The excitement and anticipation is growing exponentially as the Damariscotta Mills Alewives Festival Committee is busy making sure that the 12th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Alewives Festival is filled with fun, adventures, music, educational exhibits, and food to tantalize and intrigue the entire family.
The one-day festival will be held on Saturday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Memorial Day weekend.
Under the leadership of former Nobleboro selectperson Deborah Wilson, a successful community-based effort to rebuild the Damariscotta Mills fish ladder started in 2007. At the festival committee’s Jan. 13 planning meeting at the home of Dick and Mary Chase, David Brydges stepped forward, together with others, to give Wilson, Mark Becker, and their friends a chance to hand off the work that launches the festival they founded and have led every year since it began 11 years ago.
Brydges, the festival’s new manager, came from the United Kingdom to the United States in 1970 to study mathematics at the University of Michigan. He was a professor of mathematics at the University of Virginia and later at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He and his wife, Betty Lu Brydges, met at the University of Michigan. They have two daughters.
Upon retirement in 2015, David and Betty Lu Brydges moved to Damariscotta Mills, drawn back to Maine by memories of many happy family holidays at Ye Olde Forte Cabins next to the Colonial Pemaquid Historic Site.
For those who like to not only participate but to also be involved, there are many volunteer opportunities available. One can give a few hours of time to work at the 2019 festival or one can become a member of the planning committee. Contact David Brydges at 832-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The next festival planning committee meeting will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 4:30 p.m. at the home of Dick and Mary Cash. For more information and directions, give David Brydges a call.
Kicking off this year’s festival will be the opportunity to run with the alewives. What better way to celebrate the running alewives than with a 5K run? On the morning of Saturday, May 25, there will be a healthy community run that includes cash prizes, professional timing, and a gorgeous course along Great Salt Bay. Preregister at running4free.com/racedetails.aspx?raceid=478
There are discounts for runners under 14 and for local school track teams. Use the contact below for more details. For more information, email Bob Barkalow at email@example.com.
And, of course, throughout the weekend there will be alewife viewing up and down the beautifully restored fish ladder. Stay in touch with this year’s festival and fish ladder happenings by going to and bookmarking damariscottamills.org.
The fish ladder in Damariscotta Mills has been in operation for over 200 years. Built in 1807 by the combined efforts of the towns of Newcastle and Nobleboro, the fish ladder was constructed to allow alewives to bypass the mills blocking the falls between Damariscotta Lake and Great Salt Bay. Last winter, people worked on capping the pools that were built and the bottom of the ladder above and below the footbridge.