Rockport Opera House holds 125th birthday bash: Dance, music, history, food
In 1892, Rockport was a hopping town. The Rockland-Thomaston-Camden Railway came through Rockport Village on new tracks for the first time on July 30, and in November, a great fire devastated through Camden’s downtown, sending burning shingles all the way to Simonton Corner in Rockport. A local newspaper, the Rockport News, was established in Rockport Village, with all the news fit to print announcing the construction of the town’s first-ever Rockport Opera House.
This year, 2017, marks the 125th birthday of the venerable old building, which historian Reuel Robinson described in his book, History of Camden and Rockport, Maine, as a “fine wooden structure,” with its large auditorium, seating boxes, and gallery.”
It was then and remains to this day, a commodious space for municipal and community meetings, dances, concerts, games – you name it, the Rockport Opera House has seen it.
In honor of its 125th birthday, the town is hosting a party on Saturday, August 12.
The day will include fun activities for all ages, music, dancing and great food.
Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth will deliver a special lecture on Rockport’s history, and there will be virtual reality demonstrations by the Rockport Public Library.
A live musical street performance will enliven the Village, and cake and ice cream will be a treat for everyone.
Later in the evening, a dance will rock the rafters with the band Creatures of Habit.
Down the street, on the white side of Union Hall, a repeat performance of the large outdoor slide show of old Rockport photos, as celebrated last summer with the Rockport 125th quasquicentennial.
Stay tuned for more updates, and follow along on the Opera House Facebook page. Mark your calendars, because this will be a day to remember.
See you Aug. 12 at the Rockport Opera House!
Schedule of Events
12:30 to 2:30 pm – Rockport Public Library Virtual Reality Demonstration, cake and ice cream
3:00 to 3:30 pm – Bucket drumming street performance on the steps of the Opera House by Midcoast Music Academy
4:00 to 5 pm – Lecture with Q&A by Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth
5:00 to 6:30 pm – BREAK for the day while Creatures of Habit perform a sound check
7:00 to 10 pm – Creatures of Habit perform, Flatbread Company will sell pizza at $5 per slice. Concert tickets are $10 per person.
Other activities will include a slideshow projected onto Union Hall with old photos of Rockport Opera House and the town. This will be set up for Friday night and Saturday night.
A memory box will be set out for the full day for visitors to write down their Opera House memories and place in the box for sharing on social media.
We would love to see your photos of Rockport Opera House: new and old! Upload your images to Facebook and add one of the following hashtags in the description
to help us curate a gallery of community images from the House.
#ROH125th #hbdroh #celebrateROH125th
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event or to volunteer, contact House Manager Terri Lea Smith at 207.542.3555.