1. We are officially in nonstop things to do season, which tends to last til mid-September. Every weekend — and week, for that matter — is jam-packed with fun. Where to begin? Well, this Friday in Bangor, start your Friday night off with fun stuff including improv troupe The Focus Group at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer at 8 p.m., River City Cinema’s free screening of the original “Hairspray” at 8:30 p.m. in Pickering Square in Bangor, and a performance of the edgy play “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” is set for 7 p.m. Friday (and 7 p.m.Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday) at the Theater Company at the Union Street Brick Church. It’s also Bangor Pride weekend, with pride karaoke at Paddy Murphy’s all night. Later Friday, enjoy songwriters Dominic James, Riff Johnson and Samantha Lynn at the Sea Dog, folk duo the Pitch Black Ribbons at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rocker Jessi Mallory at the Big Easy, and out in Winterport, rock band Fifth Freedom at 4Points BBQ & Blues. Saturday brings the all-day Pride festival, with all sorts of fun, vendors and music from the likes of Rotating Taps, the Crown Vics, the Blast Addicts and Stesha Cano from noon to 4 p.m. That night at the Sea Dog there’s a huge pride dance party, too. Also that evening, enjoy either the 220s at Paddy’s, the Bangtown Swingers at Nocturnem, blues band the Juke Rockets at the Big Easy, or Right Amount of Wrong at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons. In Orono, the Bear Brew presents comedy with Johnny Ater, Mark Turcotte and Adam Hatch, and in Winterport, guitarist Kelly Ravin is at 4Points. On Sunday, Bangor Mall Cinemas hosts the screening of Maine native comedian Ray Harrington’s new movie “Be a Man” at 7 p.m.
2. There are so many cool things happening in Portland this weekend. More on the full array of good stuff later. First, your nightlife options on Friday including Start Making Sense, a Talking Heads tribute band, and HmfO, a Hall & Oates tribute band, at Port City Music Hall. Sounds fun, yeah? Also that night, there’s some heavy indie rock with the Thalia Zedek Band and Coke Weed at St. Lawrence Arts, and some local songwriter fare with Jenny Lou Drew and the Damage Done and Connor Garvey at One Longfellow Square. On Saturday, jam bands Rubblebucket and Alberta Cross are at Port City, Session Americana is at One Longfellow, and some local punk rock with SS Cretins, Tigerbomb and Video Nasties will take the stage at Bayside Bowl. There’s also Lady Luck Burlesque presenting a Summer Burly-Q Revue at St. Lawrence Arts. Sunday brings the first-ever concert at new outdoor music venue Thompson’s Point, with popular favorites Ingrid Michaelson (pictured) and Jukebox and Ghost playing the inaugural show. There’s also a record release for songwriter Shanna Underwood with guest Joe Bloom at St. Lawrence Arts.
3. Belfast hosts its Fourth Friday Art Walk Friday night, as well as the Farmer’s Market during the day, so it’s sure to be a lovely time to wander about in Waldo County’s prettiest (and only) city. Also the night on the Midcoast, there’s the Power Performance dance and film event set for Friday and Saturday night at the Strom Auditorium in Rockport. Roots act Session Americana with songwriter Ellie Buckland is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, songwriter Alice Limoges (pictured) is at Rock City Coffee, and rockers Raised by Wolves are at the Speakeasy. On Saturday, guitarist Pat Foley is at Rock City, and Mes Amis gypsy jazz is at the Speakeasy. Feeling a little more eastern this weekend? Across the bay on MDI, on Friday night songwriter Sorcha Cribben-Merrill is at the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor, while Saturday brings a contradance at College of the Atlantic and punk band Butcher Boy at the Lompoc. Sunday is reggae afternoon with Catchavibe at Carmen Verandah in Bar Harbor.
4. In Portland, PortFringe, the annual celebration of independent, unusual and often experimental theater actually kicked off last Saturday, and has been running all week. It comes to a head this weekend, with performances in three locations (Portland Stage Company, Empire and Geno’s Rock Club) all day, through Sunday. There’s a lot of stuff to absorb — like “Waiting for Alice,” a mashup of “Waiting for Godot” and “Alice in Wonderland,” set for 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at Portland Stage; “St. Jimmy Celebrates the Food at Our Feet,” a one-man show that’s equal parts cabaret, lecture and cooking show, set for 9 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at Empire; “The Mysterium Show,” (pictured) some unorthodox and mind-binding magic, set for 11:30 p.m. Friday at Geno’s and 11 p.m. Saturday at Empire; and “Louisa May Incest,” in which the author and her creation Jo March meet, by Maine playwright Carolyn Gage, set for 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Sunday at Portland Stage. There are so many more than this. If this sounds interesting to you, please check out portfringe.com and check out this incredibly cool festival.
5. Foodies unite! So many great food and beer-centric events happening this weekend. In Belfast, the annual Maine Fare celebration of local foods and farms is set for Friday and Saturday; the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival is set for Saturday morning and afternoon in Dover-Foxcroft; the annual Greek Festival is set for 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland, with all the amazing Greek food you can possibly eat; the Allagash Brewing 20th Anniversary Street Festival is set for 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Brewery in Portland; and the Noshbow Street Fest is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday outside Nosh Kitchen Bar in Portland, with tons of bands and food trucks and beer. So. Much. Food!