1. Oooooooh three day weekend! I’m sure most folks have at least one fun things planned for this weekend, but if not, here’s a whole bunch of suggestions for your summer entertainment. On Friday night in Bangor, River City Cinema’s free screening of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is set for sundown in Pickering Square, while elsewhere, the Brad Hutchinson Project is at Paddy Murphy’s, the Bill Barnes Jazz Trio is at Nocturnem Drafthaus and the Trendy Robots are at the Sea Dog; it’s also the last weekend of “Rock of Ages” at Penobscot Theatre, so get those tickets now before it’s too late. On Saturday, David Raitt and the Main Line at Mason’s Brewing Company in Brewer, Koostix are at Paddy’s, Ryan Carney is at Nocturnem, and Dominic James and Riff Johnson are at the Sea Dog.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, and it’s likely to be one of the biggest of the year — a holiday weekend and nice weather to boot. Later that night, enjoy the Take Back HOME event at Portland House of Music, a huge benefit for Hope Acts, an immigrant support network, starting at 5 p.m. and featuring a huge number of bands including Seepeoples, Sea Level, Renee Coolbirth, Mosart 212, Clara Junken, Joel Thetford, Hannah Daman and The Martel Sisters, Viva, Anarkitty and Akela Moon; that night there’s also the Throwback Dance Party with DJ KTF at Empire. On Saturday, 90s icon Melissa Etheridge is at the Maine State Pier, and Geno’s hosts some great New England punk with the Gamma Goochies, Classic Ruin and Halo and the Harlots. Sunday, bring lawn chairs and go see Hitchcock’s “Psycho” at sundown in Congress Square Park, and on the Fourth of July, the Avett Brothers and the Ghost of Paul Revere perform at Thompson’s Point.
3. On the coast, it’s also First Friday Art Walk night in Bar Harbor; later that night, enjoy either the Bluesboy Revue at Black Friar’s, Em & Company on the Ellsworth Waterfront, 6 p.m., Trisha Mason and Jon Wood at Coda in Southwest Harbor, and there’s there’s also the two final concerts of the Acadia Trad School Festival, with young fiddle stars at 4 p.m. at the Northeast Harbor Public Library, and a festival closing showcase at 6:30 p.m. at Gates Auditorium at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. On Saturday, Sam Moss is at the Lompoc Cafe, songwriter Bowen Swersey is at Coda, and the Fremont Street String Band is at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor. On Sunday, the excellent Greg Jamie is at the Lompoc Cafe. Across the bay on the Midcoast, on Friday there’s the Flying Shoes Contradance in Belfast (pictured above) at the American Legion Hall, while on Saturday, Happy Folk are at Rock City Coffee and the MOJO Orchestra are at the Speakeasy, both in Rockland, and on Sunday, Ezra Rugg plays afternoon reggae at Three Tides.
4. The reason for your three day weekend is, of course, the Fourth of July! What fun summery things are you looking to do? Well, for starters, both Bangor and Portland offer fireworks, parade and all the usual good stuff, with Bangor’s fireworks on the Waterfront, and Portland’s actually in South Portland at Bug Light. There are also lovely small town fireworks set for towns including Searsport (Mosman Park), Castine (Waterfront), Camden (Harbor), Bar Harbor (the Harbor), and plenty more beyond that. Maybe don’t bring the dog. Mine panics and tries to actually get inside the couch when they start going off.
5. Here’s the second in your completely irregular series of posts this summer on great Maine beaches. Last time, we talked about Popham Beach. This time, we’ll hit up something a little further east. I’m talking about Sandy Point Beach, located in between Prospect and Stockton Springs in Waldo County. It’s a 100-acre public preserve with a small but very pretty little beach, with relatively warm water that’s good for swimming. It’s also dog friendly, and the preserve has a network of easy trails that are great for people of all ages. I love it because it’s rarely packed with people. It’s also free. Here’s my colleague Aislinn’s post about it. Enjoy!