Dexter’s Maine Red Hot Dog Festival returns on Saturday

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DEXTER — The Maine Red Hot Festival will be back in downtown Dexter on Saturday, Aug. 12 as the second annual event will feature activities, with free admission, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. — rain or shine.

The festival serves as a fundraiser for the Dexter Revitalization Committee, which sponsors the day along with the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union and a number of other corporate partners, and it is designed to attract a large number of people to the town where they will see all that Dexter has to offer and to simply have fun. It was estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 people attended the inaugural festival in 2016 and organizers are expecting a larger crowd in 2017.

Millside Fitness sponsors a 5K Bun Run at 7:30 a.m. The race will start next to Bangor Savings Bank on Main Street and go around town and end back on Main Street. The first 50 to register (which can be done at will receive a race T-shirt.

Main Street opens at 9 a.m. with food, crafts and other vendors, as well as children’s games, a heavy equipment petting zoo, jail and bail, and music live on stage throughout the day.

Also opening to the public will be the Red Hot Dog District — WA Bean & Sons of Bangor is donating 200 pounds of red snappers with more on stand-by.

A hot dog eating contest starts at noon, and at 11:30 a.m. the contestants will be announced on stage. The competition is open to 10 entrants — aged 16 and up — drawn by lottery from those who have registered by 11:30 that morning.

The contest objective is to eat 15 hot dogs and buns, with water as the only beverage, within five minutes — condiments will be provided if desired. The winner will be determined by the first contestant to final all 15 of their hot dogs with buns or whoever eats the most in five minutes.

At 12:30 p.m. following the hot dog competition children ages 5-16 — in three different divisions — can put their eating skills to the test in the pie eating contest. The contest is open to the first 10 contestants who register in each age group, and the top three in ages 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 to finish their pies without using their hands will win prizes.

There is a kick-off “Friday Night Under the Lights Softball Game” at Bud Ellms Field scheduled on Friday, Aug. 11, and the Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis Red Hot Dog Golf Classic is set for Sunday, Aug. 13 at Dexter Muni.

Please go to or for more information on the 2017 Maine Red Hot Dog Festival.

Observer file photo/Stuart Hedstrom
STUFFING YOURSELF IS ENCOURAGED — Eight entrants tried to scarf down as many hot dogs as possible during an eating contest last year as part of the inaugural Maine Red Hot Festival in Dexter. Competitors had five minutes to eat as many hot dogs with buns, and optional condiments, as a crowd gathered around a table in the municipal parking lot. Both the lot and Main Street were closed as pedestrians could walk and check out the vendors and events throughout the day. The 2017 festival will be on Saturday and the event is sponsored by the Dexter Revitalization Committee and Maine Highlands Federal Credit with many other businesses and organizations also involved.

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