International Homecoming Festival
Each summer since 1974, Calais, Maine celebrates with St. Stephen, New Brunswick with the International Homecoming Festival. The celebration in honor of the friendship between the two neighboring communities welcomes friends and family with events and activities held on both sides of the border. The two international communities welcome family and friends, both old and new, to join in the festivities, sharing their hometown spirit. Support from and participation of businesses, organizations, media, and volunteers contribute to the continued success of International Homecoming Festival.
The Festival began as a three-day event put on by the St. Stephen Rotary Club in 1974 and now spans more than a week of pageants, concerts, parades and other family events–ending with the traditional fireworks show to close out the week. The populations of both cities almost doubles during this week as family and class reunions revolve around the Festival; hence the newly named International “Homecoming” Festival.
Each year our small group of volunteers take on the challenge of planning the yearly festivities each year trying to add new events. And each year it seems to grow, thanks in part to the volunteers, the generosity of local businesses and the cooperation of local media in getting the word out. Please come out and enjoy yourself. Without all of YOU there wouldn’t be an International Festival!
In 2004, Calais, Washington County, Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada celebrated the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the settlement of St. Croix Island. Visitors, both national and international came to enjoy nature’s inviting displays and a history of the first French settlement in the New World.