5 Things To Do This Weekend, March 17-19: The wearing of the green

The scene at Paddy Murphy’s in Bangor

1. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and yes, it falls on a Friday, so yes, if you’ve got a bit of the urge to celebrate — whether you’re Irish or just a wannabe — this year’s definitely your year. There’s a whole host of fun stuff to do on Friday (and Saturday) so let’s get right to it. It’s the ten year anniversary of downtown Bangor bar Paddy Murphy’s, so they have a full day of music, starting at the traditional opening hour of 6 a.m. with Kevin Hamel, followed by Rick Hanscom at 9:30 a.m., Irish Sessions at 11 a.m., Gus LaCasse at 1 p.m., Sail Bums at 3 p.m., Jeff Silverstein at 5 p.m. and Stesha Cano and the Jerks at 9 p.m. Of course, there’s always Geaghan’s, which every year stuffs their bar with great beer and great music, including bagpiper Peter Bickford at noon, 2 and 5 p.m, singer John T at 1:30 p.m., Celtic Fresh from 4 to 7 p.m. and the Highland Pipe and Drum Band at 8 p.m. Elsewhere, there’s the monthly contradance at 8 p.m. at the UU Church in Bangor; at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s Allison Bankson, guitarist Rob Benton is at the Sea Dog, and over in Brewer, the Focus Group does its monthly improv show at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre. In Orono, Celtic group Caladh Nua performs at 8 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts. On Saturday, there’s a film club showing of the ridiculous horror movie “The Leprechaun” at 8 p.m. at the Central Gallery; songwriter Taylor Rich is at Nocturnem, the Blast Addicts are at Paddy’s, and cover band Souled Out is at the Downunder Club.

BDN file photo by Troy Bennett

2. There are three bars that are ground zero for St. Patrick’s Day fun in Portland; Brian Boru, Bull Feeney’s and Ri Ra. What’s on at those places? Brian Boru has Pitnacree at 6:30 a.m., Rum Riot at 9 p.m., the Pubcrawlers at 1 p.m., Grand Central at 4 p.m., MB Padfield at 6:30 p.m. and DJ Tinydancer at 9:30 p.m. Bull Feeney’s has a huge day, with the Tom and Don Celtic Duo, Dave Rowe, the Milliners, the Napper Tandies and Driving Charlie home starting at 6 a.m. downstairs, and the Maine Public Safety Pipe & Drum Corps, the SF Jones Band, the Dapper Gents and Hello Newman starting at noon upstairs. At Ri Ra, the Maine Public Safety Band kicks off at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Kilcollins Band at 10 a.m., 4 p.m and 9 p.m., the Stillson School of Irish Dancers at 11:30 a.m. and the Napper Tandies at noon. Elsewhere, Empire hosts a St. Patrick’s Day comedy party hosted by Ian Stuart and featuring local comics; One Longfellow Square has some Celtic music with Fodhla and Matt and Shannon Heaton; and a cabaret show with Voulez-Vous Burlesque at Geno’s Rock Club. On Saturday, it’s the long-awaited reopening of the renovated Bayside Bowl; there’s a great show featuring Aloud, Cape Cannons and They Called Me Legion that night. There’s also three tribute events happening that night, including a Madonna vs. Lady Gaga DJ night at Port City Music Hall, a Notorious BIG tribute at Empire, and Don Campbell plays Dan Fogelberg’s music at One Longfellow. Finally, Oxbow Blending and Brewing hosts some excellent hip hop DJs all night, as well as legendary Boston MC Mr. Lif.

3. On the coast, folks are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish session at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, Irish food and live music from Emmett Lalor starting at 4 p.m. at Ebantide in Camden, songwriter Mike Rodrigue at Trackside Station in Rockland, Americana band the Wiyos are at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, and at Unity College, the legendary bluegrass band the Gibson Brothers. On Saturday, the Plaid Stringband is set for Rock City Coffee, and Capital City Improv brings the laughs at Unity College.

4. Should all things green not be your thing, worry not — there’s lots more to do. In fact, in Bangor, this weekend brings the third annual Maine Science Festival, a yearly celebration of science in all forms. More than 50 events and activities are happening on Saturday and Sunday across Downtown Bangor, the Cross Insurance Center, and Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center, from film screenings and scientific art projects, to robotics labs, tech demonstrations, and workshops. There’s also the keynote event, a live taping of NPR podcast “You’re the Expert,” featuring Comedy Central comedians asking a Maine scientist what exactly it is that they do; that’s set for 7:30 p.m. at Hampden Academy. For more information, visit www.mainesciencefestival.org.

5. Need more? Try any of these on for size. It’s opening weekend for “Papermaker,” the new Maine-set play, at the Penobscot Theatre Company, with performances set for 7 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bangor Opera House. There’s the Grand Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” this weekend and next at the Grand in Ellsworth. Saturday brings the fifth annual Bangor Firefighters Chili and Chowder Cookoff, set for 6 p.m. at Hollywood Casino; tickets are $10 and you can eat a whole lotta chili. And on Sunday, there’s Body Traffic, the incredibly entertaining contemporary dance troupe, set for 3 p.m.  at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer and editor for Bangor Metro Magazine, the Weekly and the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine. Albums for review are accepted digitally only; please no CDs.