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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: January 14, 2014

Vietnamese New Year & Comedy for Good: 6 things to do this weekend

Written by: Shannon Bryan

So it’s not the greatest weekend for snow sports in southern Maine. That said, there’ll be plenty of snowboarding going on in a parking lot in South Portland during Long’s Board Shop’s Rail Jam on Friday. There’s also a concert in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., and a storytelling series at SPACE Gallery. And for those wishing to relive New Year, hit the Vietnamese New Year Celebration, with games, dancing, and an evening concert. And Saturday, laugh for a good cause during Laughs for Africa.

For the weekend of Jan 17-19

1. Hear their stories

SLANT promotional graphic


7:30 pm Friday | SPACE Gallery, Portland | Free |
The storytellers at the Telling Room’s regular SLANT series aren’t professional speakers. They’re people you may know from around town or around the state. But they’ve all got a story to tell, and they tell those stories well – and without notes or props. This evening’s theme is “The Soundtrack of Our Lives” and will feature five stories about the music that’s made us who we are. Tellers include Lauren Wayne, Joe Conway, Mary Phillips-Sandy, Sara Hallie Richardson, and Richard Gammon.

2. Honor MLK

United States Library of Congress photo

Annual MLK Tribute Show @ Merrill Auditorium

7 pm Friday | Merrill Auditorium, Portland | $11 in advance; $17 day of show |
This music and gospel concert honors Martin Luther King, Jr. with music from the choirs from Portland Public School and The Kenya Hall Band. The band will perform a selection of gospel and traditional freedom songs after the talented choirs of our local schools pay tribute to Dr. King.

3. Jam the rails


Parking Lot Rail Jam

5 pm (contest at 7 pm) Friday | Long’s Board Shop, South Portland | Free to watch |
You might be hard pressed to find much snowboarding going on in South Portland (there aren’t a lot of mountains there, and there’s not a whole lot of snow, either). But the parking lot of Long’s Board Shop is a snowboarding destination Friday night. Watch the rail jam, take advantage of giveaways, and huddle up to the bonfire (parking lot bonfire? Oh yes).

4. Celebrate the New Year! Again!

5th Annual Vietnamese New Year Celebration

Noon-3 pm (family event) and 7-12 pm (concert) Saturday | The Gold Room, Portland | Free (family event), evening concert: $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $15 children under 10 |
Whether you’re looking for a good dose of Vietnamese culture or to start your year fresh, again, because the last two weeks haven’t gone well for you, head to the Vietnamese New Year Celebration. During the day there will be a traditional Dragon Dance, traditional Vietnamese attire, and kids can play games and win prizes. That evening, there will also be a celebratory concert.

5. See comics, raise cash

Lamont Price photo

Laughs for Africa

8 pm Saturday | The Porthole, Portland | $20 |
At the Porthole on Saturday, it’s a night of comedy benefiting African Hope Network. That organization gives grants to entrepreneurs who are doing impactful work in Uganda. The evening features Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch” Lamont Price and Dan Boulger of “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”

6. Experience love, loss & laughs. In one night!

Promotional graphic

Mad Horse Theater Company Presents “Vigils”

7:30 pm Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 2 pm Sunday | The Hutchins School, South Portland | $20, $15 seniors and students |
Catch a performance of Noah Haidle’s 2009 comedy that examines the journey from love and loss to ultimately embracing life.

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