Spring Festival – Memorial Day Weekend

Join us on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the return of the alewives. The sixth annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 25, 26, and 27. “We are holding the festival to celebrate the return of the alewives and the restoration work completed to date,” said Deb Wilson, one of the event organizers. “We are three-fourths of the way through the restoration –a wonderful achievement thanks to neighbors and friends of the fish ladder.”

The festival is sponsored by the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society. Festival events will take place in many locations around Damariscotta Mills—at the fish house at the bottom of the ladder, Mulligan’s Smokehouse, along Ladds Hill Road, at the top of the ladder, at Alewives Fabrics on Main Street, and on Town Landing Road. Look for signs pointing the way to activities and maps showing the location of all events.

Each day a special menu has been prepared. On Saturday enjoy the super-secret-recipe North Nobleboro barbecued chicken served with cole slaw, chips and a roll. On Sunday, Chef Tom Wriggins will again put on his famous pig roast with all the fixins—a real treat! And on Monday stop by for the best crab and lobster rolls in town. We’ll also have hot dogs and ice cream all three days.  And, thanks to the Damariscotta River Grill, Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company and D. L. Geary’s Brewing Company, you can enjoy your food with a cold beer—while alewives swim by and osprey dive to eat their lunch!


Mulligan’s smoked alewives—the best in the area—will be on sale all weekend at the smokehouse—or until they run out. The “Smokehouse Girls” will be serving food on Saturday and Sunday—their famous breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, with all the fixins. Fondie York will be making her famous homemade donuts on Sunday at the smokehouse—be sure not to miss them! Look for old photos, storytelling and check out the new t-shirts!

Children’s activities will be held at the Fish House, on Ladds Hill Road and at Alewives Fabrics. The ever-popular osprey fishing game can again be played on Ladds Hill Road. There will be free face painting at Alewives Fabrics together with ice cream, soda, and viewing of video, “Closing the Circle.” And, the wonderful alewife puppet show will be held on the lawn of Alewife Fabrics on Saturday at 1:30.

Additional events include an Antique Car Show on Sunday and antique car rides on Saturday and Sunday.

The two symbols of the fish ladder and festival—the giant osprey and Damilla, the alewife weathervane–are up and ready to greet festival goers. The giant osprey is flying near the fish house this year and pictures will again be taken of people acting as alewives and caught by the giant bird. Damilla is ready to greet visitors at the entrance to the fish house.

Please join us for a wonderful festival and a chance to see alewives close up as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.

Food & Events Schedule