1. I’ve been putting off planting my lily bulbs because it’s been rainy and chilly for most of the week. What gives? Bangor might see a dash of sun this weekend, however, and there’s plenty of ways to enjoy it. Friday, there’s a big outdoor concert starting at 6 p.m. at Eastern Maine Community College to benefit Relay For Life, featuring bands including Random Zero, Bizzy Gruntry, Sireel and many others. In downtown Bangor, also on Friday, there’s the Bill Barnes Jazz Trio at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s rockers Trendy Robots at Tantrum, there’s Eric Green out at 4Points in Winterport, and someone named DJ Baby Bok Choy, who may or may not write a weekend events blog for the BDN, is spinning 80s and 90s music at Paddy Murphy’s. On Saturday, it’s Halfway to Halloween in downtown, which gives everyone an excuse to wear costumes, and listen to lots of bands including the 220s at Paddy’s, Tom Luther at Nocturnem, the funky party band Juicebox at Ipanema and Sus4 at the Big Easy. Also, don’t forget that Bangor Roller Derby takes on the Muddy River Rollers out of New Brunswick, in a match set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Hampden Recreation Center; there’s an after party that night at Tantrum.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, so put on your walking shoes. In addition to some wonderful gallery exhibits like the Portland photography of Corey Templeton at City Hall and French-Haitian-American artist Edwige at 3Fish Gallery, there’s music ranging from Forget Forget (pictured), Tan Vampires and Lux Deluxe at Empire, the Dead Sessions at Port City Music Hall, or acclaimed indie composer and songwriter Nat Baldwin at Space Gallery. There’s also the monthly MAMM Jam at Bayside Bowl, there’s Bob and the Trubadors at Mayo Street Arts, there’s the Local Laughs comedy night at the Aslyum, hosted by Brett Groh and featuring comics Krister Rollins, Joe Timmins, Erin Cyr, James Spizuoco and Tim Hofmann, and at Geno’s, there’s a tribute show for Oderus Orungus, evilly departed frontman for shock metal band GWAR, featuring the music of Thee Icepicks, Lord Earth and Psycho. Out in Biddeford at the Oak and the Ax, there’s a four band bill featuring Absinthe Rose, Greg McKillop, Holy Shadow and Creatrix. On Saturday, enjoy either songwriter Antje Dukevot at One Longfellow Square, a night of punk rock at Geno’s with the Never Nudes, Voice of Addiction, Dead Man Ramsay and the Bed Bugs, or out at the Oak and the Ax, some local indie rock with Forget Forget, the Feather Lungs and Yes We Kin. Oh, and don’t forget — there’s Cinco de Mayo shenanigans all day Saturday and Sunday at El Rayo Taqueria in Portland, and during the day noon to 5 on Saturday at the Ocean Gateway Terminal on Portland’s Waterfront there’s a food truck roundup, featuring music from King Memphis, Paranoid Social Club and Wild Adriatic.
3. The fire is slowly starting to burn Downeast, and to show it, there’s some good stuff happening in Hancock County this weekend. Friday night in Ellsworth there’s either Chris Ross and Fiddle Doug at Chummies or Him & Her at Finn’s, while at the Black Anchor Pub in Blue Hill there’s the Second Chance Band. On Saturday, enjoy either the Junkyard Cats at Chummies, Night & Day Jazz at Finn’s, or on the island, there’s Arborea and Amanda Rogers at the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor, a dance party with the Crown Vics at the Masonic Lodge in Bar Harbor, or Hat Trick at Sips in Southwest Harbor. On the Midcoast side of things, on Friday night there’s Two Dollar Pistol at the Speakeasy in Rockland, and on Saturday night, there’s country band 43 North at the Myrtle Street Tavern, Drive By Todd at Rock City Coffee, the Eric Green Party at the Speakeasy, and a Halfway to Halloween costume party at Rock Harbor Brewing, all in beautiful downtown Rockland.
4. Saturday is Kentucky Derby day, two of the most exciting minutes (from 6:24 to 6:26 p.m., ish) of the year. There are lots of derby parties all over the state this year, starting with Scarborough Downs, which will host betting, a buffet, prizes and a big hat competition at 5:45 p.m. The Asylum in Portland also hosts a derby party ($20), complete with mint juleps, a country style buffet and an auction to raise money for Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center. Hollywood Casino in Bangor has their own derby party with the expected cocktails and derby finery, set for the grandstand at Bangor Raceway, and Leary’s Landing in Bar Harbor hosts a legendary party every year, with those mint juleps and more giant, fabulous hats.
5. Saturday brings the return of the Kid Central Festival to downtown Bangor. The fun starts at 10 a.m., at Kid Central HQ at Bagel Central, with activities for kids aged 6 to 12, including a superhero costume contest, an endangered species project at the Bangor Public Library, a public art mural on Central Street, a scavenger hunt at the Robinson Ballet studios on Main Street, a reading and signing with children’s author Chris Van Dusen at the Briar Patch at 10 a.m., a cooking workshop at HQ, a Bangor Symphony instrument petting zoo at the Maine Discovery Museum, and much more. And it’s all free. You’d be crazy to not take your kids to this one. For more information, like the Kid Central Festival on Facebook.