acadiafest — july 2003

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Acadiafest 2003

FAQ For Historians

Acadia coastAcadiafest, the annual gathering of meebers, will take place in Bar Harbor, Maine. July 4th, 2003, will be a Friday. The fest will be that day and the next. Proposed agenda is:

Thursday, July 3rd. Those meebers already in town might gather at Mache Bistro for a tasty dinner. It's a small restaurant with a limited menu of wonderful food: home baked bread, fresh organic greens salads, entrees such as duck, hangar steak, lobster saute, veggie lasagna, and desserts, including lavender creme brulee. French press coffee just for Bad Betty. When the time comes nearer, we will reserve three tables of four if warranted.

Friday, July 4th. Meebers will be on their own to celebrate an old-fashioned, small-town holiday in Bar Harbor, from the blueberry pancake breakfast on the Athletic Field through the fireworks over the Frenchman Bay. The breakfast is held on the village athletic field and runs from 6 a.m. until around 9. The parade stages at the same athletic field, begins at 10, and moves through the village streets. This parade has everything from decorated tricycles to rescue greyhound dogs to all the fire departments of the island to Scottish pipers to the little racing cars driven by overweight Shriners.

After the parade, a lobster and mussel dinner is available at the site of the blueberry pancake feast. Throughout the day and evening, there is music at the Village Green and in Agamont Park. There is face painting at the athletic field and an antique show across the street. Lots of activity. Fireworks, weather permitting, are set off over the Bay around 9 p.m. Fog often forces the fireworks to be postponed until the next night. Perhaps Bonnie or Clyde can be persuaded to lead a hike somewhere in Acadia National Park that afternoon. For those meebers who would rather drink and talk, there will be an open house all day at the Voigtlander home. No meals will be served however. Munchies and local microbrews will be available.

Saturday, July 5th. The official fest day. A meal will be served at the Voigtlander house, probably midday, probably something simple on the grill. Again meebers are invited to hang out during the day at Casa Voigtlander. Again Clyde or Bonnie might be persuaded to lead a hike. We will certainly be available for advice on the many things to do in town: whale watching, sailing excursions, rental bikes, kayak tours, museums, driving the Park Loop Road, etc.

Sunday, July 6th. Perhaps a breakfast gathering at Jordan's Restaurant can be arranged. Meebers are free to travel home. Or not. In any case, Casa Voigtlander will return to peace and quiet and privacy.

Travel advice: The nearest large airport to Bar Harbor is in Bangor, Maine, about an hour's drive from Bar Harbor. One can rent a car at the airport. There is also bus service from the airport to Bar Harbor although I know nothing about it. Once in Bar Harbor, there is free bus transportation around the island and Acadia National Park available from the Village Green in Bar Harbor. This free bus does service the campgrounds on the island. Be warned that parking is difficult, but not impossible, in the village on this holiday weekend. A good solution is to book lodging-with-parking right in the village or on the free bus route. Our home is about a half mile uphill from the village. Three different bus routes will drop you within a block of our house.

If you intend to drive, the first principle is that in northern New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) there are no really good, direct, reasonably high-speed
routes that run West to East. All of the interstates run South to North. West-East routes therefore involve a lot of map study, jogging back and forth, etc. It's a good way to see the countryside, but you won't make very good time.

From Boston, by interstate (I-95) it is about five hours to Bar Harbor (I-95 drops you at Bangor). If you choose to travel US 1 along the coast, add an hour. From Portland, it's about three hours using I-95 (again, add an hour for US 1).

US 1 east (this side) of Freeport (LL Bean-ville) is an interesting and often scenic drive—if you have the time and patience. There are several small towns with interesting architecture, including some magnificent old sea-captains' mansions that mostly are now B&Bs. Rockland, along US 1, is the home of the Farnsworth museum, which includes the Wyeth Center—dedicated to exhibiting the works of three generations of Wyeths: N.C., Andrew, and James. Further east is Camden—a lovely port and harbor but a real traffic bottleneck. (We recently discovered a way around Camden that eliminates the pain.)

Plentiful lodging of all kinds and price ranges are available in Bar Harbor. We will not recommend one place over another. All meebers are capable of using the Internet to find lodging. Here is the best URL: http://www.barharborinfo.com/. Be advised that the town does completely fill up for the holiday weekend. To be on the safe side, reservations should be confirmed by early Spring: April or May. Early reservations are also required to stay at Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park. For park (including camping) information, see http://www.nps.gov/acad/home.htm.

Meebers who have expressed an interest in coming to Acadiafest include: Betty and Larry Clark (who already have reservations at a village B&B), Love Judith and her Paul, Adam, Paul Barfoot, Marie, Lisa, Sandra , Rashmi, Emily, Natalie, Bookrat, Heide and Alec. --bonniev