CALAIS, Maine&nbsp- Celebrating years of cross-border friendship, Calais and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, are planning an extraordinary week of fun and activities that begin Friday night.

The International Festival began in 1974 as a three-day event celebrating the two communities separated by the St. Croix River.

It has grown to a 10-day event.

It begins with the annual International Friendship Handshake Ceremony on the Ferry Point Bridge at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1. Officials from the two communities, and their respective color guards, will march across the bridge to shake hands and officially kick off the week’ s events.

Saturday starts with the Everett Meader Memorial Golf Tournament in Calais. The Little Miss International Pageant and the Miss International Pageant will be held that night in St. Stephen.

At noon Sunday, the first International Festival church service will be held. The St. Croix Christian Center has asked other churches to join it for a service.

Then there will be the Tough Man Competition at 2 p.m. on the waterfront in St. Stephen.

On Monday, Aug. 4, tours of the Chocolate Museum in St. Stephen will be available. At 7 a.m. there will be a lumberjack breakfast followed by a lumberjack competition on the waterfront in St. Stephen.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, mystery author Sarah Graves of Eastport will sign her new book, “The Book of Old Houses,” at the Calais Bookshop on Main Street in Calais. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a concert in the triangle park, also in Calais.

Wednesday, Aug. 6, will feature a kid’ s dog show for ages 5 to 12 at 6 p.m. in St. Stephen. That will be followed by a street dance behind the Calais City Building at 8 p.m.

On Thursday. Aug. 7, there will be a free children’ s petting zoo and pony ride at noon on the St. Stephen Wharf. At 4 p.m. the Children’ s Peanut Fair will be held at Calais Elementary School. At 7 p.m. there will be the concert in the park at the triangle in Calais featuring singer Debbie Myers.

New this year for racing fans will be a chance to meet Andy Santerre. He will be at Hardwicke’ s Country Store from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8. Those who attend will be able to have their pictures taken with Santerre and his car. At 5:30 p.m. that day there will be a rock-skipping contest in St. Stephen.

Saturday, Aug. 9, starts early with the annual cow-patty breakfast followed by Cow Patti Bingo. Buy a plot of land and if the cow leaves a patty on your square, you win $500. That all starts at 7 a.m.

The Calais Street Fair begins at 8 a.m., along with the Children’ s Road Race.

At noon the 35th International Homecoming Festival Parade, which stretches for more than a mile, begins in St. Stephen and ends in Calais. At 3 p.m. the Calais Skateboard Park Competition will be held.

Sunday, Aug. 10, puts the finishing touches on the event beginning at 9 a.m. with the Great Ducky Race on the St. Croix River. At 5 p.m. will be the Calais Rotary Sunday Funday Concert in the triangle park. That will be followed by a fireworks show at 8:30 p.m.

For more information about times and places pick up a copy of the festival brochure at area stores.