1. As I slid into my flip flops and put a light jacket on before walking the dog this morning, I thought ‘My, isn’t this pleasant weather we’re having?’ Then, as I’m often want to do, I looked at the ‘On This Day’ feature on Facebook, to discover years of posts about shoveling, soup-making and generalized winter malaise. Strange days, my friends. Strange days. Take advantage of this spring-like weather and get out and enjoy yourself this weekend. On Friday night in Bangor there are two funny things you can enjoy; the Focus Group improv troupe at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, or the hilarious local play “Hair Frenzy,” also at 8 p.m., at the Penobscot Theatre. Musically speaking, you can enjoy some indie rock songwriters at the Central Gallery with Jeff Beam, Sarah Sinford, Matt Duplisea set to perform starting at 8 p.m.; jazz man Bill Barnes is at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and funk band Juicebox is at Paddy Murphy’s. In Saturday, the inaugural Old Town Brew Fest is set for the Elks Club in Old Town from 1 to 5 p.m., with 14 Maine breweries represented; tickets are $25. Later that day, in Bangor there’s the Central Gallery’s First Saturday art opening at 7 p.m., there’s Sonja Harrington and her Mystical Harem of Sound at Nocturnem, there’s the Blast Addicts at Paddy’s, there’s Chris Ross and the North at the Downunder Club at Seasons, and up in Orono, there’s comedians Ray Harrington and Derek Furtado at the Bear Brew, and rockers Wyld Lyfe at the Boomhouse in Old Town.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland this Friday, so get your walking shoes on and take a peek at all the good stuff around town. Later that night, take your pick of either songwriters Rayland Baxter and Margaret Glaspy at One Longfellow Square, reggae bands Mighty Mystic, Roots of Creation and DJ 4EIGN at Port City, indie rockers the Forz, Tiger Bomb and Leveret at Empire, rockers Five of the Eyes and KGFREEZE at Portland House of Music, or punk rock with the FUs, Psycho, Big Meat Hammer and Cryptic Slaughter at Geno’s Rock Club; there’s also renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz with acapella ensemble VOICE at Hannaford Hall at USM. On Saturday, unique world music ensemble Dakha Brakha is at One Longfellow Square, there’s a Bob Marley tribute night with Gorilla Finger Dub at Empire, there’s the record release show for Snaex with guests Micah Blue Smaldone and Asa Irons at the Space Gallery, and Soule Monde and Ghosts of Jupiter are at Portland House of Music and Events. On Sunday, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is at the State Theatre.
3. It’s weekend two of Winterfest in Camden, and it’s the big one: the National Toboggan Championships are set for the Camden Snow Bowl all weekend, and it’s really one of the most fun wintertime activities you can have in Maine — especially when you’re not freezing your tuchus off in below-zero weather. Visit the website for a full schedule. Later Friday night, check out either The Mallett Brothers at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts or Adam Babcock at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. On Saturday, there’s lots of good music in Rockland, including Sassquatch at the Speakeasy, Slippery Slope at Rock City Coffee, or the legendary David Mallett at the Strand Theatre.
4. This weekend brings the Chinese New Year, and there are several fun celebrations set for several locations in Maine. In Westbrook, the Chinese & American Friendship Society will bring in the Year of the Monkey from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center, featuring a dragon parade, a dance, a talent show, food and more. In Bangor, the Oriental Jade on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. will offer a whole roast pig dinner, dancing and new menu items.
5. I don’t know, what do you want to do this weekend? I want to check out that new Cuban restaurant in Brewer. I want to watch movies. I want to get some house work done and go for another balmy walk with the dog and… Wait, what’s that? There’s a sports game on Sunday? Who is it? What’s it called? The Superb Owl? Oh… the SUPER BOWL. Just kidding guys. Though I am not really a fan of the footing ball, I am a big fan of wings and nachos and funny TV commercials and hanging out with friends and family. What are you doing for the big game? Post comments below. Recipes for tasty treats especially welcome.