Boothbay Harbor

Boothbay Harbor Windjammer Days Antique Boat Parade

Windjammer Days Antique Boat Parade

There are so many wonderful traditions that make up Boothbay Harbor Windjammer Days that it is hard to pick a favorite, but this is certainly one of ours. The Antique Boat Parade mixes nostalgia and heartfelt appreciation with history, community and character to create an event that will leave you feeling delighted you were a part of it.  

IMG_9251.jpg

Great pride is taken in restoring and preserving these regal vessels of yesteryear, and many a proud owner will gladly share with you the details of his or her work.  This year we have changed the date of the Antique Boat Parade to Thursday, June 27, 2019. The parade begins at 3 pm and you can watch from most anywhere in town as the boats circle the inner harbor. Narration of the parade will be done on the west side in Whale Park.  After circling the harbor, many of the boats will tie up on the east side at the Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort for the public reception.  You are welcome to take in the parade from Oceanside or walk across the footbridge and join us after for drink specials, awards, and to meet the captains. 

Windjammer Days Antique Boat Parade

If you haven't experienced the Antique Boat Parade and the reception that follows, we invite you to check out this beloved event.  You will not only share in a true coastal Maine community, you will also have the pleasure of talking with captains who are the salt of the earth and have rich, engaging stories to share.

Windjammer Days Antique Boat Parade

Have an antique boat (25 years old or older) and would like to be a part of the parade? Come join in the fun! You can find all the information at https://www.boothbayharborwindjammerdays.org/antique-boat-parade.  Have questions for us? Email them to antiqueboatparade@gmail.com.

Special thanks to our Antique Boat Parade Sponsors:
Colby & Gale, Inc., Oak Street Cafe & Catering, Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort, The Smiling Cow, Boothbay Harbor One Design Association, Southport Island Marine, Ocean Point Marina, Sea Tow, Hodgdon Yachts, and Hayval Charters

Announcing the 2017 Windjammer Days Street Parade Grand Marshals

The Blake Family back row - Gary, Joe, Neil, front - the late Virgina and Fred Blake  photo courtesy of the Boothbay Register

The Blake Family back row - Gary, Joe, Neil,
front - the late Virgina and Fred Blake
photo courtesy of the Boothbay Register

Each year, the Windjammer Days Street Parade kicks off the procession with a Grand Marshal. A respected tradition, this person is chosen for their strong character, sense of community, and their kindness toward others. This year there are three.

The "Blake Boys" as everyone knows them - Joe, Neil, and Gary were born and raised on Hodgdon Island in Boothbay, Maine.  Today, they all still live in pretty close proximity to each other.  Joe and his wife Brenda live on Barter's Island, Neil and his wife Sheila on Hodgdon's Island, and Gary and his wife Cathy at Boothbay Center.  

Their father, Fred Blake, established Blake's Boatyard over in West Harbor back in 1951.  The three boys spent every school vacation and summer working along side him in the Boatyard.  In 1961, Fred purchased what is now known as Pier One from Gulf Oil.  The three boys again worked along side their dad selling fuel, boats, and motors, as well as parking cars for boaters, many of them Squirrel Island residents.  They sold Boston Whalers, Makos, Grady Whites, MFG boats, and Johnson Outboard motors.  They even rented little Boston Whalers.  Gary's daughter, Amy Blake Goodwin along with her husband Dusty, who are managing the Boatyard these days shared, "To this day, I have customers who come in and tell me that they bought their first boat from Freddy and the boys back in the 60s.  It's really neat to hear those old stories."  In 1973, Fred and the boys moved all the operations back to West Harbor.  Their uncle Percy Barter who helped run the West Harbor yard would often tease them, "You said you were just going over to town one day, and you didn't come back for 12 years."

The Blake Brothers - Neil, Gary, and Joe

The Blake Brothers - Neil, Gary, and Joe

Despite working together nearly every day of their lives, the Blake Boys remain close friends even choosing to spend a lot of their free time together.  Many nights they would leave the boatyard to shower and change just to meet up again for dinner.  Family dinners were very important to the Blake brothers.  They still are today, though the family has grown so big with kids and grandchildren, it can be hard to get everyone together as often.  "A favorite family tradition to kick off the summer season," says Amy, "is our annual Father's Day dinner at Rocktide.  Every year when I would call Mary Lou for a reservation, she would laugh and ask 'How many this year?'  The last Father's Day celebration before my Grandfather Fred passed away, we managed to all sit together under that neat old train overlooking beautiful Boothbay Harbor.  It was a table for 22."