Third annual Maine Red Hot Dog Festival returns to Dexter on Saturday

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DEXTER — The Maine Red Hot Festival will be back in downtown Dexter on Saturday, Aug. 11 as the third annual event will feature activities, with free admission, from 9 a.m. to 8 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.

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 route will be reversed from the previous two years to make the course safer for runners). 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 and music live on stage throughout the day. The musical schedule is 8:30 a.m. Con Rio Brass downtown, 10 a.m. The Breakers, 11:30 a.m. The Sunday Project, noon H.J Crosby Community Band by Reny’s, 1 p.m. The Ray Stafford Trio, 2:30 p.m. Non-Profit, 4 p.m. Shy Boy and 6 p.m. Sharon Hood & Dixon Road.

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 in 2016 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 2018 festival will be on Saturday, Aug. 11 and the event is sponsored by the Dexter Revitalization Committee and Maine Highlands Federal Credit with many other businesses and organizations also involved.

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

A hot dog eating contest starts at 11 a.m., and at 10:45 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 10:45 a.m. 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.

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.

Please go to or for more information on the 2018 Maine Red Hot Dog Festival.

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