year. Ann Davis is organizing the flea market. For more information (non-residents are welcome to set up, too) or a table, contact her at 751-4238.
She also headed up the 250th cookbook committee, “250 Years of Treasured Recipes,” with many of the town’s favorite recipes, including Ella Curtis’ delectable chocolate sheet cake. If you’d like to taste that cake, look for the EMS team.
There will be a judging of Bowdoinham’s Best veggies, flowers and crafts, most likely around 7:30 p.m., when the legion hall at the waterfront will open and the winner of the Birthday Cake Decorating Contest will be revealed. Always artfully arranged, the Best showcases the Best of the Best of Bowdoinham.
Saturday morning begins with the Chicken Run 5K Road Race and Kids Race starting at the Bowdoinham Community School parking lot on the Cemetery Road. Be there by 7:45 a.m., as the race starts at 8 a.m.
Registration fees – for those who remember to preregister! – are $10 for ages 18 and under, and $15 for adults. On race day, registration will cost $12 for runners 18 and under and $18 for adults. To register on the day of the race, you must be there between 6:45 and 7:30 a.m. The Kids Fun Run is free.
Registration forms are available from Athena Mann, and you can email her at
, or call her at 737-4641. Checks may be made out to the Bowdoinham Community School.
The parade begins at 10 a.m., with a procession of floats, personalities, organization, horseback riders, fire trucks and the ever popular Kora cars, veterans, and the Drum and Bugle Corps. The Farmers’ Market will be open for a snack during the parade and vegetables to take home later. After the parade, the waterfront activities begin, including exhibits, contests, great food, and music.
The first presentation will be the opening of the Century Box, a black metal chest with an inscription on the top by William B. Kendall in 1912. Stop by and the Bowdoinham Historical Society booth and view notes left by the town’s ancestors, and compose a note to pass along to future generations and the citizens of the town in 2062.
The Silent Auction will be back offering donated goods, services and crafts, the proceeds of which will help fund next year’s celebration. And, of course, you can’t pass by the town library’s 10 tables of books, with paperbacks going for 50 cents and hardbacks for a dollar.
At 12:30 p.m., the Lobster Crate Race beings. There will also be a Coin Scramble, face painting, and art activities for children at Cathance Place, part of the Merrymeeting Arts Center, whose mission is to “joyfully promote egalitarianism, whimsy, environmental consciousness and diversity through its artists, programs and projects.”
At 3:30 p.m., the renowned KenDucky Derby begins on the Cathance River, featuring a $500 prize for the first rubber ducky crossing the finish line and $100 for the last one, so you can root for your duck until the very end.
The Fire Station will host a Bean Supper from 4 to 6 p.m. Then the ever-popular local Blues Buzzards, dubbed a “horn driven, blues rock band with a Motown groove,” will perform from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
People attending will have a rare opportunity to see Merrymeeting Bay like they may have never seen it before: From the air. Helicopter ride are offered by Ed Friedman, a pilot of more than five years for a dramatic tour of this internationally famous natural resource. Ten percent of the helicopter ride fares will be donated to the Bowdoinham Historical Society.
Fireworks at 8:30 p.m. will conclude the jam-packed day’s activities.
The full schedule of events is as follows:
Friday, September 14
• 2-6 p.m. - Jellerson School Grand Opening and Rededication
• 5 p.m. - Broadband at the Gazebo
• 6 p.m. - Muddy Marsh Ramblers at the Gazebo
• 7:30 p.m. - Bowdoinham’s Best Opens
• 7:30 p.m. - Maybe Utah at the Gazebo
Saturday, September 15
• 8 a.m. - The Chicken Run (5K Road Race) at Bowdoinham Community School
• 10 a.m. - Parade
• 11 a.m. - Waterfront Activities Begin, including Silent Auction & Flea Market, Bowdoinham’s Best, Dunk Tank, Children’s Art Activities at Cathance Place, Bouncy House & Super Bungee & Slide, Sk8 Demo & Open Skate and Helicopter Rides
• 11 a.m. - Century Box Presentation at the Gazebo
• 11:30 a.m. - Spirit of America Award Presentation at Gazebo
• 11:45 a.m. - Bowdoinham’s Best Birthday Cake Awards at Gazebo
• Noon - Coin Scramble
• Noon - The Barn Cats at the Gazebo
• 12:30 p.m. - Lobster Crate Races
• 1 p.m. - Game of Sk8
• 1:30 p.m. - Bob White at the Gazebo
• 2:30 p.m. - Long Branch Boys at the Gazebo
• 3:30 p.m. - Great KenDucky Derby Race along the Cathance River
• 4 p.m. - Trouble in the West at the Gazebo
• 4-6 p.m. - Bean Supper at the Bowdoinham Fire Station
• 5 p.m. - Ben Hunsberger at the Gazebo
• 6 p.m. - Cilantro at the Gazebo
• 7 p.m. - Blues Buzzards at the Gazebo
• 8:30 p.m. - Fireworks