Buy Local, Buy Downtown Brunswick This Saturday

downtown brunswick early bird saleOK, so I’m breaking my rule of not talking about holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving. I’m making an exception because this benefits my local community of Brunswick, Maine.

And I’m a big fan of buying local.

The Brunswick Downtown Early Bird Sale will be happening this Saturday, November 19th. Starting at 6:00 am, a host of family-friendly activities will be going on throughout the day in Downtown Brunswick including:

  • Rolling Slumber Bed Races on Park Row 11 am (Did someone say bed races?)
  • WCLZ broadcasting LIVE at the Tontine Mall
  • Cooking demonstrations at Inn at Brunswick Station at 8 am (registration required, email
  • Wine Tasting at Trattoria Athena Restaurant at 12 pm (registration required, email
  • FREE flu shot clinic hosted by CHANS at the Tontine Mall 7-11 am
  • Children’s story time at the Brunswick Inn at 10 am
  • Cookies and cocoa provided by non-profits throughout Downtown
  • Children’s create a book activity and coloring contest
  • Craft fair and gift-wrapping services at the Visitor Center at Brunswick Station
  • and a whole lot more!

[To register for the Rolling Slumber Bed Race or FMI on event details and store sales/discounts, visit or call 207-729-4439]

Now, what I like most about this event is that it doesn’t mention Christmas shopping at all. Actually, the promotional materials depict turkeys. Plus, Brunswick has yet to put up any Christmas decorations. So, you could argue, that they are “respecting the bird” and simply encouraging people to support local businesses in Brunswick, Maine.

I know I’ll be there.

Midcoast Red Cross Needs Donations to Help Fire Victims

I live in downtown Brunswick, Maine in one of the oldest neighborhoods in town. Our house dates back to 1892 and is certainly not the oldest house on the block. Recently, there have been three major fires within walking distance of my house.

The most recent fire occurred early Sunday morning at the corner of Maine and Mason streets. The landmark building dated back to 1837 and housed 17 people in apartments, along with several businesses. Ten fire departments responded to the fire. While no one was injured, the building had to be demolished.

Here’s what we saw late Sunday morning on 4/17/11. The structure wasn’t safe for firefighters to enter the building.

Brunswick Maine Fire

Photo Credit: Jennifer Barbour

Here’s what we saw around dinnertime on Sunday early evening 4/17/11. It was determined that the structure needed to be demolished for safety reasons. Firefighters continued to spray the debris to make sure there weren’t any more hot spots.

Brunswick Maine Fire

Photo Credit: Jennifer Barbour

It’s amazing that the building next door survived the fire. Interestingly enough, the house / business contains an antique shop called Blessings.

Not ten days before, another fire rendered an Oak Street six-unit apartment building uninhabitable. A three alarm fire occurred on Union Street in February. According to the Times Record, these three fires have overwhelmed the Mid Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross. Since the beginning of the year, they have assisted more people than they typically would serve in one entire year. They could really use our donations to help the 36 people that were displaced in the past 10 days alone.

Can you help?

My family made a donation to the Mid Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross. And I will be talking to my kids about why we did. Will you? Here’s how you can donate by mail, phone or online.

Read more

Massive Sunday fire destroys downtown building

Major Midcoast fires keep Red Cross busy

Arts Downtown and All Around Brunswick Maine

One of the many reasons I love living in downtown Brunswick, Maine is the vibrant arts community. It’s hard to walk anywhere in town without hitting an art gallery, theatre or a local business that displays the works of area artists.

Every now and then, the Five Rivers Arts Alliance will sponsor open studio events, allowing anyone to explore what our creative neighbors have to offer. I thought this weekend’s events were worth sharing.

Starting tonight, Arts Downtown & All Around will showcase regional art in Bath, Brunswick, Harpswell, Bowdoinham, Topsham, West Bath, Dresden, and Woolwich. This is a great way to meet local artists and craftspeople, experience their art and buy some really cool holiday gifts. Lots of events, including talks and several performances, will be happening December 3, December 4 and December 5.*

Personally, I’m pretty excited to check out some of the fiber arts from Spindleworks and Maine Fiberarts.

View a schedule of Arts Downtown and All Around

The coolest part, for me, is that I can walk to the Brunswick / Topsham events!

If you’re in the area, stop by and check it out. It’s worth the trip.

*According to the Five River Arts Alliance, all sites will be open Saturday Dec 4, 10am –5pm. Many are open additionally on Friday, Dec 3, 5-8pm, and Sunday Dec 5th from noon to 4pm. Performances are offered throughout the weekend.

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