Here’s the first installment of #SeeingOrange, a blogpost about construction in the downtown between (approximately) April 24-June 30. This is the information Heart of Biddeford has gathered from the City of Biddeford. We will update timelines as more information comes in!

Although it will seem like one large project, there are actually four separate projects coming up.

Project 1: Paving Prep, Started April 24 through approximately May 1
Maine Water is fixing and preparing their shut offs and gate valve boxes for upcoming paving operations. Since the work takes place in isolated locations along Main Street, traffic is routed around the sites.

Continue reading…

Heart of Biddeford is pleased to share our 2015-16 Annual Report, in which we thank you – the volunteers, donors, sponsors, and downtown enthusiasts – for another year of positive change! Please take a moment to review some inspiring photos, understand where HOB funds came from and where they were spent, and see the list of people who stepped up to make a difference in Biddeford this year.

Our fiscal year runs from July 1 – June 30, so each fall we communicate about HOB’s accomplishments and all the people and organizations with whom we partner in revitalizing Biddeford. We are honored to be a Nationally Designated Main Street program, and to have remarkable support from the City of Biddeford in doing this work!

Please read the Annual Report here!

Artists are invited to submit creative holiday lighting design concepts to brighten downtown Biddeford for the holiday season. Ten artists will be selected, and will receive a $100 stipend to defray costs of the installation. These 10 artists will be eligible to compete for a $750 Grand Prize.

Click here to read all about it, and to find out how to submit your idea!

Heart of Biddeford and Saco Main Street bring you the River Jam Festival, Saturday, September 17! River Jam promises to put Biddeford and Saco on the map as the ultimate end-of-summer celebration! We don’t want you to miss one River Jam minute, so this newsletter spells out all the details in one place. Other ways to be in the know:

River Jam website
River Jam Facebook page
Volunteer Sign-up (get a free River Jam t-shirt!)
Location Map and Parking Details

RiverJam 5K cropped8 a.m. River Jam 5K. 

Start your day with a fun, certified 5K road race or walk. With an 8 a.m. start at Clifford Park, you’ll wind through an exciting course that culminates in Mechanics Park. Prizes in all age-categories and a free River Jam t-shirt for all who pre-register (and t-shirt for day-of registrants while supplies last). Registration is $20 through Sept. 14. Day-of registration is $25. Register here now! 

Kayak10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. SUP and Kayak Races, and Try a Boat

Get right on the Saco River, with boating events that depart from Rumery’s Boat Yard from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mechanics Park has wonderful views of the river, so come early to watch the races! All water events are free. Personal floatation devices provided.
10:30 Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Race. Sign up here!
Noon Kayak Race. Sign up here!
1:30-3 Try a boat! Get in a kayak or canoe and have some fun on the beautiful Saco River! No pre-registration necessary.

park-artwalkNoon – 4 p.m. Family Fun and Maker’s Market

From Noon-4, make your way to Mechanics Park in Biddeford for lots of family fun! The Maker’s Market, brought to you by Engine, will feature the whimsical, practical and sustainable art of talented Maine makers. Here’s a sample of the dozen makers you’ll meet!

Kids can go bounce-happy with a huge obstacle course plus the Dance Dome! (Yes, free!) Ten local non-profits are providing kid’s activities, snacks and info booths! Sweetcream Dairy will be there with their ice cream cart too, with a portion of profits going to Maine Farmland Trust. *NEW* We can hardly wait for you to meet the good folks from Sellam Circus, who will be setting up some circus fun!

Timber Tina3 p.m. Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Twelve exciting events packed into a 75 minute show! Axe throwing. Log Rolling. Underhand Chopping. Power Hot Sawing. Obstacle Pole Relay. Crosscut Sawing. Pole Climbing… And More!

Tina was a Castaway on CBS’s Survivor, a competitor on National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska. She has been competing in lumberjack sports since she was seven years old. A World Champion in both Log Rolling and Jack & Jill Crosscut Sawing, she’s bringing her crew here for River Jam! Learn more about Timber Tina and her show here!

10450941_914259798635617_5727673813399656471_n4 p.m. Gates Open and Food Trucks/Run of the Mill Brew Tent

At 4 p.m., gates open (yep, gate entrance is free) on Saco Island with Run of the Mill‘s brew tent and five fantastic food trucks! Enjoy Wicked Good Street Kitchen, Love Cupcakes, On the Wagon, Fishin Ships, and Riz Martz for snacks and beverages.

Sarah Blacker5 p.m. Sarah Blacker

There’s a reason Sarah Blacker was voted Female Performer of the Year in the New England Music Awards! You wont want to miss a moment of Sarah Blacker’s feel-good, sundress rockin’ set!

Listen to her music and watch videos here.

Ghost of Paul Revere crop6:30 p.m. Ghost of Paul Revere

Born on the banks of the Saco River, brothers in all but name, the Ghost of Paul Revere is Maine’s holler-folk band. With a sound built around powerful three-part harmonies, energetic performances, and a non-traditional way of interpreting traditional American music, their songs have unique identities while still remaining undeniably the Ghost of Paul Revere. Listen to their incredible sound here.

RUSTIC CROP8 p.m. Rustic Overtones

We are thrilled that Rustic Overtones will headline at this year’s RiverJam Festival. Check out great Rustic Overtones video clips here!   Rustic Overtones are a seven piece rock band from Portland Maine with a discography that spans 20 years. The bands unique version of indie rock is strongly influenced by soul music, garage punk, jazz and psychedelic music of the 60’s and 70’s. “A unique sound steeped in both Earth, Wind and Fire-style funk and late-era Beatles psychedelia.” -Rolling Stone

MALLETT BROTHERS CROP9:30 p.m. Mallett Brothers

Cap off an incredible River Jam with the Mallett Brothers! Over the last 6 years, The Mallett Brothers Band’s busy tour schedule has helped them to build a die-hard fanbase across the U.S. while still calling the state of Maine their home. With songs that can range from alt country, to americana, honkytonk,  jam or roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that’s influenced equally by folk and singer/songwriter influences as it is  by harder rock, twang and psychedelic sounds.

Led by brothers Luke and Will Mallett, the band is rounded out by Adam Cogswell on drums, Nick Leen on bass, Wally on dobro and electric guitar, and Andrew Martelle on fiddle and mandolin. It’s song-driven music that holds up under the lens of solitary listening, but that’s equally apt to crank a room full of rockers into whiskey-fueled high gear. Watch videos and hear their great music here!

Festival SponsorsThank you to our Festival Sponsors, City of Biddeford, City of Saco, Biddeford Savings, Deering Lumber, Saco & Biddeford Savings, and Unitil!  For the full list of Sponsors and Partners, please click here!

Top 10 Reasons Your Donation to HOB Will Make a Difference

If these 10 reasons are important to you, please contribute to HOB’s
#BelieveInBiddeford campaign today!

1.  We bring jobs.
We attract and help retain businesses in Biddeford, and inspire entrepreneurs to start-up here. 18 of the businesses that opened in downtown Biddeford since 2012 have brought more than 100 total jobs.

2.  We draw new businesses.
We walk prospective business owners through the start-up process, and keep a database of existing properties. Great new businesses started up through the successful Main Street Challenge and Main Street Challenge Encore programs. The downtown vacancy rate has dropped 37% since 2012.

3.  We actively support existing businesses.
We host events that draw people downtown, facilitate a Main Street Makeover grant program, provide free marketing in the newsletter, and produce a free downtown map. We also host the monthly Donut Club and Entrepreneurs Group. Many downtown events encourage participants to shop locally. Continue reading…

The Snow Must Go On!  (In other words, despite the blustery cold this weekend, we will still hold WinterFest’s indoor and outdoor events (including Saturday’s Winter Carnival and Sunday’s Ice Skating). Both venues have warming huts, so we encourage everyone to dress very warmly and take lots of indoor breaks!

Thank You to our WinterFest Sponsors:
WinterFest Sponsors

Thursday, Feb. 11, Chili Cook-off, Community Center
Hosted by the 50+ Club

Friday, Feb. 12
6-11 p.m. Heart 2 Heart Dance, Pepperell Center
A dance to benefit the American Heart Association, hosted by UNECOM SOMA
6-7 p.m. free expo
7-11 Dance to the music of the Easy Money Band!
$5 in advance/$10 at the door (Advance tickets available here

Saturday, Feb. 13
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Winter Carnival, Rotary Park, 550 Main Street
Games, sledding, sleigh rides, snow golf, community booths and concessions. Dress warmly and take lots of breaks inside the warming hut.
Hosted by Biddeford Recreation Department, and Heart of Biddeford
Continue reading…

Don’t think you have the time to fit volunteering into your busy schedule? You may be surprised to find out that volunteering can easily work with anyone’s hectic life.

Volunteering definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all activity. While some volunteers are able to devote numerous hours a week to on-site projects, other volunteers are looking to help at one day only events, or even volunteer from home. It’s important to remember, there’s no wrong way to volunteer! Every and any form of volunteering can be easily accommodated. Continue reading…

Due to the weather forecast for rain tomorrow morning, we’ve decided to cancel the parade and hold an indoor ceremony. Below are the details and I hope you will still be able to attend the ceremony.

Veterans Day Ceremony
11 a.m., Wed., Nov. 11, 2015
Richard J. Martin Community Center
189 Alfred Street, Biddeford

The ceremony will continue to have the Grand Marshall Bob Nichols, Master of Ceremony Senator David Dutremble, Chaplain Ray Hallczuk, Guest Speaker Colonel Jen Fullmer, Student Reader Conlon Kane, raising of flag, and the Biddeford Middle School Band.

Because I’ve never been in charge of the indoor ceremony, please let me know if you would like to play a part in the ceremony other than those listed above.

Luncheon to follow at AmVets Post #1, 147 Alfred Street, Biddeford.

Thank you.



Wondering what the candidates for mayor and city council think about the downtown’s role in Biddeford’s future? On October 15, an email/letter was sent from Heart of Biddeford to each of the Biddeford mayor and city council candidates, inquiring if they would be willing to reply to two questions related to the downtown. They were told that their first 250 words would be included without any edits. Please check out their responses below. Thank you to all who replied!

Here are the questions: What role does the downtown play in Biddeford’s future economic and community development? And, how would you describe the City’s role in helping that future come to be?
Continue reading…

We hope you have marked your calendars for a fantastic day of events in Biddeford and Saco on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015! The second annual RiverJam Festival will feature Maine’s top bands in two locations along the beautiful Saco River: Biddeford’s Mechanics Park from Noon-5:30, then right across Main Street on Saco Island from 7:45-10:30! The RiverJam Festival is part of the “Two Cities: One River” bridge dedication and celebration, showcasing the Biddeford + Saco region’s cultural and natural assets. For more info, click right here or check out the RiverJam Facebook page

Enjoy these great bands!

Noon       Pete Kilpatrick Band, Folk Rock, Named Maine’s Best Act (4x), “Portland’s Best Music Awards” (Pictured above)

1:30 p.m. Gorilla Finger Dub Band, Reggae-inspired Rock

3:00 p.m. Sarah Blacker, Boston-based acoustic rock, named NE Music Awards Female Performer of the Year 2014

4:30 p.m. North of Nashville, America’s Two Man Outlaw Country Band, named NE Music Awards Country Act of the Year 2015

RiverJam Festival On Saco Island 

7:45 p.m. Amy & the Engine, Indie Pop, Named New England Music Awards “Best New Act” 2015

9:00 p.m. Dominic & the Lucid, Psychedelic Rock, voted “Portland Phoenix’s Best Pop Rock Act” and “Best Male Vocalist” (x2).

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