Summer crowd return to Bar Harbor for Fourth but bring new challenges

Summer crowd return to Bar Harbor for Fourth but bring new challenges

BAR HARBOR, Maine — It’s still early in Maine’s annual tourist season, but based on this town’s signature Fourth of July celebrations, 2022 could turn out to resemble a normal pre-pandemic summer.

Two years ago, when much about COVID-19 was still unknown, Bar Harbor’s summer season was a shadow of its usual self, with monthly visits to Acadia National Park down by as much as 50 percent from the prior year.

Then, in October 2020, the number of visitors to Acadia and Mount Desert Island increased and didn’t let up. That winter was the busiest ever in Acadia and then, when the spring of 2021 rolled around, visitors poured in, setting records for the national park and keeping tourism businesses in a month-long blur of trying to keep up.

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