Festivals, Exhibits, Special Events

Harbor Arts and Books Fair continues the traditional fall arts festival in Camden, Maine, under new management. The Camden Public Library has long hosted the festival in its Amphitheatre and Harbor Park and now takes over management of the festival, with of course added flavor from a huge book sale and antiquarian booksellers. Harbor Arts and Books has possibly the most beautiful location for an art fair on the East Coast. The fair takes place in Camden’s historic Harbor Park and Amphitheatre, at the head of Camden Harbor. Over fifty exhibitors display their exquisite work in individual tents, while under the book tent the library will hold its traditional used book sale. There will also be antiquarian books displayed for sale inside the library. The arts and crafts have been selected by a juried process so the quality is exceptional, varied, and delightful.

The 2019 Harbor Arts and Books Fair will be on July 13 and 14, 2019, 9:00 to 5:00 on Saturday and Sunday. There will be a fall Harbor Arts and Books Fair on October 5 & 6, 9:00 – 5:00 Saturday and 10:00 to 4:00 Sunday. To learn more and apply, please visit this page. This show is a well-attended event of long standing. Artisans will display their creations in a variety of media, from ceramics and pottery to fiber art, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, and indeed some unique categories.

Christmas By The Sea — the library hosts the annual Opening Ceremonies of Christmas by the Sea, on Friday evening, December 6, 2019. 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm—Opening Reception, Camden Public Library. Holiday selections performed by CHRHS vocal and instrumental students. Bring new or like new hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves to decorate the Hat & Mitten Tree.
6:00 pm—Christmas by the Sea Parade begins on Union St., Camden. Come and see what’s new as the parade travels through town to the tree lighting!
6:30 pm—Santa presides at the Community Tree-Lighting Ceremony in Harbor Park.
Saturday, December 7, noon, Santa arrives by tugboat in Camden Harbor and comes up to the Camden Public Library for his annual Story Hour.

Winterfest Community Ice Carving Event, Saturday, February 1, 2020 — Winterfest enjoys wide community support and participation. Call for Carvers. Would you like to try your hand at ice carving? You start with a crystal-clear block of ice, 10 x 20 x 40 inches, and let the chips fly as you carve out your ice sculpture. It’s surprisingly easy with the right tools. “It’s extremely fragile, but extremely strong, soft to carve, but doesn’t last very long,” says master carver Tim Pierce. Pierce gives an ice carving demonstration a week before Winterfest and will rough out each design with his electric chainsaw. Teams are invited to send in an application; families, businesses, clubs, and sports teams all participate in the ice carving and are encouraged to sign up for an ice block soon. The cost for the ice is $60; call the library at 236-3440 for more information or visit the library website for an application. Click here for more information.
In addition to ice sculpting, the February 1 opening celebration includes music both outdoors and indoors at the Amphitheatre and Library, volunteers serving hot food outdoors, kids crafts indoors, family fun in the Amphitheatre, and more. Stay tuned for the full 2020 schedule!

Summer Reading Program for Adults — Annual program with prizes, statewide reads, and incentives to read across many genres. July and August every summer!

Kids Summer Reading Program — the library offers a strong reading program for kids during the summer months, beginning as soon as school lets out. Prizes, magicians, fun in the Amphitheatre, and more! Check the website for more information as summer approaches.