May! Hallelujah! Let’s welcome this month with bourbon and maypoles and mud! But first, hit the Little Black Dress Event or the Small Boaters’ Film Fest and help raise funds for good causes. There’ll be a maypole in Congress Square Park on Friday and more May Day festivities in Kennebunk on Saturday. It’s also the Kentucky Derby on Saturday and there are several watch parties (more like awesome hat parties) to choose from. Sunday’s Into the Mud Challenge in Gorham is your chance to bellyflop into the biggest puddle of mud you’ve ever seen.
For the weekend of April 30-May 3, 2015
6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Ocean Gateway, 14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland. $50. www.goodwillnne.org
If any of your clothes deserve a party, it’s your little black dress. It’s been there for you through everything (six blind dates, three swanky fundraisers, one 30th birthday, and more cocktail parties than you can remember). And unlike your fickle pants, you can always count on your LBD. Besides, this event helps raise funds for Goodwill’s Veterans Fund. Expect a fashion show, food and drink and live and silent auctions.
6 p.m. Thursday, Hannaford Hall, USM, Portland. $12, $10 students. www.mita.org/filmfest
“Eye-catching paddling films from around the world courtesy of the national Reel Paddling Film Fest and some exciting locally made films about boating in Maine.” There will also be a silent auction (island stays, backcountry camping, kayaks, bikes, sailing charters!) and plenty of Maine Island Trail Ale from Rising Tide. Proceeds benefit MITA.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, MECA, Congress Street, Portland. Exhibition is free, tickets to attend the fashio show and artist’s party are $75-$150. www.meca.edu/mecamorphosis
Over 80 artists are graudating from Maine College of Art’s BFA program this spring. To celebrate, MECA’s hosting a gala that includes a thesis exhibition of the students’ work (which is free and open to the public) and a runway fashion show and artist’s party (which are ticketed). The money raised helps fund scholarships for future artists.
Check out photos from last year: MECAmorphosis Fashion Show @ MECA
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, St. Lawrence Arts Center,
76 Congress St., Portland. $13, $6 kids under 13. www.vividmotion.org
You know the story of Peter Pan. But you’ve probably never, never seen it the way dance company Vivid Motion does it. (They’re the “quirky” dance company behind the popular Nutcracker Burlesque).
Proceeds benefit the Center for Grieving Children.
2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, starting at Congress Squared, 157 High Street, Portland. $55. winewiseevents.com
It’s a bourbon tour of Portland in honor of the Kentucky Derby. Sample bourbon at four stops in Portland and let sommelier Erica Archer and spirits guru Jacquelin Eftink help you grown your bourbon education. There will be food pairings, too and you’re encouraged to stick around to watch the race afterward.
3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dockfore, 336 Fore St., Portland. No cover.
Wear your best hat to Dockfore’s annual Kentucky Derby party. You might win a prize – plus you’ll just look awesome. $1.95 Stella drafts as well and pools for the races.
5 p.m. Saturday, Asylum, 121 Center Street, Portland. $20. portlandasylum.com
DJ, country-style buffet, mint juleps. best hat contest. Proceeds go to Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center
4:30 p.m. Saturday, TIQA, 327 Commercial St, Portland. $10. www.facebook.com
Join the Junior League of Portland for a Kentucky Derby celebration. Complimentary mint julep, hat contest, hors d’ouevres, raffle and local designer Alaina Marie will be there raffling off a Bait Bag.
All day Saturday, multiple locations in downtown Kennebunk. Free. www.kennebunkmaine.us
Of course there will be maypole dancing, but there’ll be a host of other festivities, too, like a pancake breakfast, faerie festival, free wagon rides, chalk art, rock climbing wall, craft market, live music, pig roast and a free bean supper. Because May is a month worth celebrating.
2:30-4 p.m. Friday, Congress Square Park, Portland. Free. congresssquarepark.org
Maypole festivities and May basket making.
8 a.m. (registration and packet pickup) 10:45 a.m. (wave #1 begins) Sunday, Gorham Middle School, Gorham. $35, $40 day of (if available). www.intothemudchallenge.com
You’re guaranteed to get dirty during this 2.5-mile muddy, obstacle course. The 2.5-mile course includes a bunch of obstacles and loads and loads of mud.
Traditional Mexican mask makers in Portland
4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, 11 Brown St., Portland, free. www.margs.com
Visiting artists Manuel Abeiro Horta and Modesto Horta, mask makers from Tócuaro, Mexico, will demonstrate their craft at Margaritas Mexican Restaurant at 11 Brown St. in Portland from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday. Abeiro enjoys carving animal masks while Modesto is known for his elaborately carved devil masks.
8 p.m. Saturday. Frontier Cafe, 14 Maine St., Mill 3 Fort Andross, Brunswick, $10 in advance, $12 day of show. explorefrontier.com
If you conjure the spirit of Django Reinhardt while tossing in Ottoman melodies, Philly R&B and fun-loving flamenco you’ll wind up with the Boston-based trio Ameranouche. You’ll hear traditional French jazz guitars as the band plays everything from funk-soaked originals to musette waltzses from the 1930s.
Titanic: A Century of Myth & Memory
7 p.m. Thursday. Camden Public Library, 55 Main St., free. librarycamden.org
It’s been over 100 years since the Titanic sank and the intrigue continues about the tragic event. Dr. Erin Bishop will lead a 90-minute illustrated talk about the cultural significance of the ocean liner’s sinking in the North Atlantic while the ship was on her maiden voyage to New York City.
Salt Marsh Nature Exploration
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (90 minutes explorations), Friday. Runs through September 30. Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, 92 Pine Point Road, $5 per person, reservations required. maineaudubon.org
You’ll spend an hour-and-a-half learning about the adaptations of plants and animals that are unique to the salt marsh eco-system. Participants will also be able to catch and release fish, view tiny organisms on algae and test the characteristics of marsh mud versus regular soil.
‘Henry and Ramona’
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Sparrow’s Nest Theater, 1114 West Mills Road, Industry,$40, $5 children. sparrowsnesttheater.com
Let yourself be taken back to Klickitat Street of the 1950s. Young and old actors bring to life Beverly Cleary’s beloved characters of Henry Huggins, the pooch Ribsy, Ramona the Pest and her long-suffering sister Beezus among other colorful characters. Will Henry save the day? Find out during this lively stage adaptation.
An Evening with Richard Blanco: Just Tell Me a Story
7 p.m. Friday, Second Congregational Church, 205 Main St., Norway, $10. www.norway.lib.me.us
Norway Memorial Library present a program by inaugural poet Richard Blanco. Blanco will read poetry and prose and will discuss his memoir “The Prince of Los Cocuyos” along with his experiences as the 2013 Inaugural Poet. Attendees will be able to ask questions and get books signed by Blanco.