June 4, 2022

Bath Freight Shed

Join us on June 4th for a celebration to commemorate the launch of the Maine's First Ship reconstruction of the pinnace Virginia and to thank the many volunteers who have shared their time and talents to bring both history and vessel to life. We also thank our many donors large and small whose support made this possible.

The original Virginia was the first English ocean-going ship built in the new world. Construction was begun in 1607 and she was launched in 1608 at Fort St George in what is now Phippsburg Maine. The ship was designed to explore the region then called Sagadahoc in north Virginia, and now called Midcoast Maine, and to show it was possible to build a ship using local materials.

Launch Ceremony - 49 min

Launch only - 11 minutes

The launch celebration will span much of Commercial Street in Bath, including Waterfront Park, with music, special guests, local food vendors, local artists, and demonstrations. Virginia is expected to “get her toes wet” in the waters of the Kennebec River at 4:30pm on Saturday, June 4th before moving to her very own wharf at the Bath Freight Shed. There is an information tent outside the freight shed.

  • The celebration begins at noon with the firing of Virginia’s cannons. But if you come before that time the Bath Farmers Market is at their summer location in Waterfront Park from 8:30 to noon.
  • The street fair continues from noon until 3:30 with activities at the Bath Freight Shed, at Waterfront Park, and along Commerical Street between them.
  • There will be music thruout the day to include Sea Chanties, Barbershop, Acoustical, Folk, and the Bath Municipal Band.
  • Several strolling reenactors will entertain and educate.
  • Demonstrations will include  a KELT Enchanting Estuary demo using a water table, and an antique letterpress printing workshop by Bath Printing.
  • A local craft fair in Waterfront Park.
  • Maine’s First Ship Jane Stevens Visitor Center will be open in the Bath Freight Shed with displays of Virginia’s rigging and a shop with Maine’s First Ship and launch souvenirs.
  • MaineFlavor will have a Virginia inspired ice cream, and La Nef Chocolates will be selling a Virginia themed dark chocolate along with its other flavors.
  •  Several food trucks will feed the hungry masses, and the many restaurants in the downtown Bath area are open for your dining pleasure.
  • At 3:30 the launch ceremony begins at the launch site on the north end of the Bath Freight Shed.
  • At 4:30 to match the high tide, Virginia will be christened and launched. She will then be tied to her very own wharf on the Kennebec River at the Bath Freight Shed.

In the months following the launch, the construction of Virginia will continue with the installation of the rigging and equipment needed to sail in the 21st century. We welcome visitors to see the progress. So even if you miss the launch, we invite you to visit us in Bath.

Thanks to our launch sponsors

Launch Sponsors