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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: May 26, 2015

Salsa in the park, Obscura Day & dinner via trolley: 13 things to do in Maine this weekend

Written by: Shannon Bryan

The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel is a popular place this weekend. On Thursday the hotel hosts a Throwback Thursday event complete with cocktails and old hotel memorabilia. On Friday, the public park outside the hotel will become a dance floor for some free Salsa dancing. There’s also a Spring Festival this weekend, burlesque and a progressive dinner that includes a trolley. Oh, and a super-rare fish. Thanks, Obscura Day.

For the weekend of May 28-31, 2015:

Press Herald file photo

Press Herald file photo

Eastland Meets Westin

5 p.m. to midnight Thursday, Top of the East at The Westin Portland Harborview hotel, Portland.
For folks with memories of the Eastland Hotel from back in the day (and even for folks who don’t), the Throwback Thursday event will include an unveiling of the #EastlandMeetsWestin memorabilia exhibit along with vintage food and cocktails (like the $4 Eastland martini or $19.27 Westin charcuterie board and martini). StoryCorps will also be there to record your memories for posterity.

Asher Platts, left, Becky Wartell, right, and Lauren Besanko did a victory dance in Congress Square after the sale of the part of the park was blocked by Portland voters last year. On Friday there will be more dancing in the public park. Salsa! Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

Asher Platts, left, Becky Wartell, right, and Lauren Besanko did a victory dance in Congress Square after the sale of the part of the park was blocked by Portland voters last year. On Friday there will be more dancing in the public park. Salsa! Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

Salsa Dance in Congress Square

6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Congress Square Park, Portland. Free.
First, take a beginner salsa lesson at 6 p.m. Then at 6:30, catch a performance by Caliente that’s sure to inspire some moves of your own. Right after that, it’s free dancing for all with music provided by DJ Braulio Mercado. Facebook event:

Lewiston Auburn Art Walk

5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, various locations downtown Lewiston and Auburn. Free.
Over 20 business and storefronts are converted into visual arts exhibitions for this monthly art walk. There’s also lots of live music and arts-based presentations.

Rum Riots graphic

Maine Rum Riots graphic

Maine Rum Riots

Saturday through Wednesday, multiple locations in Portland.
During that awful period known as Prohibition, then-mayor Neal Dow hid rum in City Hall. The people of Portland didn’t appreciate this (if they couldn’t stockpile rum themselves, why should teetotaling Neal Dow?!) so they stormed city hall. In honor of that historic rum riot, and to stick it to Neal Dow, we have Maine Rum Riots, several days of events from tiki seminars to cocktail history and a walking tour of Daiquiri Time Out, a classic bartender’s drink. More info:


Alberto Fernandez Fernandez image via wikimedia.

Obscura Day: Celebrating the Coelacanth

11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, The International Cryptozoology Museum, 11 Avon St., Portland. $10.
Obscura Day celebrates the world’s most curious and remarkable places – over 39 states and 25 countries are participating this year. In Maine, Obscura Day celebrates the coelacanth at, where else, The International Cryptozoology Museum. (The coelacanth is a fish – an extremely rare one that we once thought was extinct. Coelacanths are also the most endangered order of animals in the world.)

Jill Brady/Press Herald file photo

Jill Brady/Press Herald file photo

Spring Festival at Wolfe’s Neck Farm

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, 184 Burnett Road, Freeport. $6, under 3 free.
Celebrate spring at Wolfe’s Neck Farm with a day of music, games and demonstrations. Explore the trails and gardens, say hey to the animals, climb a tractor and make something fun at the craft table.

Shipwrecked Burlesque poster

Shipwrecked Burlesque poster

Gatsby – A Burlesque Spectacular

8 p.m. Saturday, St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. $20.
Update: Sold out! Sex. Murder. Jazz. This new show from Shipwrecked Burlesque will transport you back to the ’20s with a night of singing, dancing, stand-up comedy and more. Lady Luck Burlesque and Wicked Burlesque will also perform (and this show is definitely adults only).

All A Cappella Fest graphic

All A Cappella Fest graphic

All A Cappella Fest

8 p.m. Saturday, One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $20 in advance, $25 day of.
If “Pitch Perfect” and “The Sing-Off” have you falling in love with a cappella music, then hit the All A Cappella Fest and hear four local acts (two quartets and two trios) perform.

Nonantum Resort photo

Nonantum Resort photo

Progressive Dinner via Trolley Series

5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, starting at The Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport. $125 per person (includes one course & beverage at each stop and gratuity).
Dine your way through Kennebunkport with the Progressive Dinner series. Bonus: A trolley will take you from stop to stop. This series kicks off this weekend with stops at Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School; Old Vines Wine Bar, Craft Cocktails & Kitchen; Bandaloop farm-to-table restaurant; and 95 Ocean at The Nonantum Resort. If you can’t make it this time, they’ll be doing it again.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

The Robert Cray Band

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Waterville Opera House, 1 Common St. $40 – $50.
Here’s a chance to see five-time Grammy Award winning blues guitarist and singer right here in Maine. Cray started playing guitar as a teenager and formed his first band when he was 20. His first major label release was “Strong Persuader” in 1986. Countless albums have followed and in 2011 Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

On the cheap

‘The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebacq’
6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square. $8, $6 for PMA members and students.
Michel Houellebecq is one of France’s most controversial authors due in part to his frequent antagonizing of the Islamic religion. This comedic film imagines the writer’s kidnapping by a group of hapless criminals. Houellebacq portrays himself, all the while making dry jokes while getting to know his captors.

Spring Foraging for Wild Edibles
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance Trails, 101 Halidale Road, Montville, free,
This isn’t just any nature walk. On this walk you’ll forage for wild edible and medicinal plants that are nutritious, don’t need cultivation and are absolutely free. You’ll learn how to identify and process at least a dozen common plants that grow in forest and meadows, along creeks and bogs and in your yards and gardens. You’ll also learn about ethical harvesting and the nutritional benefits of wild plants. Just bring your curiosity and a notebook.

The Couch Open Mic Night
7 p.m. Sunday, Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland, no cover, 21-plus,
Are you a total rockstar, an aspiring musician or just a person who loves to sing and play? Here’s a night where you can try out a new tune or two without any pressure. Just bring your instrument and your best buddies and sign up when you get there. Musician Dominic Lavoie hosts the on-going series.

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