Mackenzie Bridges, dressed as a zombie prom queen, helps Hailey Grindle become The Incredible Hulk during last year's Ghostport festivities. PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA

Prepare to get scared at Ghostport



BUCKSPORT — Stir your cauldron, rev up your broomstick, call your mummy and mark your calendars, the frightful fall festival known as Ghostport is almost upon us.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 21, all are invited to zombie shuffle or Franken-stomp over to the festivities on Main Street and the waterfront.

Make sure you dress to the spooky nines, because visitors with outstanding costumes will be rewarded with a pleasant surprise that starts with “c” and ends with “ash.”

This year, there will be a costume parade, a trebuchet launching pumpkins, pumpkin carving competitions and the annual Jonathan Buck’s Race to the Grave, where teams of five race their homemade coffins on wheels down Main Street.

Students from Maine Maritime Academy won the 2016 Jonathan Buck’s Race to the Grave, a coffin race from the Alamo Theatre to Wahl’s Dairy Port.
PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA

The fright fest starts with a “’Lil Goblins Parade,” where children of all ages and their parents or guardians can march down Main Street dressed as any Transformer, Jedi or superhero they like.

Parade participants should gather in front of the Bucksport town office at 10 a.m.

Werewolves may wonder where the food is, so there will be plenty of opportunities to devour some tasty treats.

The parade ends at the town waterfront, where at 11:30 a.m. a “brunch of witches” will be provided by Regional School Unit 25’s parent teacher organization.

There will also be a chili cook-off hosted by Bucksport Heart and Soul, starting at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Bucksport Historical Society building.

Meanwhile, several businesses and artists will open up vendor stands at the waterfront from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One of the most famous of them is Wahl’s Dairy Port. The ice cream shop will offer its fall flavors from its Main Street location until 4 p.m., when it closes for the rest of the year.

Starting at 11:30 a.m., visitors can chuck pumpkins into the Penobscot River via a trebuchet from Flag Point on the waterfront.

Emmett Hills patrolled the Bucksport waterfront as a policeman, but his duties were complicated by Isaiah and Cadence Hills, who haunted the waterfront as vampires.
PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA

New to the trebuchet tradition this year, The Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center is helping to host a program called “Smashing Cancer, One Pumpkin at a Time!”

As part of the program, Tracy Eaton, the owner of Hairbenders Salon in Ellsworth, painted ribbons representing different types of cancers on pumpkins.

At 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the cancer pumpkins will be launched from the trebuchet into the river, never to be seen again.

The trebuchet crew will take a break for the hotly contested coffin race at 2 p.m., when friends, businesses and organizations push a person down Main Street in a wheeled, souped-up coffin, starting outside the Alamo Theatre.

The Spooky Story half-hour will start at 1 p.m. at BookStacks, so that little kids can hear stories in time to watch the coffin race.

The Trunk R Treating (held from 2:30 to 4 p.m.) will be in the parking lot behind the town office.

The Bangor-based Down East Fantasy Con will also set up a backdrop of the famous Harry Potter train station, Platform 9¾. Visitors can have their pictures taken in front of the backdrop by a professional photographer.

Contact Leslie Wombacher at 468-6818 or visit the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce website or the Ghostport Facebook page for more information.

Other activities include:

  • A kid-friendly movie showing at the Alamo at 4:30 p.m.
  • A carved pumpkin contest, where pumpkins are dropped off from 5 to 5:30 p.m. at the gazebo on the waterfront. Judging starts at 6 p.m. Remember, all entries must be lighted with a non-flammable light, such a glow-stick or a battery-operated light.
  • A shuttle bus from Main Street to Fort Knox, where the annual fright fest Fright at the Fort is held. Buses run from 5 to 8:45 p.m.
  • From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Lighthouse Arts Center will open their new art show, “FALLing in Love with Bucksport.”
  • A dance DJ’d by Rebel Wolf Productions in front of the Historical Society from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $1 with costume, $3 without costume.
  • A Friends of Fort Knox fireworks display launched from Fort Knox at 9:15 p.m.
  • A screening of the newly-released movie “It,” based on the horror novel by Stephen King, will take place at the Alamo at 10 p.m.
David Roza

David Roza

David grew up in Washington County, Maryland, has reported in Washington County, Oregon, and now covers news in Hancock County and Washington County, Maine for The American and Out & About.