50th annual Fall Foliage Festival Oct. 7-9

Posted:  Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 7:00am
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On October 7, 8 and 9, the Boothbay Railway Village, along with the Boothbay Information Center, will host the 50th annual Fall Foliage Festival.  To mark the occasion of such a monumental anniversary, an entire day has been added to the celebration. The fair will continue Monday for the first time ever.

More than 100 artists and makers of fine art, crafts and homemade items will be center stage on the Village Green surrounded by the historic buildings and structures of the Boothbay Railway Village. Rides on the narrow-gauge steam train and the opportunity for guests to explore exhibits detailing Maine’s railroad heritage, interpreting village life, and displaying more than 60 antique automobiles set this event apart from other craft fairs.

The Fall Foliage Festival is just one stop along Maine’s Pumpkin Trail, a partnership celebrating history, art and giant fruit along 50 miles of Maine’s most beautiful coastline from Bath to Rockland. Pumpkin-themed activities are taking place at the Maine Maritime Museum, Farnsworth Art Museum and Boothbay Railway Village as well as the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta. Follow Maine’s Pumpkin Trail on Facebook to discover great ways to celebrate fall with friends and family of all ages.

For the third consecutive year, the Museum’s talented Buildings & Grounds staff, David Blackman and Josh Brewer, has grown two Atlantic Giant Pumpkins. Both squash will be taking to the official volunteer weigh-off for the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 30. One will be donated to be displayed and decorated in downtown Damariscotta, the other will be carved live on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Fall Foliage Festival by stone sculptor William Jacobs of Richmond. Jacobs was one of the artists featured at the Maine Coast Stone Symposium in August. He’ll also be one of the more than 100 artists and makers selling their work at the fair.

Another pumpkin-themed event is the opportunity for the public to enter the pumpkin carving contest with lots of great prizes for all ages and abilities. Entering the pumpkin carving contest is just a $5 fee and includes a pass for free admission to the Festival and your pumpkin to carve and keep. Registration forms are available on the event page on the Museum’s website. Contestants can register in advance or at the door until all pumpkins have been spoken for. Some tools are provided but serious contestants might want to bring their favorite tools from home. Electric will even be available for those who might want to bring drills, Dremels and other power tools (bring your own extension cord too!) Carving must be completed at the Museum during the festival and no later than noon on Monday. At noon, the top secret judges will review all entries and award prizes. The award ceremony will start at 12:30 and prizes and pumpkins can be picked up starting at 1 p.m. on Monday.

With more than 100 artists and makers at this year’s fair, it’s going to be hard to leave empty handed. New exhibitors include: Brant & Cochran who make and restore axes; Winter Lathe Woodworking with fine bowls and other handmade objects crafted from Maine trees; SOME Leather with handcrafted wallets and bags; and Embellished Relish and their Maine-made condiments. To complement the vendors on the Village Green, blacksmith Jim Kearney will be working in the Museum’s blacksmith shop throughout the Festival.

Many area non-profits have booths to promote their programs and services or to raise funds. For instance, inside the Boothbay Town Hall you’ll find cheese from the Historical Society and quilted crafts from Kwiltz 4 Kids and outside The Community Center and the Edgecomb Community Church will have a wide variety of hand crafts made by their constituents. The Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library and Boothbay Sea & Science Center are sponsoring an expanded kid zone near the pond specially for hands-on activities.

In addition, the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library is also kicking off the festival by presenting the very first stage performance. By special arrangement, Judy Pancoast will take the stage on Saturday at 11 am.  Pancoast crafts clever songs with infectious melodies that delight the young and the young at heart, as evidenced by a 2011 Grammy Award nomination for Best Children’s Album.

The other performers featured this year include the Boothbay Region Community Band, Space Heaters, Oyster Creek Fiddlers, Holy Mackerals, Fay Christy, and the duo Noel Arrington & Gabe Tonan. The schedule is posted on the event page on the Museum’s website.

Foodies will not be disappointed in the Festival’s culinary offerings. The famous chowder cooked up by the Boothbay Region Lions Club will be back along with wood-fired pizza, chicken wings, hot dogs, pulled pork, hot cider, fudge, ice cream, homemade pies, specialty teas and much more.  On Sunday and Monday, El Rodeo, a food truck based in Portland will also offer authentic Mexican street foods. Another fair first is Wild Island Company offering a variety of plant-based foods that are both non-dairy and vegan.

On Saturday, the festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, children under 12 and Boothbay Railway Village Museum Members are free. Steam train tickets are an additional $5 each (free for Museum Members.)  Parking is free both in the Museum’s main parking lots and the special event parking lot across Route 27 next to T & D Variety.

Contact the Boothbay Railway Village for more information at (207) 633-4727, or online at www.railwayvillage.org.  The Boothbay Railway Village is located at 586 Wiscasset Road, Route 27 in Boothbay, Maine.