Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival

This past Saturday, downtown Brunswick was poppin' and VERY alive for the annual Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival. For the better part of the day, both sides of Maine Street in Brunswick and the Town Mall (green) were lined with multiple tents and vendors displaying their incredible artwork.

The Town Mall also featured live music and insanely talented hula hoopers, with residents and visitors from away finding open spots on the green to watch the performances. And while everything about the festival was incredible -- the talented artwork, the vibe of the music, the flow of the hula hoopers -- that's not what stood out to me the most.

What stood out to me was that the Mainers and Maine residents on hand seemed obsessed with redheads.

Quinten de Graaf
Quinten de Graaf

Some background -- my cousin, his wife, and their kiddos stayed at my house this past weekend. The timing with the Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival just happened to work out, so after snagging breakfast at Flip (killer food and staff, for the record), we checked out the Festival.

It just so happens that my niece has red hair, and it just so happens that when we each took one of the kiddos' hands, I ended up holding hers (which naturally made sense since she's a redhead and I have a ginger beard, but I digress.) And as we walked, that's when it started happening.

All the comments and focus on her hair.

Almost every few minutes on the minute, without fail, there was some kind of comment about her hair. From the time we were waiting outside of Flip to be seated all the way until we walked back to the car after checking out the Festival.

"Oh boy, where does that red hair come from?"

"Oh wow, you got a red one huh?!"

"Oh my goodness, you're so lucky to have a redhead!"

Don't get me wrong, not one person was rude. In fact, it was almost unsettling how genuinely nice everyone was and how you could tell the compliments were coming from a genuine place, too. (We grew up in the Merrimack Valley on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire line, so usually there's always some kind of hidden agenda for "nice compliments.")

But it was just so random and a bit weird how...obsessed -- that seems like the only fitting word -- how obsessed random passersby were about her hair. And since I'm new to Maine and have only lived here for just under two months, is this a thing?

Colton Sturgeon
Colton Sturgeon


Is there some Maine folklore or legend about why everyone was so focused on her hair? Or even the fact that a woman would say we were so lucky to have a redhead? I mean, I agree we're (and by we're, I mainly mean my cousin and his wife) lucky to have her, but that's for whatever hair color she has. I'd think the luck would be more so that she's healthy, not that she's a redhead, but to each their own.

Regardless, downtown Brunswick is a great place with great people. And it's nice to know that maybe I'll be seen as a bit of a treasure because of my red beard the next time I'm down there.

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