Ocean views, cocktails, art, brews and tunes, served at the finest homes in Kennebunkport – those are ingredients to the best food & wine festival in Maine. Now in its 15th year, the Kennebunkport Festival is the first week of June in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, June 3-9, 2019. If you love food, wine, art and drinking in the ocean views, you will love this fest. Originally called the Fine Food Wine and Art Festival, it is now called the Kennebunkport Festival – and its once again fun by locals for locals, as it was originated in 2004!
What’s not to love about a week-long Kennebunkport event of eating and drinking by the Kennebunk River, browsing beautiful artwork by local artists, hobnobbing with local residents and top chefs, art collectors and foodies from away? Sign me up, right?! Grab your wallet though – the best festivals in life are not free…well, the Kennebunkport Festival isn’t anyway.
It’s a pay to play festival, but benefits local charities – with events as low as $35 for cocktail parties to as much as $200 for Chef’s dinner parties in private homes. But the settings are arguably priceless! By the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Maine’s best chefs show off their culinary skills while you sip cocktails and converse in fabulous seaside homes opened up for you and a few other special guests. These Art of Dining dinner parties serve a multi course menu while an award-winning artist features their work – all of which is themed for the evening. Wine is paired with the Maine inspired meal, reflecting the artwork and the design and decor of each of the selected mansions. These Kennebunkport Festival dinner parties are a pretty penny to attend, but while you feast, you can feel good that proceeds benefit local charities – Maine organizations. 2018’s fest raised $18,000, 2019 – $158,000!
Before the dinner parties, the Kennebunkport Festival includes cocktail parties held at local bars like The Burleigh, and Old Vines Wine Bar. The pre dinner cocktails parties features signature cocktails, appetizers and local music at $35 a head, before you head off to your Art of Dining night, or head out on the town (or home if you aren’t a huge party animal).
Other fun Kennebunkport Festival events are the Thursday night Oasis at Old Vines Wine Bar, featuring a live band, free flowing wine, chef created hors d’ouevres, and a late night DJ and buffet. Friday’s Maine Art Block Party is new this year, hosted at Maine Art Gallery and other art galleries and boutiques in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk’s Lower Village
The big Kennebunkport Festival finale is Sunday afternoon, a Grand Taste of The Kennebunks party at the Colony Hotel .
See you at the Kennebunkport Festival, get your tickets and your outfits, so you’ll be looking fabulous, drink in hand, looking out at the water, wondering what chef treat to indulge in next, while listening to the music and chatting with friends – old and new. Cheers!
Some of the best chefs from Maine and International culinary talent at the Kennebunkport Festival:
Christopher Bassett, Azure Café
Mark Gaier & Clark Frasier of MC Perkins Cove, Ogunquit
Norm Herbert of Bintliff’s, Ogunquit
Justin Walker – Earth & Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick
Jonathan Cartwright – Musette, formerly the Wayfarer, Kennebunkport
Josh Berry- Union, Press Hotel, voted Maine’s Best Chef -Maine Restaurants
Brian and Shannon O’ Hea of The Kennebunk Inn,
Kristin Simmons Custom Cakes and Pastries
Jeff Buerhaus of Walter’s, Portland
Mel Chaiken of the Fiddlehead Restaurant, Bangor
Chad Conley & Greg Mitchell of Palace Diner, Biddeford
David Connelly & Francesca Bowman of Old Port Seagrill, Portland
Fred Eliot of Petite Jaqueline, Portland
Abby Harmon and Nick Ryder of Caiola’s, Portland
Guy Hernandez, formerly of Bar Lola, Portland
Josh Hixson of 40 Paper, Camden and 3Crow
Scott Lee of Bandaloop, Kennebunkport
Harding Lee Smith of The Grill Room, Oyster Room, Corner Room, and Mountain Room at Sunday River
Jason Paul of The Gothic, Belfast
Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez of Piccolo and Blue Rooster, Portland
John Shaw of The Boathouse, Burleigh, The Tides Beach Club
Lee Skawinski of Vignola Cinque Terre, Portland
Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan, Brunswick
Jay Villani of Sonny’s, Local 188
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