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We'll help you plan your best summer yet with our annual roundup of can't miss events! Plus we've got a Face the Music interview with vocal powerhouse Josh Groban who is performing in Portland on 6/24. And as always, we'll help you have a terrific weekend with our hand-picked selection of events. Have fun out there!
Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald.
She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.
Flannel Pub Crawl, Sugarloaf Art Show: 9 things to do in Maine this weekend
Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Pick-a-Pumpkin Wagon Rides
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Columbus Day (Monday); through Oct. 28. Smiling Hill Farm, 781 County Road, Westbrook, $7 with pumpkin, $3.50 rides only, infants free, extra pumpkins $3.50. On Facebook Everyday is a good day to visit wonderful Smiling Hill Farm, and through Oct. 28, it's upped its game with pick-a-pumpkin wagon rides. Every kid you know will love you all the more when you bring them to the farm where you'll all hop aboard a wagon and traverse fields and woods. Upon arrival at a pumpkin patch, you'll all get to pick a pie-sized one as you revel in a quintessential autumnal Maine activity. AN NGUYEN/shutterstock.com
8 p.m. Friday. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, 53 Old Post Road, Arundel, $40 to $50. vinegarhillmusictheatre.com She's an Emmy-winning writer, actor and comedian, and she's coming to Maine to crack you up big time on Friday night. Judy Gold's stand-up specials have aired on HBO and Comedy Central, and she's written and starred in a pair off-Broadway hit shows, "My Life as a Sitcom" and "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother." Gold also made recent appearances on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and the Showtime series "I'm Dying Up Here." All of this is to say, you most certainly can expect nothing less than comedic gold. Photo courtesy of Vinegar Hill Music Theatre
Rangeley Americana Festival
Friday to Sunday. Multiple venues in Rangeley, $10 for wristband. moosealley.me Moose Alley started the Rangeley Americana Festival in 2016 as a way to shine a light on businesses in the Rangeley area by having a number of them host live music over the course of three days. Locations include the 45th Parallel Woodfired Grille, Moose Alley, Sarge's Pub & Grub and Lakeside Theater, and that list will likely be longer by the time the weekend kicks off. Headlining the festival is the nationally touring duo of Jason Ricci and JJ Appleton who will be playing at Moose Alley on Saturday and at the Lakeside Theater. Other performers include Ragged Jack, Matt and the Barnburners, Dave Mello Blues Trio, Tom Ball Band and Joe & Friends. If you'd like a taste of the spotlight, you might want to hit Friday night karaoke at Sarge's. Jason Ricci and JJ Appleton. Photo courtesy of the artists
Sugarloaf Art Show
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Sugarloaf Base Lodge, 5092 Access Road, Carrabassett Valley. upcountryartists.com One of several facets of the annual Sugarloaf Homecoming weekend is the fabulous Sugarloaf Art Show presented by UpCountry Artists. You'll find works from 60 Maine artists, including fine oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor painters; wire, wood and stone sculptors; jewelry designers; and furniture makers. It doesn't hurt one bit that this is happening in the gorgeous setting of Carrabassett Valley, where the foliage will be putting on its own show. Painting by Claudia Diller, one of the artists who will be at the Sugarloaf Art Show.
Image courtesy of the artist
The Rainbow Fish
11 a.m. Saturday. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, $18. portlandovations.org Portland Ovations is pleased as punch to be presenting an enchanting production from Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. The show is an adaptation of Marcus Pfister's award-winning children's books about a very special fish who learns valuable life lessons about the true meaning of happiness by sharing his sparkling silver scales with his friends, an idea he initially resisted. Expect to see an array of colorful, imaginative puppets telling Pfister's stories in delightful fashion that will bring smiles to the entire audience. Image courtesy of Portland Ovations
Crawl Into Fall
5:30 p.m start. Saturday. Old Port and downtown locations, Portland, $20, 21-plus. Eventbrite.com Brian Boru and Pub Crawl3rs invite you to bust out everything flannel that you own and take part in their
annual autumnal flannel pub crawl. It kicks off at Brian Boru, and you’ll also journey with your fellow flannel-
clad revelers to Bonfire, Oasis and Bull Feeney’s. It’s a safe bet Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead ale will be flowing, as
will other fall-themed libations and DJs will be spinning at every bar. You might also win a fabulous prize
including Celtic tickets. Sloth Astronau/Shutterstock.com
Swarm: Books, Brew, and a Bee
6 p.m. Saturday. Banded Brewing Co., 13-W, 32 Main St., Biddeford, $20. mainewriters.org/swarm-books-brew-and-a-bee Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance is happy to spell it out for you what a good time you can have at Banded Brewing Co. on Saturday evening. Swarm: Books, Brew, and a Bee celebrates Maine's writing community with a spelling bee and beer. You'll watch 16 local writers compete while you enjoy specially brewed Swarm, seasoned with honey, bee pollen and chamomile, with local artist Jada Fitch's art on every can. Glenn and Nancy Jordan will handle pronunciation duties, and the list of literary spellers includes Linda Aldrich, Kate Christensen, Lily King and Jeffrey Thomson. Kelly's Books to Go will be set up on site with books for sale from all of the participating authors. Your ticket includes the bee, a beer and bar snacks, and all proceeds benefit MWPA's scholarship fund. Image courtesy of Banded Brewing Co.
8 p.m. Saturday. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, 53 Old Post Road, Arundel, $65, $70. vinegarhillmusictheatre.com This is no ordinary concert, that's for sure. Recycled Percussion is a self-proclaimed "junk rock" band that performs on recycled percussion instruments fashioned from everything – possibly including the kitchen sink. You'll see a high-energy rock show that's also a visual spectacle with a massive amount of blistering percussion. Recycled Percussion was formed in 1995, and the band has since played more than 4,000 shows, including a lengthy stint in Las Vegas. Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Vegas Kool
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Rí Rá Irish Pub + Restaurant, 72 Commercial St., Portland, free. fullplates.org The world is your oyster, at least on Sunday on Portland's waterfront. At Rí Rá's second annual Oyster Festival, you will cheer on local chefs as they compete in an oyster-shucking competition and can purchase a number of locally sourced seafood specials and hit the oyster bar. Live tunes will played by Ben Kilcollins, and there will also be live auctions and a raffle. You won't leave empty-handed as Guinness will be there engraving personalized glasses, and they're free! The entire event is a benefit for Full Plates Full Potential, a nonprofit with a mission to end child hunger in Maine. Photo courtesy of Rí Rá Irish Pub + Restaurant
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Deering Oaks, Portland, free. portlandharvestfestival.com Spend your Sunday whiling away the hours conferring with the trees and listening to tunes in Deering Oaks park. The musical lineup is Josiah LeClair, Clara Hathaway, Lisa Gallant Seal Band, Isaiah Bennett and Matt Stinton. There will also be giveaway for kids and adults, raffles, artists and craftsmen, vendors, food trucks, a bouncy house and face painting. And that's not all, the Harvest Festival is also offering free horse and carriage rides. Proceeds from the event will go towards providing literacy resources in Portland public schools. Beyond Time/Harvest Festival