There is cause for celebration this summer in Brunswick.

The Brunswick Town Commons is marking its 300th anniversary, when 1,000 acres were conserved in 1719 by the Pejepscot Company. The commons have been enjoyed by the public for generations more than three centuries.

The Brunswick Town Commons park in Brunswick is seen Oct. 8, 2013. Portland Press Herald file photo by Gordon Chibroski

A community recreation area and outdoor classroom for Brunswick schools, it is a popular hiking spot also enjoyed by birdwatchers and photographers. Located in the geographical center of Brunswick, it is used year-round for skiing, snowshoeing, walking and picnicking.

To try out the commons this summer, be aware it has five to six miles of easy walking trails, and pets are welcome. It’s accessible from the playing fields at Bowdoin College or off Harpswell Road.
It has been the subject of historical talks and walking tours this spring, as well as a video documentary, fun run and even a commemorative stamp. For details, visit btlt.org.

The Brunswick-Bath region also has a busy summer schedule of fairs, festivals, farmers markets and more on tap that will have city streets bustling with activity.

Brunswick’s newest food and beverage event, Taste of Summer, is set for 1-5 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at Brunswick Landing entrance (formerly the naval base). It will feature food, spirits and live music. It will be held rain or shine, admitting ages 21 and older. Drinks are cash only. Parking is free and plentiful, but bring a chair. This event showcases local restaurants as well as food trucks, craft beverages and music by The Mallett Brothers and Sons of Alfond. Tickets are $15 and include admission to the event and one drink from the bar. Check the Taste of Summer page on Facebook.

Maquoit Bay is seen in Brunswick. Portland Press Herald file photo by Derek Davis

Twice each week the Brunswick Farmers Market assembles more than a dozen Maine farmers to hold one of the oldest such markets in the state. Buy direct from area bakers, farmers, craftsmen and artisans right downtown. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, they will be available rain or shine. Sample homegrown fruits, vegetables, flowers, honey, syrup, eggs, cheeses, seafood, meats and more. For details, visit brunswickfarmersmarket.com.

A Community BBQ will recognize local first responders from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22, on the mall. Enjoy cookout food for $5, bring a chair or blanket, and enjoy live music, children’s games, face painting, fire trucks and more.

Brunswick’s Music on the Mall concert series kicks off June 26. Every Wednesday at 6 p.m., locals and visitors gather at the village green to hear live music. Sitting on blankets or lawn chairs with picnics and restaurant takeout, they hear the sounds of swing, Cajun, calypso, blues, folk, oldies, country and more. Admission is free, and the rain date is often the next day. For more, visit brunswickdowntown.org.

Summer in Brunswick means live musical theater courtesy of Maine State Music Theatre. The Picard Theatre at Bowdoin College will offer up a full schedule including “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Hello Dolly,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Grease,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and more. The theater also will participate in local pirate-themed events at six area libraries to promote “Treasure Island.” For details, visit msmt.org.

The 11th annual Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 in downtown Brunswick along the Main Street sidewalks and mall. More than 100 artists exhibit their paintings, sculpture, photography, crafts and other creations. Admission is free to this juried, fine arts and crafts exhibit. Children welcome, with special activities planned just for them, live music and more. Visit brunswickdowntown.org.

The countdown clock is running until the 164th year of the Topsham Fair that runs from Aug. 6-11. There will be harness racing, midway rides, crafts, pulling, demolition derby, 4-H exhibits, food and fun for all. Visit topshamfair.net.

The Scottish hijinks will resume when the annual Maine Highland Games kick off Aug. 17 at the Topsham Fairgrounds. Plans include bagpipe music, re-enactors, sheepdogs, a gathering of the clans, Scottish foods and drink including haggis and whiskey, dancing, fiddlers, harpists, athletic events and more from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit mainehighlandgames.org.

Fairground Cafe & Merrymeeting Room in Topsham. Portland Press Herald file photo by Carl D. Walsh

The annual Bath Heritage Days will run July 3-7, boasting 30 live bands this year and Maine’s largest parade. Along with its midway rides and carnival games, there will be a “Front Street Shuffle” antique auto show, fireman’s muster, strawberry shortcake social, tug of war, art in the park and fireworks on the Fourth. Visit bathheritagedays.com.

For those interested in taking a train through Maine, Brunswick is Amtrak’s northernmost stop on the Maine coast, traveling daily between Boston and the local train depot at 16 Station Ave. The train station and visitor center is located within walking distance of Bowdoin College and Brunswick’s many shops and restaurants. For schedules and ticket information, visit amtrakdowneaster.com.

History buffs may enjoy the drama and excitement of a ghostly trolley and walking tour in Bath or a visit to Maine Maritime Museum. The downtown Bath museum organizes lighthouse cruises and sailing trips, fireworks cruises, trolley rides and other special activities.

Also available are permanent and upcoming museum exhibits including “Maritime Music,” and “Shipwrecks and Salvage,” which highlights Wiscasset’s Hesper and Luther Little shipwrecks. Many will recall seeing those wrecks before their removal several decades ago when they were deemed a hazard to navigation and the public. Visit mainemaritimemuseum.org.

The Bath Farmers Market is running Saturday mornings along Commercial Street. From 8:30 a.m. to noon. Waterfront Park is filled with vendors selling cheeses, breads and other delights alongside the Kennebec River. Visit bathfarmersmarket.com for more.

Anyone looking for a dip in the ocean will delight in Reid State Park in Georgetown or Popham Beach in Phippsburg. Both have tide pools and a sandbar that gives beachcombers access to an island offshore. Just be sure to get back before the tide returns. Both are state parks that charge admission (cash). Parking is free but the lots fill up fast in the summer, so try to get there early. There are changing rooms and picnic areas available. For more, visit maine.gov.

For more about the region, visit the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber of Commerce website at midcoastmaine.com.


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