1. Ah, those long, lazy days of early August, when there’s not much to do, but plenty of time in which to do nothing. That said; there’s still opportunities to get out and have fun. Let’s start in Bangor, as we always do, with Friday night, when you can check out either the Bill Barnes Jazz Trio at Nocturnem Drafthaus or rockers Overdrive at Paddy Murphy’s, or you can attend either pop vocal group Fifth Harmony at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, or MMA fights at 7 p.m. the Cross Insurance Center. Up in Old Town, August West and Friends play at the Boomhouse, and down in Winterport, the 2 Guys play at the Bacon Tree in Winterport from 6 to 9 p.m. On Saturday, the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion is taken over all day by the Rise Above Fest – tickets for which you can win right here, if you enter before 3 p.m. Friday! There’s also Central Maine Roller Derby, who offer up a scrimmage match at 5 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center. Later that night, local artist Dan Fleming has an art opening from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Central Gallery, while Stesha Cano, is at Nocturnem, the Brad Hutchinson Project is at Paddy’s, and at 7 p.m. at the Union Street Brick Church, there’s a musical benefit for Hannah Somers-Jones, the local musician who was seriously injured in a car crash last year, featuring local jazz and jam band musicians.
2. Friday night is First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, and it’s also the long sold-out concert from the Lumineers, with guests Langhorne Slim and Rayland Baxter, set for Thompson’s Point. There’s also comedian Hari Kondabolu at Port City Music Hall, the Space Gallery hosts indie rock with Teen, Landlady and Sunset Hearts, and at Portland House of Music, there’s the monthly songwriter’s circus at 4 p.m. at Empire following by Throwback Night with DJ KTF, and there’s a historic night for the Portland music scene, as local rock legends Murcielago play their last show, with guests Pigboat and Eldemurr Krimm, at Portland House of Music and Events. On Saturday, the Space Gallery hosts some metal and punk with Psalm Zero, Purse, An Anderson and Clan of Dyad and St. Lawrence Arts host alt-country songwriter Whitney Rose. On Sunday, the State Theatre hosts the Australian Pink Floyd Show, and Empire offers up the final round of it’s summer-long comedy competition, featuring local comedians paired with local musicians.
3. This weekend is the first of two weekends for the annual Schoodic Arts for All festival in beautiful Winter Harbor, immediately adjacent to the Schoodic part of Acadia National Park. Why should you check it out? Because there’s a huge amount of things to do, see, hear and experience packed into two weeks. This weekend alone offers up performances including Acadian fiddler Gus LaCasse on Friday night, Celtic musician Chris Gray on Saturday, and magician Dennis Labbe on Sunday, all at Hammond Hall. There’s also more than 20 different workshops happening all weekend, from making copper jewelry to learning the basics about making Passamaquoddy-style baskets. For a full list of all the good stuff going on, visit schoodicartsforall.org.
4. Two cool festivals to note this weekend in and around Maine. First off, the Maine Lobster Festival kicked off Wednesday night in Rockland and continues through Sunday, offering up rides, games, shopping, people-watching and, of course, all the lobster you could possibly eat, in whatever form you’d like. In Portland, the annual Picnic Music and Arts Festival is set for the afternoon on Saturday in Lincoln Park, with tons and tons of fantastic local arts, crafts, clothing and home good vendors, and live music from local bands all day; it’s free admission, too! Oh, and don’t forget: it’s the second and final weekend of the Bangor State Fair as well.
5. Finally, for the next installment in our semi-regular series this summer about great Maine beaches, might I suggest the beaches in Lamoine, at both Lamoine State Park and immediately adjacent to the park? Despite its proximity to Acadia, these beaches are often very quiet, offering lovely views of Bar Harbor from across Frenchman’s Bay, as well as non-crowded swimming opportunities. It’s easy to get to – take Route 184 southeast from Ellsworth, drive past Lamoine Town Hall, and follow the signs to Lamoine State Park – so if you’re looking for peace, quiet and an easy way to bring the family and take a dip and catch some rays, this is the place. Check the tide charts before you plan your trip, since the beaches tend to disappear at peak high tide. Enjoy!