18th Annual Bethel Harvestfest

presented by 

On and Around the Village Common

Saturday, September 19

9:00 am-4:00 pm Arts, crafts, music, and farmers’ market on the Common

Cider pressing at the Bethel Historical Society (side lawn of the Dr. Moses Mason House)

8:00 am until they’re gone! Cookie walk to benefit West Bethel Union Church.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm Chainsaw carving demo with Steve Stone on the lawn next to the Bethel Historical Society

10:00 am – 12:30 pm Rug-hooking demonstration at the Bethel Historical Society. Try out various rug-hooking techniques and view hooked rugs on display.

10:00 am – 4:00 pm Bethel Historical Society’s Robinson House open – Museum Shop and exhibits

10:00 am – 2:00 pm Book signing at Bethel Historical Society (side lawn of the Dr. Moses Mason House) – Author Jim Witherell for his books Ed Muskie: Made in Maine, 1914-1960 and L. L. Bean—The Man and His Company: The Complete Story

10:00 am – 2:00 pm Kids’ activities at the Hancock Lumber tent

11:00 am – 3:00 pm Loaded baked potatoes and goodies off the grill for sale at the chamber’s booth next to the gazebo.

11:00 am – 12:15 pm Points North Fiddlers at the gazebo

12:00 pm CHOWDAH IS SERVED!  Buy your bracelets from volunteers.

  • Just chowder (10+ samples) + drink: $10
  • Chowder + drink + slice of apple pie a la mode: $13
  • Kids’ price chowder + drink: $5
  • Individual sample: $2

12:00 pm ’till it’s gone Apple pie slices on sale.  Grab a slice a la mode!  (To participate in apple pie contest judging, drop your pie off at the chamber’s tent before 11:00 a.m.)

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm Jewel Clark Live music at the gazebo

12:30 pm – 3:30 pm Free horse-drawn wagon rides leaving from the corner next to the Chapman Inn

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Shadagee Ramblers Live music at the gazebo

1:30 pm Illustrated talk with Judith Burger-Gossart of Salsbury Cove, Maine author of Sadie’s Winter Dream: Fishermen’s Wives and Maine Sea Coast Mission Hooked Rugs, 1923-1938,  the story of how fishermen’s wives on the coast of Maine had their lives transformed by Sea Coast Mission worker Alice Peasley, who taught them to make and sell hooked rugs to aid these struggling families. Sponsored by BHS’s Florence Bickford Hastings Traditional Crafts Fund.  Exhibit Hall, Dr. Moses Mason House; free and open to the public

2:30 pm Chowdah cookoff and apple pie contest winners announced!

3:00 pm Baxter Brewing Beer Tasting and Live Music with Denny Breau at The Bethel Inn Resort. New to Harvestfest! Try Baxter Brewing‘s tasty beers, with samplings from their regular and seasonal offerings.  $10 ticket gets you six 6-oz pours of  your choice. Each ticket enters you into a raffle to win a VIP tour of Baxter Brewing Co.’s brewery in Lewiston for up to 5 people. Get tickets at Baxter’s tent on the common during Harvestfest or ahead of time at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, 8 Station Place, Bethel. (Raffle drawn at 5:30, must be present to win.)

Around Town

Friday, September 18

Northeast Drift Boat Competition – 3:00 pm  Drift boat oarsmen test their skills at launching, ferrying, navigation and rowing speed over a ¼ mile length of the Androscoggin. The contest begins at Bethel Outdoor Adventure and ends at Davis Park.

Saturday, September 19

New England Two-Fly Contest – 6:00 am – 2:00 pm – Fishermen fly-cast from 6 am to 3 pm on the Upper Androscoggin River trying to catch the largest and most brook, rainbow and brown trout with the use of only two flies.  Awards will be presented at 4 pm on The Bethel Inn Resort’s back lawn. Register here.

Self-guided canoe/kayak tour on the Androscoggin – 8:30 am – 6:00 pm – Bethel Outdoor Adventure & Campground offers 10% off rentals and shuttle service from Gilead to Bethel.  Reservations recommended. (207) 824-4224

Bethel Farmers’ Market  – 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.mnext to Norway Savings Bank on the Parkway. Fresh local produce, meats, flowers, eggs, lobster, and other goodies from local farms.

Sunday River Resort – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Scenic lift rides to the top of North Peak, mountain biking, geocaching, disc golf, bungee trampoline, hiking, and zipline tours. 1-800-543-2754 or

Apple picking at two local orchards:

Gibson’s Apple Orchard – 55 Gibson Rd., Bethel. (4 miles from Rt. 2 on the North Road.) (207) 836-2972

Lyon Orchard – 684 Grover Hill Rd., Bethel. (3.6 miles from Rt.5/35) (207) 824-2842

Sunday, September 20

45-mile ride with Barker Mountain Bikes – 9:30 a.m. Join the folks at Barker Mountain Bikes for a scenic loop ride along the Androscoggin and through East Bethel. Meet at Barker Mountain Bikes, 53 Mayville Rd (Rt. 2/26 next to Dunkin’ Donuts.) (207) 824-0100