Kennebec Valley Chamber

Serving the Kennebec Valley, Maine Region

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Friday Report ~ June 17, 2016

"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" - This morning, I cleaned out my truck. While doing that, I had a slight twinge when I threw away two or three returnable water bottles. I know they are worth a nickel and I know it helps the environment, but I really wanted my truck to be rid of the trash.

Although there is evidence that the Romans recycled bronze coins into statues, the modern recycling movement began in the early 70's. This is when Rose Rowan had the idea of towing a "recycling" trailer behind a waste management vehicle to collect trash and recyclable items at the same time. This innovation allowed for the introduction of curbside collection in the late 1980s and 1990s, which made it even easier for people to recycle.

Today we do our best to recycle everything. Trash in landfills has dropped dramatically and innovators are finding new ways to use our waste to power machinery or create new products. It appears that we even recycle presidential candidates.

In an effort to do my part, and to relieve some of my guilt from throwing away bottles, I am recycling my blog from last summer. It was a good blog with a lot of great information about the activities in the region over the 2+ weeks that encompass the Whatever Festival. I polished it up a bit and the team here gave it a shine. I hated to see it sitting on a shelf when I could put it to good use. So please enjoy and think about what you can recycle.


When the snow melts and the flowers arrive, it's summertime in Maine's Kennebec Valley. Traditionally, this is the opportunity to gather following a long winter and celebrate with friends and family. Over the years, this tradition has developed into a vibrant season of Fairs and Festivals in Maine.

Few communities celebrate the summer better than our two week Whatever festival in the Kennebec Valley. From June 15 through the 4th of July, the calendar is packed with fantastic events. From concerts, to riverfront activities, to an amazing Kid's Day in Capitol Park and a fun filled Independence Day: over 150 events take place during this 20 day festival.

The event kicked off this past Wednesday with the opening of the Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival in Litchfield, Maine, running through June 18th. Some of the best bluegrass performers from around the country take the stage for the four day family festival.

As the Whatever Festival gains speed, we come to the Greater Gardiner Riverfest tomorrow, June 18th.  This fun-filled day happens in historic Gardiner where they close the main street and the entire city comes out for tone of outdoor, river-centered fun. Both Friday and Saturday nights are capped off with fireworks over the water. See the entire schedule here.

Next Saturday, the 25th of June, Augusta celebrates Kid's Day in Capitol Park. This day full of free activities for families includes children's performers, medieval knights, K-9 demonstrations, touch-a-truck (and a helicopter!) displays, a country singing competition and much, much more. Click here for the incredible lineup of free children's activities from 11-3 in Capitol Park, Augusta.

The festival wraps up with a spectacular celebration of our nation's independence in Augusta with the Capital City Riverfront Fourth. Old Fort Western will host an old time independence day and the grand parade starts at 4pm. Come enjoy live music and family activities from 5pm until dusk at Mill Park in Augusta. At sunset you can find fireworks in Augusta, Winthrop and countless other communities throughout the region.

These events highlight this amazing two week festival, but there are numerous other attractions throughout the area during this time including, "Waterfront Wednesday" concerts in Augusta,  "Rock on the River" concerts in Hallowell, Red Barn Concerts on Tuesdays, haunted history tours, road races and even a Petanque Tournament. See a complete listing of the festival events, times and locations here.

Come on out to the festival and do "Whatever"!