1. It’s Cinco de Mayo this weekend, so of course there’s lots of excuses to have a good time – even if the wearing of sombreros and drinking of tequila is just as silly (and sometimes stupid) as wearing green and drinking whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day. In the Bangor area, Kingman’s in Old Town is throwing a huge end of semester party featuring three DJs (DJ Les, Pandemic and Tac), hosted by FloNominal. Paddy Murphy’s has got Mellow Endeavor on Friday and the Blood Orange Martinis on Saturday, and at Ipanema, Ellsworth singer-songwriter Chris Ross will perform Saturday night – hopefully some songs from his soon-to-be-released new album, “Halfway to Wonderland.” And, of course, there’s First Friday Jazz at Nocturnem.
2. Portland is madness this weekend. Seriously. There’s almost too much to list here. To start, Bangor favorite The Other Bones have a CD release party for their new EP, “Hinges,” playing with GinLab and Rotating Taps at Slainte Bar & Lounge on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the first-ever Sun & Moon May Day event is set for the Top of the World Park on Munjoy Hill, starting at 6 p.m. with a Maypole dance and promenade up to Zero Station on Anderson Street, where music from Wesley Hartley, A Severe Joy and Correspondences and dancing with DJ Che Ros will be had until the wee hours. At the State Theatre there’s M. Ward and Lee Ranaldo on Saturday night, and at Empire, there’s Miss Fairchild and Love in Stockholm on Friday, and a Levon Helm tribute show with Dominic and the Lucid on Saturday. Oh, and it’s also the First Friday Art Walk, so you can amble your way around Portland, checking out cool galleries and drinking free wine. Saturday is WMPG-FM’s annual Fashion Show fundraiser, set for the Asylum on Center Street. And finally, on Sunday there’s a super fun show at Port City Music Hall, featuring Foxy Shazam, Dead Ford and once again, A Severe Joy.
3. Saturday is Free Comic Book Day! Join your local comic book shop — like Top Shelf in Bangor and Coast City in Portland — for some great deals and fun events, as well as a plethora of free comics of all stripes. It’s perfect timing, too, since this weekend is the weekend “The Avengers” comes out. Go see that Friday night, get your comics on Saturday, and bask in the glory of a weekend of glorious pop culture.
4. It’s an adventure you’ll never forget: the annual Downeast Adventure Race, set for 9 a.m. Saturday, starting in Calais. What is it? Well, according to their event listing on the BDN site, “the Downeast Adventure Race is an entry level multi-sport event that consists of mountain biking, white water canoeing, sea kayaking, running, and team challenges. New for this year is a navigation component. Racers will need to navigate using map and compass during one or more sections of the race.” Ooh, sounds challenging! Fun! Unfortunately, registration ended last weekend, but it’s still very much worth watching – especially if it means a trip Downeast on a lovely spring weekend (it’s supposed to be a lot nicer out on Saturday and Sunday).
5. Opening at Portland Stage this week is “Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh,” a drama about the famed French queen, her affairs and an opportunistic portrait painter; performances are at 7:30 Friday, 4 and 8 Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Up the coast, at the Camden Opera House the annual dance showcase from Martha’s Place is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, and features an array of styles performed by area dancers. And at the Collins Center for the Arts, Neil Berg’s “100 Years of Broadway” will delight the crowd at 8 p.m. Saturday.