Kpt Fest fashion blog…
The 15th annual Kennebunkport Festival is a wrap and what an amazing week of fun, food, art, and music it was…flowing up and down the Kennebunk River, celebrating our seaside community over cocktails and cuisine with a commitment to giving back! In its 2nd year as a locally organized festival, the Kpt Fest was a big success, a record-breaker for funds donated to local charities, more than $157,800… well over the $100,000 goal, and almost double the previous year’s $81,000! The fabulous week of 20 events in six days brought fun and sun, bringing together friends old and new in our most spectacular seaside venue.
Back by popular demand is my Kpt Fest fashion blog … I appreciate the shared passion for fashion and the preparation some folks show to not just “show up” but to bring their style along with a smile to Kennebunkport Festival events. Anyone can put on a T-shirt and jeans… it takes panache to put together an #OOTD (outfit of the day) that says not only “I am happy to be here” but “cheers, here’s my best foot forward, and I have an outfit to match, shoes and a hat”… all that…
Here are my serious style points that stand out from our whirlwind week of dinners, three cocktail parties at Burleigh, Stripers at The Breakwater and aboard The Spirit, Old Vines Oasis, Maine Art’s Block Party, Nonantum’s Gala, Vinegar Hill’s Summer Soirée, and The Colony’s finalé Taste the Kennebunks.
Brights and whites, peaches and cream, popular pink, even brazen fuchsia and red – Kennebunk and Kennebunkport were ablaze in color June 4-9. While past festivals were predominantly nautical, navy, stripes, predictably preppy even, this year was a bit more festive. Colors were bold and brilliant among the participants who were primarily local, which is another thing I love about the 2019 Kpt fest. Much like the festival itself that is back in the capable hands of our own local entrepreneurs, stewards and shepherds, familiar faces are supporting the events knowing their contributions help those in Maine. New friends, vacationers and folks from away that joined in the Festival fun felt they’d discovered a coastal utopia. “This place is so beautiful and you locals are TOO MUCH FUN,” said one.
Kicking off the Festival – Cocktails at The Burleigh – Tim Harrington, Maryann, and Margaret Ybarra of Kennebunkport Resort Collection were a dream team in creams.
Kentucky Derby meets Kport Dinner party? Love Kristen Kuehnle’s clever Art of Dining fashion idea – ladies donned fascinators and men looked dapper. So very festive and “fascinating” – literally. One more pun, 100% of tickets benefited literacy – going to Louis T. Graves Memorial Library. Diners enjoyed cuisine by Chef John Shaw of The Boathouse.
Another fabulous lady of fashion, Angela LeBlanc graced the CIRE Travel dinner with an elegant Asian inspired jacket with a pop of color, at Eric Hrubant and Mark Pizza’s residence catered by Chef Rebecca of Pearl.
At Stripers Cocktail Party, mother daughter Katie and Barbie Pressly were perfectly paired in navy stripes– and they brought equal enthusiasm as longtime supporters of the Festival. Roxann and Kara Neumann- ditto darlings for your mother daughter matchiness! Another generational fashion nod goes to Sergio and his son – perfect in purple at the Maine Art Block Party. Val and her mom Karen Schlegel rocked aqua at The Colony’s finale.
I love a couple that coordinates, maybe it’s because I ask my man to wear my wardrobe plan (thank you Greg for never questioning my color quest). Call it cute or kitschy, when “he and she” enter the event looking intentional, not just conventional, it says fab and festive to me. Marjie and Bob Dennis were photogenic in blue at the Hurlbutt Dinner, a rare photo opp as Bob is more oft behind his own lens. Margaret and Joe Ybarra always bring enviable style and ebullient vibe.
Newly engaged, since last year’s KptFest, Trisha Winslow and John Spain hosted their Maine Art Block Party rocking royal blue – like the King and Queen of Bourbon Street North in The Kennebunks. This 2nd annual New Orlean’s inspired outdoor art party was a blast, with oysters, cajun étouffée and music by Soggy Po’ Boys! Myra and Jeff Bonney were true blue on this beautiful Friday evening too! It’s outrageously fun when your shirt coordinates with your Batson River cocktail Tim Harrington and Louise Hurlbutt, Sue Ellen Strout and Helene Dicesare…
Cocktails aboard the Spirit were spirited with color, pink and green and pale blue, with a few pops of red to rock the boat on Thursday evening of the Festival. The Sand Witches of the Kennebunks were totally “on board” with spirit for this fundraiser, and so many others throughout the week. Don’t be frightened, these are “good witches for good deeds.” This glorious sunny evening was a floating success, and marked the halfway point of the marathon Festival week. From here, folks headed to Old Vines Oasis dance party.
Nonantum Resort’s #Foundation4Love 4th annual #KissME Gala was perhaps the fanciest of the Festival, with gowns and sequins and a super popular photo booth VW bus on the resort’s riverfront lawn for guests to flaunt their best. A dance party ensued, as is typically the case with this festival – love when fundraising is fun and we can celebrate our generous community.
Saturday’s Summer Soiree at Vinegar Hill Music Theatre was over the top – a night of bright… under a big tent festooned with a brilliant rainbow of umbrellas and paper lanterns. Props to the Kennebunk Resort Collection team for creating this theatric big top tent popping with color like a bag of skittles. The gals from Portland’s cycling studio – The Jibe Tribe were particularly pretty with a punch of coordinated hews. Guests enjoyed a feast of culinary treats from Earth, Burleigh, Tides Beach Club, Ocean, The Dorey, and Boathouse Waterfront, accompanied by Batson River cocktails. After plentiful hors d’oeuvres, the festive crowd gathered inside Vinegar Hill Theatre for donut desserts then danced it off to Gina and The Red Eye Flight Crew. This might explain a few red eyes the next day … Sunday – day 6 of the Kpt Fest.
Sunday’s Taste The Kennebunks at the regal Colony Hotel was an absolute 10 and a perfect grand finaléto The Kennebunkport Festival week. Sunshine and sea views were stellar as a sophisticated crowd sipped wines and spirits, socializing and tasting so many delicious bites from local Chefs and restaurants. Garden party attire was the way on this picture perfect Kennebunkport day. Hosts John Martin of the Colony and his lovely wife Kristen were gorgeous in green, others sported coastal shades on the sweeping lawn leading to the sea. The band – Beau Dalleo and Lionheart – played fantastic tunes from their perch on the putting green. The high end wine poured all afternoon was a treat. Everyone looked smashing, and this final festival event was a smashing success!
A special thank you to our official Kennebunkport Festival photographer Dave Dostie who captured all our magical moments, fun times and fabulous food in hundreds of photos throughout the marathon week of Maine events – somehow he magically made us all look good, spinning our grins as he smiled all the while.
See all the fantastic photos from The Kennebunkport Festival here…
The winner of this year’s best dressed for success? The Kennebunkport Festival itself! In 2019, collectively we raised a record amount – wait till you see the full accounting and numerous Maine charities that benefited from this year’s fest which many are dubbing “the best fest yet!”
Thanks to everyone who stepped up, dressed up, bought tickets and came out to support The Kennebunkport Festival in its 15th year. Thank you to the hosts of dinner parties – folks that generously opened their homes to entertain diners and raise funds. Our generous corporate sponsors truly made it happen, and to our venues that put on big parties. Thanks to the volunteer Festival Committee who worked all year – cheers! Special thanks to our Chefs and local businesses that donated and provided services, food and drinks. It takes a village…. ours is a very special one. #LoveKpt See you here next year… #KptFest2020
– Heather Burke, World Travel Journalist, Kennebunkport resident
2019 Kennebunkport Festival Committee:
Michelle Allen, The Spirit of Massachusetts
Heather & Greg Burke, VisitMaine.net
Louise Hurlbutt & Melissa Freeman, Hurlbutt Designs
John Spain & Trisha Winslow, Maine Art Hill
Rob Labelle, The Nonantum Resort
Rachel Pelkey & Justin Grimes, The Kennebunkport Resort Collection
Festival Coordinator ~ Emily McConnell