AUGUSTA, Maine - At a State House ceremony, Gov. Paul LePage proclaimed next Saturday, Aug. 16, as "Maine Day." It is a day to celebrate the state, its people and its food.
Gren Blackall, an organizer of the effort to promote Maine Day, explained why he thinks the effort is important.
" What's 'Cinco de Mayo?' It's a day when people jam into the bars in Portland and every city in Maine and what do they do, they celebrate Mexico,” Blackall told reporters.
“Are you suggesting everybody go to a bar today?” LePage joked.
“No," Blackall said. “I am saying 'Maine Day' will be like 'Cinco de Mayo,' except for Maine."
Blackall said he hopes this year's proclamation is the first of many. He says the effort is a grassroots one, and events will depend on local efforts to promote what's good about the state.
"Maine Day is like the Fourth of July for me,” he said. “In fact, Maine without Maine Day is like what America would be without the Fourth of July. It's a day when we coalesce the things we like about the state."
Blackall said everyone should celebrate the day their own way, visiting areas of the state they're not familiar with, and enjoying Maine foods.