Friday April 18th 2014

26 can’t-miss fall events in Maine

By: Shannon Bryan

The air temperature may have dropped, but your enthusiasm for doin’ stuff hasn’t waned. Sure, there’s noticeably less daylight these days and you sometimes feel like sleeping at 7 pm, but on the upside, that darkness is perfect for all those haunted Halloween events. Besides, cool weather makes the slumber bed races and costumed 5Ks more comfortable. And oh, the harvest dances and wine drinking and beer and pulled pork! My point: Fall is here. And it’s ready for you. And you’re going to get out there and love every minute of it. Because this is Maine. Do stuff.

Leaf peeping:
fall foliage in Maine

Fair season:
Fall Fairs and Festivals

Maine Apple Guide:
pick-your-own orchards

September

sept 28: wolfe’s neck harvest dance

Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport
It’s a barn dance of old-fashioned proportions during the annual Harvest Dance. The Mallett Brothers Band provides the musical entertainment inside the red barn, and you’re encouraged to dress in barn dancey attire. Local food and Gritty’s beer will be on hand too.
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Press Herald file photo

sept 28: woofminster

Camp Ketcha, Scarborough
You already know that your pooch is a star. It’s time to let the rest of the world know it. Bring your best four-legged-friend to Planet Dog’s annual amateur dog show and have him compete in categories like best mystery mutt, best trick, or best beggar. And if he’s not the competitive type, he’ll probably still enjoy romping around Camp Ketcha.
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Sept 28: harvest dinner at the stratton brook hut

Stratton Brook Hut, Kingfield
Who doesn’t love a locally sourced and in-season fall dinner? The unique thing about this particular harvest meal is that you’ll have to hike in to the Stratton Brook Hut. It’s a moderate hike, and the lobster, bruschetta, gnocchi, and braised beef you’ll eat at the hut just might be the best after-hike meal you’ve ever had. The views up there are nothing to scoff at, either.
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Press Herald file photo

Sept 28: vinfest wine extravaganza & Harvest Party

Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville
Vinfest boasts a few different events, including the Wine Extravaganza, “a ground-to-glass experience for wine lovers of all palates.” There will be tastings, win pairings, cooking demos, and winery tours. That same evening, the Harvest Party takes over the vineyard tent with more wine, cocktails, food, live music from Daryl Hall. Note: The Harvest Party has sold out!
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Sept 28: punkinfiddle

Wells Reserve at Laudholm, Wells
It’s old-school fun at Wells Reserve at Laudholm, with traditional crafts, lively music, old-fashioned games, farm animals, and a historic seaside setting. Stuff a scarecrow, stomp your feet, press apples, pet a goat, paint a pumpkin, churn butter, quiz a fiddle maker, and walk the beach at this all-day event.
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sept 28: maine lakes brewfest

Point Sebago, Casco
Beer. And beer. And beer. This annual brew festival goes on rain or shine, because beer fans aren’t detered by precipitation. Over 30 brewers and vintners will be present, plus a good selection of food, and a couple of bands.
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Sept 28: singing for their supper at the taste of brunswick

Town Mall, Brunswick
The Brunswick area’s finest food purveyors will be showcasing their specialties during Taste of Brunswick. This year, the event teams up with Singing for their Supper for a double-dose of do-gooding. And good eating. Participating restaurants include Bombay Mahal, The Great Impasta, Trattoria Athena, Frontier Cafe, The Tavern at the Inn at Brunswick Station, and others. Sea Dog Brewing will have a beer tent and local Maine bands will entertain.
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Sept 29-Oct 6: fryeburg fair

Fryeburg Fairgrounds
It’s Maine’s largest agricultural fair, and it happens to be one of the most scenic, too, on account of the fall leaves and mountains and whatnot. Fryeburg Fair features eight days of entertainment, livestock, an agricultural exhibition center, crafts, a flower show, educational exhibitions & demonstrations, and more. Not to mention the midway with amusement rides and oh-so-wonderful fair food.
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October

Oct 2-3: “potted potter”

Merrill Auditorium, Portland
Harry Potter fan? You won’t want to miss this. “Potted Potter” condenses all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. It’s “The unauthorized Harry experience.”
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Oct 5: octoberfest raft ‘n brews

The Forks
River rafting is fine on any weekend. But if you haven’t been this summer, take advantage of this last opportunity. And the fact that there will be a barbecue after the trip, as well as $3 Octoberfest pints, well, more the reason to go. Besides, someone’s going to explode a giant pumpkin, and you don’t want to miss that.
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oct 11 & 19: Sex, murder & mayhem: A walking tour of Saco

Saco Museum, Saco
Funtown. Rapid Rays. Murder. These are the things that make a town. Not just any town. Saco, Maine. And let’s not forget the prostitutes. Dyer Library/Saco Museum’s “Sex, Murder, & Mayhem: Adults Only Walking Tour of Saco” will include tales of Saco’s past that most folks might not know about. Adults-only tales, if you get my drift.
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Shannon Bryan photo

Oct 11: Literary Death Match

SPACE, Portland
Everyone will die! Of laughter! The comedic repartee at Literary Death Match is of much higher quality than the joke I led with, and the literary-ness will abound. Local authors will compete in a good-natured match to the death (but not real death) and the audience can even get involved in some literary shenanigans. Judges will judge, host Adrian Todd Zuniga will say funny stuff. You will enjoy all of it.
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Oct 12: Wife-Carrying Championships

Sunday River, Newry
It’s no easy feet, carrying a wife over a 278-yard obstacle course featuring hurdles, sand traps, and a mud pit (they call it a “water hazard). But plenty of husband-and-wife teams will try. Registration is full for this event, but it’s also an excellent spectator sport. The winner takes homes the wife’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash, and you can stick around after the awards for an outdoor concert by Dead Sessions.
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Swine & Stein poster

Oct 12: Swine and Stein

Downtown Gardiner
It’s the place where pork products and craft beer are celebrated the way they should be: Together. The 4th annual Swine & Stein promises farm-to-table pork (get your pig on bread, plate, or stick) and other local offerings, Maine craft beers, and a lineup of local live music from Maine bands. And if pork isn’t your pleasure, there will even be a local harvest supper that will serve vegetarian samples.
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Oct 12: Fall Festival

Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport
If it’s fall-related and farm-related, it’s probably happening at the Fall Festival. Think tractor rides to the pumpkin patch, apple pressing, nature art, pumpkin decorating, haybales to climb, and a haybale maze. There will also be demos on composting and food preservation and an array of local grub.
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Oct 17: Tales of Terror

Victoria Mansion, Portland
Sure, scary movies have their place. And haunted houses are a Halloween-season must. But often, the scariest things are the things that you create in your head. And scary stories are perfect for igniting the kind of imagination that keeps you up nights. Now that’s creepy. There will be no special effects during Tales of Terror. No blood, no realistic-looking corpses. The storytellers don’t need them. The tales alone will haunt you.
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Oct 17-30: Field of Screams

Old Orchard Beach Ballpark
Let me set it up for you: A girl went missing from a baseball game. You’re going to help find her on this haunted hayride seance with the help of a medium guide who will talk to the local spirits in an effort to local the missing kid. And there’s no telling who or what else you might find along the way. Probably scary stuff.
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Oct 19: Ghostport

Bucksport
From the bone-warming chili cook-off to the “race to the grave” coffin race, Bucksport is the Halloween place to be. The best part of this event, aside from the costumes and fireworks, is the opportunity to launch your pumpkin into the Penobscot with the trebuchet. And after the sun sets, Fright at the Fort is just across the bay.
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Courtesy photo

Oct 18 &19, 25 & 26: Fright at the Fort

Fort Knox, Prospect
Who knows what’s happened inside Fort Knox since it was established in 1844. There’s bound to be a whole host of specters hanging out there. And you’ll likely run into most of them during Fright at the Fort. Note: Groups of four or more get a free pumpkin on Oct 18. The very next day, just across the water, you can launch a pumpkin from a trebuchet during Ghostport. Coincidence? I think not.
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Shannon Bryan photo

Oct 19: Ghoulwill Ball

The Portland Club, Portland
Goodwill has long been known as a resource for Halloween costumes (actual costumes or the ones you create yourself with a few key pieces and a glue gun). Go ahead, put on that homemade costume (or a store-bought one, if that’s what you’ve got) and party up with the good people of Goodwill. You might win money, too, if your costume is that awesome. VISA gift cards of $150-$250 will be given away for creative use of Goodwill finds, best group theme, and other categories.
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Oct 19-26: Jack the Ripper

Portland Ballet Studio Theatre, Portland
Three words: Not for children. This ballet performance of Jack the Ripper explores the heinous crimes of a serial killer. So, you know, not for kids. There won’t be gore, but the dance will emphasize the haunting legacy Jack the Ripper’s crimes left on London and the world.
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Wicked 5K photo

Oct 20: Wicked 5K

Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport
Run in costume! You may have already run through mud, run through colored powder, or run for beer, but have you ever run dressed like a sumo wrestler? Or skeleton? Or Cootie? (I saw three grown men dressed as one Cootie – go ahead, picture it – at this event a few years back. I hope they return this year). It’s a scenic course through Kennebunkport that ends with a lunch buffet – and prizes!
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Oct 25: Brews & Blues BBQ

Oceanside Pavilion, Ocean Gateway, Portland
There will be blues. There will be brews. That’s probably obvious. What not obvious is that some of Maine’s best pitmasters and barbecue aficionados will be there grilling just for you. There will also be wine and spirit pairings in addition to Maine craft beers. This event is part of Harvest on the Harbor, which runs Oct 23-26.
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Press Herald file photo

Oct 26: Harvest on the Harbor: Samplings at the Marketplace

Oceanside Pavilion, Ocean Gateway, Portland
There will be food and drink samples as far as the eye can see during the Samplings at the Marketplace event. The final event of Harvest on the Harbor, both Saturday sessions will feature tastings of some of Maine’s best food and beverage. That’s over 160 food artisans, wineries, breweries, distilleries & Maine-made products together under one roof.

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Halloween!

There are plenty of haunted, spooky, and costumed events this Halloween season. Check out the calendar to see them all.

// All the Halloween events


November

Nov 1-10: Portland beer week

Various venues, Portland
Beer deserves its own week. Or 10 days, as the case may be. Events include Pumpkin-Palooza for you pumpkin-beer fans, the annual Maine Brewers Festival, Brewers Kitchen, Domestic Belgian Night, and Maine Beer Mavens anniversary party.
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Shannon Bryan photo

Nov 16: rolling slumber bed races

Downtown Brunswick
If you’re going to get out of bed in the morning, shouldn’t it be to get back into bed and race it down the street (perhaps while dressed as a pirate, chicken, or Matthew Thornton – one of the lesser-known Founding Fathers and the final signer of the Declaration of Independence)? Local businesses compete in a race you rarely see: One with beds on wheels. And there will be costumes, themes, and judges.
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