Posted: March 14, 2018
Can’t-miss spring events: 2018 Edition
Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Up Next: Attend Boothbay Harbor Fest
Well, this winter certainly went out like a lion, and it’s not done with us yet. But the calendar tells us that spring has indeed arrived and with it, a renewed sense of hope that the snowbanks will melt, the birds will chirp, the baby seagulls will be born and, before too long, summer in Maine will be within reach. To help usher out the last dregs of winter and set our sights on summer, we’ve rounded up a bouquet of what we consider to be quintessential spring events. From the Maine Flower Show to Record Store Day, assorted last hurrahs at ski resorts and the Kennebunkport Festival, this spring has no shortage of indoor and outdoor activities to put, well, a spring in your step. Hang in there, friends; shovels will be moved to the back of the garage and sweaters to the back of the closet soon. We promise! Until then, peruse this list and start marking up your calendar.
All Roads Music Festival
Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Multiple locations, downtown Belfast, $10 to $40. allroadsmusicfest.org
Things are beautiful in Belfast, and on this particular day, they'll also be quite musical. This year marks
the fourth anniversary of The All Roads Music Festival. There will be more than 24 acts, including The Mallett
Brothers Band, Sarah Violette and Katie Matzell, with a combined total of more than 100 musicians descending on the
seaside town. Along with the performances, you can catch panel discussions and artist development
Sonia Sturino (left) and Annie Hoffman (right) of Weakened Friends. Photo courtesy of All Roads
Bug Light Kite Festival
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19, Bug Light Park, South Portland. Free. On Facebook
We don't want to string you along, we just want to share the high-flying news about this year's Big Light
Kite Festival. You'll see everything from simple store-bought kites to intricate custom ones at this gathering for
kite aficionados. Come fly one or just bring a picnic lunch and stare up at the sky. South Portland Historical
Society's museum gift shop will be open and kite-flying experts will be on hand for tips and workshops. Food and
drinks will also be peddled, and Bug Light will be open for tours. You'll also hear music from the Maine Marimba
Ensemble from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Staff photo by Derek Davis
Maine Days at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Monday, May 26-28 (Memorial Day Weekend). Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical
Gardens Drive, Boothbay. mainegardens.org
Stop and smell the thousands of flowers, walk the gorgeous grounds, including the Vayo Mediation Garden,
Lerner Garden of the Five Senses and Burpee Kitchen Garden, and lose yourself in the beauty that is Coastal Maine
Botanical Gardens. What's more, you can do this all for free if you're a Mainer. Just bring your driver's license
or state-issued ID and enjoy!
Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette
Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival
Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27 (Memorial Day Weekend). Pineland Farms, New Gloucester. $25 to $85, $30 to
$90 on race day. pinelandtrails.com
If there's one thing they've got at Pineland Farms, it's fantastic trails – miles and miles of them. So, if
you're a runner or want to cheer the runners in your life on, this festival's for you. The Pineland Farms Trail
Running Festival offers races ranging from a 5K all the way up to a 50K, and there's even a kids' race. Both days
feature a post-race BBQ, beer drinking, live music and family-friendly events, all in the idyllic setting of New
Gloucester's Pineland Farms. Hit the trail!
Photo by Gameface Media
Maine Women's Ride
7 a.m. Sunday, June 10. Departing from L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, $30 to $60, 12 and under free. mainewomensride.com
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine invites you to its annual celebration of women and bicycling. The Maine
Women's Ride is open to girls and women of every age and ability, and ride lengths are 10, 25, 50 or 62 miles along
quiet roads with lovely views of the Maine coast and countryside. You'll stop for snacks along the way, and support
vehicles will be close by if you need them. A finish-line party features yoga, music and lunch to refuel. Hit the
My Good Images/Shutterstock.com
Old Port Festival
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 10. The Old Port, Portland. portlandmaine.com
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Old Port Festival. The all-day event features a parade, music,
Maine-made arts and crafts, kids' activities, rides, games and a heck of a lot of food. With multiple stages and
fun around every corner, thousands flock to this annual summer kick-off, and every year, we all pray for sunshine,
though the festival will go on regardless.
Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh
Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival
Wednesday to Sunday, June 13 to 17. Litchfield Fairgrounds, 30 Plains Road, Litchfield, $80 in advance for a
weekend pass, $85 after June 1, $90 at the gate, $15 to $25 for individual evenings and days. blisteredfingers.com
The Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival has been going strong since 1991. Thousands of bluegrass lovers
converge in Litchfield for the multi-day music celebration that features local, regional, national and
international acts. Don't worry too much if you can't make the June weekend because since 1996 there's also been an
August festival starting on the 22nd.
Maine Flower Show
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday March 22 to 25.
Brick South at Thompson's Point, 8 Thompson's Point Road, Portland, $20, $15 seniors, 12 and under free; $10 for
veterans on Friday. maineflowershow.com
As winter starts to loosen its grip on us, here's a chance to literally stop and smell the flowers. The
second annual Maine Flower Show will be a multi-sensory experience with landscapers, exhibitors, designers and
horticulturists all under one gigantic roof. This year's show is a celebration of Maine's values and traditions,
its local goods and services, and most of all, the abundance of local resources that help make Maine so wonderful.
The show features 13 display gardens, 115 exhibits of plants, hardscapes and garden supplies and a robust schedule
of workshops and seminars.
Staff photo by Derek Davis
8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4. Sugarloaf, 5092 Access Road, Carrabassett Valley, 21-plus. sugarloaf.com
Say so long to another sensational season at Sugarloaf by hitting its mid-week Snowmaker's Ball.
Reminiscence about your best runs and worst wipe-outs, and give your ski buddies a final high-five until next
season. Bangor's OneSixtyOne will be serving up hard rock covers along with gems of the classic rock, modern rock,
country and pop persuasion to keep you dancing until midnight as visions of summer fun start to come into focus.
Sunday River Spring Festival
Friday to Sunday, April 6 to 8. Sunday River, 97 Summit Road, Newry. sundayriver.com
Hit the slopes one more time this season and have a whole mess of fun while you're at it. Sunday River's
annual Spring Festival features warmer-weather (knock on wood) skiing and riding and plenty of live music from
Rustic Overtones, Aldous Collins and Skosh. This year, the event includes the first Maine Brew Festival at South
Ridge Lodge on Friday night. On Saturday, don't miss the fifth annual Slip 'n' Flip, which is a crazy team
competition that involves races down a Slip 'N Slide course, then a flip-cup contest with Spring Fest
Record Store Day
Saturday April 21. Statewide. All Bull Moose locations, Niche, Inc. in Gardiner, Newbury Comics in South
Portland, The Record Connection in Waterville, The Grasshopper Shop in Ellsworth, Manny's in Camden and Everyday
Music in Farmington. recordstoreday.com
Audiophiles live for this annual celebration of vinyl which began in 2007 when Chris Brown from Bull Moose
Music came up with the idea as a way to promote independent record stores. Since then, Record Story Day has become
a huge, international event, and hundreds of special releases are made available by a wide range of musical acts.
Many stores also have in-store live performances, so check your local shop's website and Facebook page for
specifics. As for special releases, this year's offerings include ones from David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead,
Prince, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, The Cure, The Who, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald and countless
others. Pick your store and get there early for the best selection, because many of these releases are very limited
Shawnee Peak Spring Fling
11 a.m. Saturday, March 24. Shawnee Peak, 119 Mountain Road, Bridgton. shawneepeak.com
Help Shawnee Peak welcome in spring by hitting its 34th annual Spring Fling. Expect soft snow, live
entertainment and plenty of lounging on the Blizzard Pub's deck where you'll catch some early spring rays. The
Slush Cup starts at 1:30 p.m., when skiers and snowboarders will face off against a 100-foot-long cold water pond.
Participants (maybe you?) will skim along for as long as possible before the inevitable descent into the shallow,
slushy waters. All ages can participate in this, though kids under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. After
the Slush Cup winner is crowned, the fun continues with live music at Blizzard's.
Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette
Maine Maple Sunday
Hours vary. Sunday, March 25. Sugarhouses statewide. mainemapleproducers.com
It's one of the sweetest days of the year in Maine, as we pay homage to the mighty maple. Nearly 100
sugarhouses statewide open their doors and invite us in to see the magic up close and personal and often sample the
heavenly liquid and other maple confections. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the sticky and sweet
celebration, and many farms also offer games, activities, music and more maple-flavored fun. Hop onto the Maine
Maple Producers site for a map of participants, along with hours and a complete rundown of what they all have in
store for the big day.
Staff photo by Jill Brady