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    Fork Food Lab Grand Opening

    The Fork Food Lab Grand Opening on Tuesday night was a BIG celebration, with food and drink for several hundred people. The new facility in Portland is designed to make it affordable for entrepreneurial food businesses to get started without having to build out their own kitchens. Eighteen small companies are working out of the new Lab on Parris Street in Portland. More info: http://www.forkfoodlab.com/

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    VENUE REVIEWS

    Picking a place to see a show is not that different from buying real estate: location is crucial. A venue’s acoustics, sight lines, seating arrangements and lighting are all things that can contribute to an entertaining experience. Here’s our take on how well the clubs, arenas and theaters in the area put on a show.        

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    Deering Center’s Porchfest

    All a neighborhood really needs to create is own festival is some porches and some musical folks. Deering Center's third annual Porchfest brought together a couple dozen performing acts over three hours, with people turning out of their homes to stroll, bike, or skateboard from venue to venue. Musical sampling doesn't get any more laid-back than this free door-to-door afternoon. With flags on porches in commemoration of 9/11, neighbors--and everyone was a neighbor during Porchfest--shared their yards, their talents, their chairs, and their sandwiches.

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    Portland Greenfest

    It's not easy being green... but it's considerably easier after gathering info at Portland Greenfest. More than 50 vendors and info booths, demonstrations, talks, live musical performances, and food trucks rounded out the sustainability-focused gathering. More info: www.portlandgreenfest.org/

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    Paddle Battle in Kennebunkport

    The Paddle Battle at Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, postponed from a stormy weekend in July, became a last hurrah of summer lawn party. Racers were divided into categories by type of boat--kayak, surfboard, or stand-up paddleboard. Barbecue food, live music, and lawn games rounded out a gorgeous afternoon.

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    Easy as Pi 5K

    The run itself might not have been that easy, but there was pi--Whoopie Pie--at the finish line. After 150 kids got their wiggles out with a Fun Run, 130 adults ran the Easy as Pi 5K beginning and ending at Thompson's Point in Portland. Why pi? Because sponsor organization Woodard & Curran Foundation is a nonprofit established by an engineering firm. And, in earlier years of the now sixth-annual race, the run was actually 3.14 miles. Because runners like to know their 5K time, there are now two finish lines with the 5K one getting all the attention. Through this event, the Woodard & Curran Foundation raised about $5,000 that will go toward grants for environmental projects. For more info: www.woodardcurranfoundation.org

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    Martinis for Mutts

    The Animal Refuge League’s 4th annual Martinis for Mutts fundraiser was a huge success! Partygoers of the two and four-legged variety gathered at the Portland Regency Garden Bar to celebrate the good work of the ARL of Greater Portland. 125 people and 75 dogs came out to support the treatment and care that the Refuge League…

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    Great Falls Balloon Festival

    Sunday afternoon at the Great Falls Balloon Festival was comfortably breezy--not safe weather for a balloon launch. But there was plenty else to enjoy, including watching medieval jousting, local dance groups, or super-talented dogs chasing down frisbees in the wind. Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston was full of people enjoying the food booths, vendors, face painting, bungee jumping, rock climbing--or just lying in the shade by the river, listening to live music.