GARDINER – Gardiner will kick off the Kennebec Valley Chamber’s Whatever Family Festival Saturday, June 21, with 13 hours of fun, music, food and original arts and crafts. Participants can start the day with a five-mile road race at 8 a.m. or load up on pancakes at Christ Church Episcopal’s pancake breakfast. At 9 a.m., the Gardiner Public Library will begin its annual book sale, which goes until 4 p.m.

Gardiner Main Street will host its seventh annual Celebrate the Arts Festival on Water Street featuring Maine artists and artisans, food vendors and local restaurants from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Also on tap are United Martial Arts karate demonstrations on Water Street from 10 a.m. until noon; the Fireman’s Field Day from 10 a.m. until noon on the common and a yard sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal.

Children’s activities include Children’s Art in the Park projects with artist Yana Suponitskaya from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Johnson Hall Park; games, a bounce and slide, try-a-kayak rides and more fun on the waterfront until 4 p.m.; and Paddle for Paws kayakers arriving from Augusta at 11 a.m. just when the Coast Guard Tours begin.

Free trolley rides will be offered throughout the downtown all day, with E.A. Robinson Tours from 10:30 a.m. until noon and again from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., starting at the Gardiner Public Library.

At 12:30 p.m. at Johnson Hall Park on Water Street, music lovers of all ages can listen to Katie Webber and Friends, a mixed bag of folk, rock and blues; and at 2:15 p.m. Breakin’ Strings, a high-lonesome, bass-thumpin’ bluegrass band, will perform. Rick Adam’s stilt-walking characters and one-man band will entertain festivalgoers on Water Street from noon until 4 p.m.

There will be a chicken barbecue from 4 to 7 p.m. at Gardiner Congregational Church, followed by the Johnson Hall Talent Show, hosted by Gary Crocker, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the waterfront and then fireworks over the Kennebec River.


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