Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine

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Making Memories on Memorial Day

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend brings with it a rush of nostalgia for me – memories filled with Memorial Days spent in Maine, participating in parades or watching from the sidewalk, grilling hot dogs (the red ones, of course) and hamburgers with family, celebrating togetherness and honoring the memory of the servicemen and women who gave their lives for our country.

As we all know, summer starts slowly in Maine. Memorial Day weekend is often the real turning point to summer weather, making it a welcome milestone for Mainers. In preparation for this holiday, I’ve put together a brief listing of events around the state, as well as some opportunities to give back and support those who have served our country:

City of Portland Memorial Day Parade – May 27th at 10am, begins in Longfellow Square
(most, if not all, towns in Maine will have local Memorial Day parades – so keep a look out for news about yours.  I have fond memories of the Memorial Day parade in Gorham)

10th Annual Downeast Birding Festival (you may recall this from my post a week or so ago) – May 24th – 27th, Cobscook Bay area, Maine

Plant Sale at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (NOW is the time to visit this lovely place) – May 25th – 26th, 9am – 4pm (members only on Saturday morning), Boothbay, Maine.  Admission is also FREE for Maine residents (with valid ID), 9am – 5pm this weekend for Maine Days.  How many more reasons do you need?

Barberry... one of my favorite shrubs!

Barberry… one of my favorite shrubs!

Guided Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Presque Isle – Saturday, May 25th, the tour begins at 10am and includes more than 30 historic sites and individuals (approximately 2 miles walking distance).

Embrace history with a tour of museums in Old York, Maine – Monday, May 27th, for just a dollar per building, from 9am – 5pm.

The Wounded Warrior Project is an excellent program committed to providing services to our returning servicemen and women. Their mission is to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

The Maine Military & Community Network strives to raise awareness about the challenges faced by military service members and their families, help to connect them to resources and support, and help them integrate in their communities.

Happy Memorial Day (in advance) – I hope you are able to spend it enjoying the company of family and friends!


10th Annual Downeast Spring Birding Festival

Let me begin by saying – Happy Mother’s Day!  In a sense, this post about the 10th Annual Downeast Spring Birding Festival is a tribute to my own mother – who always seemed to be able to identify the many bird species around our home – or, if she couldn’t identify one, would reach for one of her “bird books” and figure it out.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

The Spring Birding Festival is held over Memorial Day weekend, May 24th – 27th, in the Cobscook Bay region of Maine, which has been identified by the American Bird Conservancy as “one of the important bird areas in the US.”  Why?  Well, the diverse habitats of the area provide a good home for a wide variety of bird species.  Of the 400 bird species that have been sighted in Maine, nearly three-quarters of them have been sighted in this area in Down East Maine.  But really, this is something you should go and experience for yourself.

Participants in this festival have the enviable opportunity to enjoy this picturesque part of Maine while birding during the spring migration and breeding season.  The festival offers guided hikes, self-guided explorations, boat tours, and presentations led by area experts.  Bird species that are likely to be seen include Atlantic puffins, bald eagles, nesting waterfowl, and, of course, many others.

Click here for registration forms, a full schedule of events, or more information.  Serious bird watchers may also enjoy checking out the Maine Birding Trail website.