Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn!  A HUGE shout of thanks goes out to all of you who voted us among the top ten resort hotels in the northeast in  Travel and Leisure's 2017 World's Best Awards We're truly honored by your patronage and loyalty. We owe this prestigious ranking to our incredibly talented and hard warking employees.  Without a doubt we have the finest crew on planet Earth and couldn't be more proud of them. Thank you all!

The  annual Moxie Festival was in full swing when I began writing this newsletter, and Mr. Moxie himself was staying with us here at the inn.  Tho I've covered this phenomenon before, it bears a brief mention in this month for several good reasons; after 35 years of putting tiny Lisbon Falls, Maine on the map, the festival now boasts what is arguably the biggest parade in the state of Maine, proudly marching under that distinctive Moxie-orange, white and blue banner.  The Moxie mystique has taken on a life of its own and if you've always wanted to attend a truly wacky Maine festival, mark this one on your calendar for the second weekend in July.  In addition to a two hour parade in the morning, which included the indomitable Dorothea Brown riding a Harley at 102 years of age, there are loads of exhibits and activities, and for those boasting true moxie, there's the Moxie Chugging Challenge, where seven competitors, displaying "energy, pep, courage and determination", are each given a 12 pack of Moxie cans and a bucket.  The contestant who chugs the most Moxies in two minutes wins the contest.  Any contender who can't hold their Moxie is disqualified and must immediately vacate the area.  Nobody's chugged all twelve of the carbonated beverages in the time limit, two are enough to make the average stomach almost explode, but the current champion put away ten in his best year. Mind boggling. Incidentally, according to strict rules, the bucket is only to be used for the empty cans.  Because Moxie drinkers are a select bunch, this festival celebrates a weird kind of bonding and camaraderie between Moxie aficionados, but you don't have to like Moxie to enjoy some wicked good fun. Moxie is slightly bitter and medicinal tasting, not super sweet like most sodas.  Either you like it, or you don't. You can't find it everywhere, so next time you're in Maine you might want to give it a try, and if you like it, consider signing up for next year's Moxie Chugging Challenge.  It would make Moxie memories guaranteed to last a lifetime...if you survive the experience.

If Moxie isn't your cup of tea, the Yarmouth Clam Festival is coming right up July 21 - 23rd, featuring a parade, fireworks, road race, live music, all sorts of fun activities and of course, Maine clams.  Lots and lots of clams, served every which way.  The Maine Lobster Festival kicks off in Rockland August 2 - 6, also featuring a parade, live entertainment and fun activities including the Great International Lobster Crate Race and lobster.  Lots and lots of lobster, served every which way.  Rounding out the festivals featuring Maine's top three blue ribbon foods, the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival at the Union Fair is held August 19th - 26th, with the obligatory pie eating contests, bake-offs and other fun fair festivities.  
For those who'd rather read about summer festivals than attend them, we'll serve you up all the fresh Maine lobster and clams you can eat, and for dessert, indulge in a big slice of our perfectly decadent house made wild Maine blueberry pie served warm or cold, with a scoop of our homemade vanilla ice cream.  Could there be a more perfect "blue ribbon" Maine meal?
jumbo lobster roll
Try not to worry about consuming too many calories while the lobster butter's dripping down your chin and your smile turns a blissful blue around a big slice of pie.  After all, you're on vacation.   But if you want to get your vinyasa and yin on, during July and August LLBean is offering one hour free yoga sessions Monday, Wednesday and Friday between eight and nine am at Discovery Park.  Bring a mat and blocks (or borrow them on-site) and learn some yoga moves with a skilled instructor from the Freeport Yoga Company.  Beginners welcome!

Along with LLBean's Summer in the Park Free Concert Series at Discovery Park comes a new Friday night of Food, Fun and Films.  Food trucks arrive at LLBeans at 6 pm and the fun begins at seven. Watch movies, plays and more.  Bring a blanket and have share some great entertainment and an evening picnic in the park!

While lucky kids are enjoying their summer camps in Maine,  we adults deserve to indulge in the same kind of fun.  Consider the Harraseeket Inn your summer "base camp", and be as active a "camper" as you want to be.  Try kayaking, go island hopping, whale watching, antique shopping or hiking on the nearby coastal trails. Take in a free outdoor concert or a Fire pit outside BroadArrow Tavern movie.  Make new friends during afternoon tea or around the fire pit in the evening. Some of our guests have forged such wonderful friendships during their stay that they now coordinate their vacation dates here at the inn.

Upcoming Events and Special offers

* L.L.Bean's Outdoor Discovery Schools    are a great way to learn new skills and make lasting memories!  Check out the offerings and plan your vacation around some really top notch instruction that will introduce you to a lifetime of outdoor adventures!  
*Wolfe's Neck Farm has special programs for the kids, and 'tis the season for baby animals in the barn.  This is a truly beautiful salt water farm and a wonderful way to make memories for your children.  Take a walk in the adjacent Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park afterward, and enjoy the views of Casco Bay.

*Maine Maritime Museum is located in the ship building town of Bath on the Kennebec River, just a short hop, skip and a jump north of Freeport, and it's well worth the trip.  Tour the museum, take a boat ride on the river, see the schooner Mary E, the oldest Maine built schooner still afloat.  You can easily spend an entire day here!

*Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument  Lots of people are making the trip to see Maine's newest addition to the national parks system.  It's a very beautiful area just waiting to be explored. 

*Check out all of our  special packages  and plan your getaway soon.  Let us pamper you for a day or two or three...the flowers are in bloom!

*The  Freeport Calendar  lists upcoming special events and all the fantastic sales in Freeport Village.  

*Bowdoin College International Music Festival fills the summer with classical music.  Check out the calendar!

*Maine State Theater in Brunswick.  "Grease" is the current show!

Last month's trivia question asking how lobsters and blueberries share the color blue was almost as challenging (and confusing) as some of my misguided astronomy trivia.  From your answers I learned a great deal about lobster biology, more than I ever wanted to know, and got some good laughs from the more creative responses.  About half of you came up with the answer I was looking for, that lobster blood is blue (due to complex chemical and biological reasons I won't go into here).  However, it's also true that lobster eggs are called berries and Coast of Maine Compost does use blueberries and lobster shells in one of their mixes and a meal of fresh Maine lobster topped off with a big slice of wild blueberry pie is a blue ribbon winner for sure!  Thank you all for responding.  I'll try to make this month's trivia a little easier.   Who won this year's Moxie Chugging Challenge, and how many Moxies did he chug?   Hint: one of the links in this newsletter has the answer.  All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit.  You may redeem up to 12 vouchers at one time, a $60. value, preferably in the year they were won.  One per household, please, and we are unable to print your voucher for you when you arrive, you must bring it with you.  Be patient with my replies, but if you haven't heard anything in two weeks time, re-send.  Responses sometimes get lost in cyber-space.  

Enjoy these long summer days and we hope to see you soon! 
Penny Gray
The Gray family