MAINE, USA — The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to daily life as we know it and has caused countless summer favorites to be sidelined because of health concerns. The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta, the Harpswell Lobster Boat Races, and Camp Sunshine are the latest cancellations.
While most events so far that have been canceled take place over the summer, including Fourth of July fireworks, annual charity events, fairs, and festivals across Maine, the Pumpkinfest is one of the latest-scheduled events that’s been canceled so far. As can be assumed by its name, Pumpkinfest typically takes place every October.
Pumpkinfest, which is held over ten days in early October through Columbus Day weekend, attracts between 10-15,000 visitors, according to its website, providing a substantial influx of commerce to the rural area of the small Maine town of Damariscotta.
The festival, which focuses on agricultural science and typically has a seedling giveaway from volunteer growers, is encouraging people to grow giant pumpkins this year in their own gardens instead.
According to a Facebook post, free giant pumpkin seedlings will be available for no-contact pick-up from May 16-30 at Pinkham's Plantation at 431 Biscay Road, Damariscotta, and Louis Doe Home Center at 92 Mills Road, Newcastle.
As for the Harpswell Lobster Boat Races, committee members say many factors went into the decision to postpone the annual event, which is typically held in July.
“Harpswell has the oldest population in Maine, we hold the safety of our community, viewers, racers, and all others involved in our event above all else,” committee members wrote in a Facebook post. “COVID-19 safety concerns coupled with the information we now have that the gathering ban of over 50 people will likely not be lifted in time for races, have led the committee to postpone the event until next year.”
Camp Sunshine at Sebago Lake, a year-round retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families, also made the decision Monday to cancel all in-person programs through Labor Day.
"We know our community’s strength is in its ability to adjust, adapt, and create rays of 'Sunshine' even through the most difficult times," the camp wrote on its Facebook page. "The daffodils are at last blooming here in Maine, bringing with them the renewed hope of spring. We look forward to the day we can safely welcome you back through our three yellow doors."
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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