The Weekender, March 15-17: A jam-packed weekend of science, music and the luck of the Irish

Early morning celebrators of St. Patrick’s Day gather at Paddy Murphy’s in downtown Bangor at 6 a.m. on Thursday. For many, spending this holiday morning or full day at the pub is a tradition passed between family and friends. Micky Bedell | BDN

Sunday is indeed St. Patrick’s Day, so we’ll get to the listing of Irish-themed merriment in a moment. For now, there’s lots of good stuff to check out on Friday and Saturday — especially if the throngs of pub-crawlers on Sunday aren’t really your particular pot of gold.

In Bangor this weekend, on Friday night, funk band Zillawatt is at Paddy Murphy’s, Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, singer-guitarist Adam Babcock is at the Sea Dog, and it’s also the start of the first weekend of Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest production, the hilarious comedy “Ripcord.” On Saturday, there are several pre-St. Paddy’s concerts, with Irish band the Napper Tandies set for the Bangor Arts Exchange, and fiddler Gus La Casse set for Black Bear Brewing. Elsewhere on Saturday, Stesha Cano is at the Sea Dog, and jazz guitarist Aaron LeFebvre performs at 2 Feet Brewing.

In Portland, on Friday night, gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello plays at the State Theatre, there’s a U2 tribute band at Aura, there’s a Billie Holiday tribute night at Portland House of Music, Papa Tim and the Desperate Man’s Blues Explosion is at Empire, Roots of Creation and Gorilla Finger Dub are at Bayside Bowl, there’s a night of local hip hop at One Longfellow Square, there’s a night of Vermont indie rock at the Apohadion, and there’s a night of local pro wrestling at Geno’s. On Saturday, there’s an evening of Middle Eastern music and dance at the Space Gallery, funk band West End Blend is at Portland House of Music, and duos Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise and Sarah Violette and Renee Coolbrith are at Empire, guitarist James Mongomery is at One Longfellow Square, An Anderson, Ossalot and Billy Carr are at the Apohadion, and Can’t Win, PanzerBastard, Immobilizer, Sores and Heathens are at Geno’s.

Sure and begorra! And what would you expect Bangor’s finest to be wearing on St. Patrick’s Day but a touch o’ the green. Police Chief John B. Toole shows the official uniform of the day for sons of the Old Sod and all honorary Irishmen. And ’tis said that police will issue nothing but green parking tickets today. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY CARROLL HALL

So what about St. Patrick’s Day? Well, here’s a short list of some of the many St. Paddy’s events set for spots all over the state. In Bangor, both Paddy Murphy’s and Geaghan’s Pub have whole days of music and entertainment scheduled, with Paddy’s starting bright and early at 6 a.m., and Geaghan’s starting at a slightly more reasonable hour at 9 a.m. In Portland, the local Irish pubs all have a similarly jam-packed schedule, with Brian Boru opening at 6 a.m., Bull Feeney’s getting cracking at 7 a.m., Ri Ra starting at 9:30 a.m., and the Thirsty Pig getting going at 11 a.m., all with music, dancing and other Irish entertainment going into the late night. And don’t forget the traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade in Portland, starting at noon down Commercial Street. Elsewhere around the state, there are events including a Celtic concert featuring The Crow’s Nest at 2 p.m. at the Jesup Library in Bar Harbor; a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl in downtown Ellsworth at Finn’s, Chummies and Fogtown Brewing; a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland starting at 5:30 p.m.; and Irish music and food all day at Byrne’s Irish Pubs in both Bath and Brunswick.

But wait, there’s more! This weekend in Bangor is the fifth annual Maine Science Festival. Five days of the nerdiest educational fun you could ask for — from hands-on science workshops for kids, to fascinating panels on the latest scientific advances for teens and adults. We published a story about it earlier this week, but you can check out a full schedule on the MSF website.

BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki
People test out kayaks and canoes provided by Old Town Canoe in the University of Maine field house pool on March 8 at the 76th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono.

We’re not done yet. The 81st annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, one of the longest-running sportsmen’s shows in the country, is set for Friday through Sunday at the Field House at the University of Maine. Learn how to tie a fly! Check out bird dog and sled dog demonstrations! Learn how to call a moose! Buy everything from lip balm to a kayak! It’s really fun, whatever type of outdoors fun you’re into. For more info, visit the Penobscot County Conservation Association website.

Finally, in cinemas this weekend, “Wonder Park,” “Five Feet Apart” and “Captive State” all hit screens nationwide, while on TV, on Friday, season three of “Queer Eye” and season five of “Arrested Development” go up on Netflix, season four of “Catastrophe” goes up on Amazon, and “Shrill” premieres on Hulu.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for 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.