FREEPORT, Maine — There are now as many food options in Freeport as there are L.L. Bean plaids. And this weekend, they are all rolled out for your delectation. Flavors of Freeport, a smorgasbord of everything from ice-your-own doughnuts to wine tastings to lobster rolls, is spread out across town from Friday through Sunday.
Will there be an ice bar? Most def.
For the ninth year now, food lovers come out of hibernation to sample the latest from Maine’s growing dining destination. Run by Freeport USA, a nonprofit marketing association, this year’s event is packed with free tastings, live music, fire pits and culinary delights.
“It used to just be the chef signature series,” Emily Marquis, marketing and event coordinator for the association, said. The happening has grown to include tours at Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections; demos at shops such as Casco Bay Cutlery and Kitchenware, where Stonewall Kitchen bites will be served; and the decadent draw to decorate your own doughnut at Frostys.
In the evening attendees gather at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Freeport. The excitement kicks of Friday with band Motor Booty Affair and an ice bar outside.
On Saturday night, the Chef’s Signature Series is a moveable feast expected to draw 450 people who “travel from Connecticut and New York for this,” Marquis said.
They will sample tastes from Petrillo’s, The Harraseeket Inn, The Muddy Rudder, Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern and Gritty McDuff’s among others. Food producers such as FIORE Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars, Frosty’s Donuts and When Pigs Fly bread also will be dishing out tastes. Judges — including this reporter — will bestow awards for taste and presentation.
Thirsty? A bevy of beverage companies such as Coffee By Design, Cold River Vodka, New England Distilling, Ebenezer’s Brewpub and Norumbega Cidery will offer liquid relief Saturday night.
“It’s a full weekend of events. People are looking for something to do and are ready to get out of house,” Marquis said. “It’s fun for visitors and locals alike. We want people to see Freeport as a multifaceted destination. You can come here for four seasons, dine, shop and explore.”
Flavors of Freeport is February 19-21. Tickets are $40 for both nights or one night for $25 each. They can be purchased at eventbrite.com/e/9th-annual-flavors-of-freeport-tickets-19911411568.