ELLSWORTH, Maine — When you fly to a different country, one of the most exciting parts of traveling is getting your passport stamped with places like Jamaica or Paris.
City leaders in Ellsworth are using that same excitement to support an initiative to shop local.
The Downtown Ellsworth Passport Program is asking people to visit more than 20 local businesses and fill out a passport at each stop.
The list of locations includes:
- Atlantic Art Glass
- Bud Connection
- Coastal Interiors
- Ellsworth American
- Fogtown Brewing Company
- Ghost Rose Tattoo
- Ellsworth Public Library
- Morton's Moo
- Provender Kitchen & Bar
- Rock & Art Shop
- Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters
- Union River Lobster Pot
- Union River Book & Toy Co.
- John Edwards Market
- Downeast Specialty Bakery
- Poppy and Polka Dot Boutique
- Flexit Cafe
- Woodlawn Museum Gardens & Park
- Steamy Buddha Cafe
- Zeppa's Pizza
Once the passport is full, it can be returned to The Ellsworth American for a chance to win prizes.
Organizers hope this program will make Ellsworth more of a destination spot.
“A lot of people, especially visitors, tend to land here on their way into Bar Harbor because the traffic gets bad and they’re like, ‘Alright, let’s grab a bite to eat.’ And we would like to see Ellsworth turn into a place that you come to on purpose rather than a place to stop on your way to the island,” Tracy Scheckel from The Ellsworth American said.
The Downtown Ellsworth Passport Program is co-sponsored by The Ellsworth American and Heart of Ellsworth. Anyone who completes their passport will receive a free six-month digital subscription to The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander newspapers and be entered into a drawing for admission to the 2022 Downeast Cider + Cheese Festival or A Night on the Town in Downtown Ellsworth.
The program will be happening now through Oct. 6 2022.