Veterans walk in the Memorial Day parade in Bangor in this May 27, 2019, file photo. Credit: Gabor Degre

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Bangor’s Memorial Day parade has been canceled after Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday banned large gatherings through the end of May.

Bangor High School’s Junior ROTC Master Sgt. Bernice Dill said that given that gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited in order to halt the spread of the coronavirus, the parade won’t go on.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

Bangor’s parade, traditionally one of the largest in the state, was originally scheduled for the morning of May 25. It usually includes veterans groups from all over the region, as well as local high school marching bands.

The students in Bangor High School’s Junior ROTC program each year plan Bangor’s Memorial Day parade. ROTC instructor Lt. Col. Darryl Lyons said in an interview in March that he had his cadets use the real-life events unfolding in their community as a learning exercise.

Though the parade has now been canceled, the pandemic gave the students a chance to respond to a crisis as they might in a future military career.

“What I’ve asked them to do is to put together a contingency plan, in the event that the actual parade could be pulled off,” Lyons said. “How could we do it? What would it look like? Could we cancel in 30 days? Fifteen days? Zero days? This sort of planning is part of what we do. It’s becoming a lesson for us.”

On Tuesday night, Maine Lobster Festival officials in Rockland announced the 2020 celebration there would be scrapped. Fort Fairfield also canceled this year’s Potato Blossom Festival set for July 11-19. The event brings between 10,000 to 20,000 people there each year.

Dozens of other festivals, fairs and events have been disrupted across Maine this year because of the pandemic. Here is a list of some of those cancellations or changes, so far:


The Vinegar Hill Music Theatre canceled its 2020 season.


The 2020 annual Heritage Days festival has been canceled.

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Bangor’s 2020 Memorial Day parade, originally set for May 25, has been canceled.

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The Penobscot Theatre Co. has canceled the remainder of its 2019-2020 season.

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Concerts at large venues including the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion and the Cross Insurance Center continue to be canceled or postponed on a rolling basis. Right now, previously scheduled concerts at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion that have been rescheduled include Lady Antebellum, rescheduled from June 19 to Sept. 18, and at the Cross Insurance Center, Ringo Starr’s June 9 concert will be rescheduled for another date in 2021.

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The 2020 Sidewalk Arts Festival in Bangor, originally set for July 11, has been canceled.

Bar Harbor

The town’s annual open town meeting for registered voters has been rescheduled from June 2 to June 30, though a location has not been determined. Municipal elections have been moved to July 14, to coincide with the rescheduled statewide primary elections.

The Abbe Museum Indian Market, originally set for May 15-17, has been canceled.


The 2020 All Roads Music Festival has been rescheduled from May 15-16 to Sept. 11-12.

The Maine Celtic Celebration, originally scheduled for July, has been canceled.


The Trek Across Maine, a bicycle race raising money for the American Lung Association originally set for June 19-21, has been revamped as a virtual event, in which participants can still ride the 60-, 120- or 180-mile race, but at their own pace and on their own time. The “virtual race” will continue through June 30.

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Maine State Music Theatre canceled its 2020 season of plays on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick. It has set up an online form to process ticket refunds.

The 2020 Bowdoin International Music Festival has been canceled.


The Saco River Theatre is moving all spring performances to the summer. All summer performances will be postponed to the fall. See its website for details.


The 2020 Maine Whoopie Pie Festival has been postponed to Oct. 3.

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Fort Fairfield

The 2020 Potato Blossom Festival set for July 11-19 is canceled.


The State of Maine Bicentennial Parade, originally scheduled for May 16 in Lewiston and Auburn, has been rescheduled for Aug. 15.


The June installment of the Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival has been canceled. Organizers still hope to hold the August festival.

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The Bay of Fundy International Marathon has been canceled for 2020, and will happen again on June 27, 2021.


The Margaretta Days Festival for 2020 has been canceled.


All 2020 Maine Fiddle Camp sessions have been canceled.

Mount Desert

The town has decided to postpone its municipal elections and open annual town meeting, which had been scheduled for May 4 and 5. New dates have not yet been scheduled.

Mount Desert Island

The Acadia Birding Festival has been canceled for 2020; it will happen again June 3-6, 2021.


The 2020 Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland has been canceled. Festival officials say they plan on continuing their college scholarship program to help support local students in their pursuit of higher education.

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The North Atlantic Blues Festival set for July 11 and 12 is canceled. The dates for next year will be July 10 and 11.


The Sebago Days Committee canceled this year’s event though it may still offer fireworks on the night of July 18.

South Paris

The Celebration Barn Theater canceled its entire 2020 season, including all performances and workshops.


The city of Westbrook has canceled its Memorial Day parade. It has also canceled the 2020 Together Days, originally set for June 6-7.


The annual Yarmouth Clam festival, which always begins the third Friday in July, has been canceled.

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.