1. I like Labor Day weekend, because unlike other holidays, the only thing it stands for is the right for people to not have to work all the time. I like that. A lot. This Friday night in Bangor, take your pick from either some serious rock with Lung and Marathon Man at the Central Gallery, jazz man Bill Barnes at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, a country show with Sammy Kershaw and Rowdy Yates on the Bangor Waterfront, the Jim Brown Band at the Penobscot Pourhouse, or out in Winterport, the Eric Green Party at the Pub in the Port. On Saturday evening, there’s an art opening for artist Susan Smith at the Central Gallery, there’s pop-punk icons Blink-182 with A Day To Remember and All Time Low at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, while at night, there’s Circus at Paddy’s, there’s vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s the Mallett Brothers Band at the Downunder Club at Seasons, and there’s OneSixtyOne at the Penobscot Pourhouse. On Sunday, When Particles Collide play an afternoon show at the Family Dog in Orono, and country band Rascal Flatts plays the last concert of the season at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. Boooo.
2. Friday in Portland brings your September edition of the First Friday Art Walk, with some fun things to check out like my co-worker Troy Bennett (hi Troy!) and his exhibit of tin-type photographs at Acoustic Artisans, or Hi Tiger, a dance-music-burlesque performance piece at Space Gallery. Later that night, enjoy the Pop Up First Friday Dance Party at Empire, Darlin’ Corey, Okbari and the RJ Miller Band at Blue, or 90s heroes Third Eye Blind at the Maine State Pier. On Saturday, there’s a ton of great bands to be heard, starting with When Particles Collide, Five of the Eyes and Eldemurr Krimm at Portland House of Music, Kyle Hardy and Friends, Jared Steer Trio and Nihco Gallo Trio at Blue, the Strangely Possibles and Williker at Empire, or Million Brazilians, Burr, Mome and Korovyov at the Space Gallery. There’s also the Mystix and Danielle Miraglia at One Longfellow Square, guitarist Gregoire de la Costa at Mayo Street Arts, and at Geno’s, there’s Thirteen High, Project 246, Brand New Day and more, playing a benefit for wounded veterans organizations. On Sunday, classic rock rules with KISS at the Cross Insurance Arena, or ZZ Top on the Maine State Pier.
3. Start your Labor Day weekend off on the Midcoast with three fun events, including American group Low Lily at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, The Wicked Woods at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, or the Belfast Flying Shoes contradance at the Legion Hall with guest band Anadama. On Saturday, folk legend Noel Paul Stookey is at the Camden Opera House, songwriter/guitarists Vicky Andres and Max McFarland are at Rock City, and amazingly, Maine favorite James McMurtry plays a free concert at 2 p.m. at Savage Oakes Vinyard in Union.
4. Labor Day weekend brings some wonderful family-friendly events as always, including perennial favorites like the Blue Hill Fair, which combines midway rides and fried dough with classic agricultural displays, music and local flavor. On the other side of the bay, the annual Camden Windjammer Festival is set for the Camden area, with chowder dinners, music, lobster crate races, nautical demonstrations and fireworks, all weekend, as well as thought big, beautiful ships.
5. Finally, seeing as it’s the first weekend of September and we’re at peak harvest — everything’s in season, from peaches, apples and blueberries to tomatoes, corn and beans — this would be a great weekend to get out to your local farmer’s market and buy something delicious. While I’m partial to my local Bangor Farmer’s Market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays in Abbott Square, there are so many other wonderful ones, like the Belfast Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays at Waterfall Arts, the Portland Farmer’s Market 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays in Deering Oaks Park, the Orono Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Steam Plant Parking Lot, and many more. I love it. You love it. You’ll never eat a better tomato all year than right now.