1. I’ve lived in downtown Bangor for eight years, in the area for fourteen years, and in Maine all my life. I moved here just as the little flame that was downtown was beginning to get a little bigger, and grow and spread and burn brighter. There has long been a struggle to build a creative, sustainable community here, and to ride the ups and downs and losses and problems that were already here and keep on coming. The single biggest strength that this community has and the thing that makes it thrive — despite all the challenges — is its people. They are open and generous. They are fun-loving and funny. They work hard. They are family. There’s been a lot of crappy, painful, difficult stuff that’s happened in the past month. If there is anything we can learn from all this, it’s that family, even after everything, is still family. When push comes to shove, you’re there. Let’s be a good Bangor family. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s work hard to make things better.
This weekend in the Queen City, there’s a whole lot of stuff going on — in fact, some enterprising citizens have arranged all the stuff that’s going on Friday and Saturday into one helpful place: the Bangor Culture Shock event, which city councilor Gibran Graham decided to name after my blog because he wanted to flatter me, apparently (and thank you). Some of the highlights from this weekend’s smorgasbord include Bangor Reggae Fest, all night at Tantrum Nightclub Friday night, the final River City Cinema free movie in Pickering Square at 8:30 p.m. Friday, and lots of music at all the downtown bars. On Saturday, the Senior League World Series kicks off at Mansfield Stadium, and that night, starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Union Street Brick Church, Her Majesty’s Cabaret — the comedy group that I happen to be a part of — hosts a night of music and film with the bands Rotating Taps, Sunset Hearts and Chamberlain. A full list of everything can be found on the Bangor Culture Shock events page.
2. Our friends in Portland — we’re all Mainers, which are an extended family — get the pleasure of enjoying a number of cool events this weekend. The KahBang Festival, who sadly had to cancel the music portion of the event after they moved the festival to Portland, host their film festival all weekend at One Longfellow Square, where they’ll be showing movies like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” Maine-made documentary “Quinoa Soup” and an interactive screening of “Wet Hot American Summer.” On Friday in town there’s a big summer show from the Fogcutter Big Band, set for Friday night at Port City Music Hall, a cool show featuring Jaw-Ko, Stargroves and Nice Places at Empire, some killer metal with Tigerman Woah, Murcielago (pictured), We’re All Gonna Die and Blackwolfgoat at Slab Sicilian Street Food, and at Asylum, the monthly Local Laughs comedy show. On Saturday, Empire hosts Wild Ones, Box Tiger and Jeff Beam and the Asylum hosts country songwriter Josh Thompson. On Sunday, the Portland Reggae Fest takes over the Maine State Pier. Looks like it’s going to be warm weather and clear skies. Love where you live, people.
3. The coast is slated to be a relaxing place this weekend. On Friday, take your pick of either the Bluesboy Revue at the Black Friar Inn in Bar Harbor, songwriter Jordan Jones at Second Wind Tapas in Southwest Harbor or hip hop night at Carmen Verandah, also in Bar Harbor. The Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor has two nights of great music, including indie band Tongue Oven on Friday and indie bands And The Kids and Audrey Ryan on Saturday. Across the bay, the Speakeasy in Rockland hosts Johnson & Clancy on Friday and rocker Andres LasCoutx on Saturday, the Water Dog Tavern in Thomaston hosts Primo Cubano on Saturday, the Camden Opera House hosts songwriters Barnaby Bright and Liz Longley, also on Saturday, while on Sunday, Three Tides in Belfast (pictured) celebrates 11 years in business with the premier Midcoast folk act, Old Grey Goose.
4. Vive l’Acadie! The World Acadian Congress opens this weekend, and for the first time in its 25 year history, it will span two nations — the U.S. and Canada. Friday morning the festivities start bright and early, with a symbolic erasing of the borders at 8 a.m. at Beau Lake, where the borders of Maine, Quebec and New Brunswick meet. That’ll be followed by a big party in Edmundston New Brunswick, replete with music, dancing and circus acts. On Saturday, the Ployes Festival is set for Fort Kent all day, celebrating those delicious Acadian buckwheat pancakes, and on Sunday, there’s the Cross Border Tug of War, set for 3 p.m. in both Van Buren and Saint-Leonard, New Brunswick. There’s so much more beyond that, though. Check out the full program on the World Acadian Congress website, or read the story I wrote earlier this week.
5. Sunday is a super moon! We love these big, beautiful summer time moons. What’s the best way to enjoy it? Well, there’s a super moon walk at 7:30 p.m. at Walden Parke Preserve in Bangor, off outer Essex Street, while at 8 p.m. there’s a full moon bike ride starting at 8 p.m. at Broadway Park, also in Bangor. Moon gazing is lovely at the top of Munjoy Hill in Portland, or at Bug Light in South Portland, or at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect, or on top of Blue Hill. It’s beautiful anywhere. Where’s your favorite place to sit and look at the sky in Maine?