Monday, June 29, 2009

4th of July Fireworks

Tradition calls for fireworks on the 4th of July. Whether you have a perfect viewing spot picked out or not, here's a list of some Maine towns that are putting on a fireworks show.


Location: Waterfront Park
Time: 9:30 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: West Pitch Park
Time: 9:30 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: East Boat Landing on Kennebec River
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09

Bar Harbor

Location: Town Pier
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: North County Rivers Airport
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain Date: 7/05/09

Boothbay Harbor
Location: Barge on the Harbor
Time:9:30 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09

Location: Brooks Community Park
Time: 9:45 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09

Carrabassett Valley
Location: Airport
Time: 9:30 pm


Location: Castine Harbor
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Pier Landing
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: river
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Fairgrounds
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09

Location: Town office
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Waterfront
Time: 9:30 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Birch Avenue/Narragansett Point
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Trafton Lake Beach
Time: 9:00 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Middle River Basin
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain date: 8/15/09


Location:Sports Complex
Time: 10 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Otis Pond
Time: 9:30 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Infield Track
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Mosman Park
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Stonington Harbor
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09


Location: Ft. Halifax Park
Time: 9:15 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09

Location: Norcross Point/Public Beach
Time: 9 pm
Rain date: 7/05/09

Week Three: Name That Sandwich Contest

By Melanie Brooks

We're going to do things a little different this week. I have hidden the comments so that when you make your guess under the comments tag your guess will be hidden from everyone but me. This assures that random strangers don't get your name or email address...just little 'ol me.

So make your guess on the sandwich below. This establishment's rye bread is my favorite for a sandwich. Click on the "comments" tab below and give me your guess along with your email address. If you don't include your email I have no way to contact you if you won!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Steel drums are cool!

Last night's Cool Sounds Concert featured the largest community steelbands in the nation: Flash in the Pans. This Blue Hill band has about 45 members that range in age from teenagers to senior citizens.

Pickering Square was packed last night for the concert. Whether that had to do with the entertainment or the fact that it was the first nice summer night in the past two weeks I'll never know. But the humid day eased into a warm night and if you closed your eyes you could almost feel yourself sitting on a beach in the Caribbean.

Check out the slideshow of images below!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Friday Art Walk

By Leslie Bowman

The Third Annual Downtown Art Walk (this past Friday, June 19) offered another grand showing of the downtown artists. The rain may have discouraged a few...but it seemed as jumping and colorful as last year's event.

Artists and their patrons put on a party for all, opening their studios, providing refreshments, and giving their audience a close-up look at their latest creations. How often does the average person get to climb up to the tops of Bangor’s historic downtown buildings to find a studio once used by a photographer at the turn of last century? Many of these spaces take you back in time and certainly out of your ordinary environment. What a treat to see how much creative energy is flowing in our fair city. BRAVO to the Downtown Bangor Art Collaborative.

Check out the slideshow of photos below...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week Two: Name That Sandwich Contest

By Melanie Brooks

Welcome to Week Two of our Name That Sandwich Contest. I love turkey club sandwiches, and this one was simply delicious. The view was also delicious! Eating al fresco is the best way to enjoy a summer meal. Click on the "comments" tab below and give me your guess along with your email address. If you don't include your email I have no way to contact you if you won!

You have 24 hours to make your guess before I declare a winner at random. Good luck and good lunch!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Trek Across Maine

By Melanie Brooks

It's Friday afternoon and it's pouring out. POURING. At this very minute, thousands of cyclists (professional and not-so-professional) are riding their bikes 180 miles across the state, raising money for the American Lung Association of Maine.

I did this bike ride last year along with my sister Jenn, brother-in-law John, and friends Kristen and Merri-Beth. Only two of us are doing it this's not anyone I'm related to.

Let me start out by saying that I am not an avid cycler. In fact, I had never ridden my bike further than 3 miles at a stretch when I decided I wanted to do the Trek. Somehow I roped Jenn and John into doing it with me though none of us had a road bike. To say that I was unprepared for the three-day ride would be a gigantic understatement. I think Jenn and I rode the 8 miles from downtown Bangor to her house in Orono a couple of times but that was it. Clearly I had no idea how hard it was going to be.

Let me take you on a short journey thorough the events of this same weekend in 2008. Here is our team, Two Wrong Turns. Don't we look happy and excited? The weather was nice and we were ready to go!

Left to right: John, Jenn, Kristen, Me, Merri-Beth.

Here's a photo of Jenn and Kristen at the start gate. Aren't they cute? Don't they look happy? This is before Jenn got sunstroke and cried herself to sleep that night. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We had spent the night in tents at Sunday River which wasn't too uncomfortable. We got up bright and early, ate some breakfast, and got ready to go. They released us in groups and the first part of the trek was all downhill. Sweet! The first ride was the longest of the day...28 miles or so before we hit a rest stop. In that short amount of time a man who had flown in from Detroit had fallen off his bike and broken his arm. I had a slight disaster of my own involving a small chipmunk. To this day I still have no idea if he survived the collision with both my front and back tire.

The rest stops were by far my favorite part of the whole trek. Not only did I get to get off my bike and rest, but the volunteers had all sorts of snacks for us to eat like fruit, peanut butter sandwiches, chips, veggies, gorp, and crackers. They had lots to drink, too! I dare say I have never eaten so well as I did over these three days.

Like I said earlier, my sister got sunstroke. It was so hot out and she wasn't getting enough water. Lucky for her there were SAG trucks that drove the course and picked up anyone who was having trouble. I can't remember what SAG really stood for but Jenn and I figured they stood for Sad As* Girls. It took Jenn, John, Kristen and I most of the day to reach Farmington -- our first stop. At the finish line we met up with the only real cyclist of our group, MB, and ate baked potatoes before setting up camp and taking a dip in the nearby river. Refreshing since most of us had forgotten to put sunscreen on our knees and were burnt to a crisp! Ouch!

Morning came too quickly. We packed up our stuff, threw them in the appropriate moving vans that drove them from camp to camp for us, and had a great breakfast. At this point I realized that I had never been so sore before in my entire life. It was painful to walk, to sit, to do pretty much anything concerning a bicycle. But I had 120 more miles to go. Jenn and I let the in-shape part of our team ride ahead of us and we petered along in pain.

Here we are taking a break on an abandoned couch at the top of some hill. We had a couple of women on a bicycle-built-for-two take our photo. I could have sat there all day. Jenn and I took turns giving each other enouragement on the hills. We were being passed by grandmas, grandpas, moms toting two kids, and dads toting four kids. It would have been embarrassing had I not been in so much pain and could actually care. Day two between Farmington and Waterville was long. MB pedaled ahead alone; John and Kristen rode together; and Jenn and I took up the caboose. John and Kristen met us at every rest stop to chat and eat and rest. MB was hours ahead of us.

This is a photo of Merri-Beth. She got this nifty cycling shirt because she raised over $1,000!

I was so sore in my tent at Colby on Saturday night that I thought I was going to die. I couldn't get comfortable. Everything ached including muscles I didn't even know I had. I slept like a rock and don't believe I moved an inch all night.

The last third of the Trek from Colby to Belfast was a doozy. Instead of the sun and 80 degree weather it was raining and freezing...much like the weather is today. I was prepared for the rain but not for the cold. I spent every descent of every hill shivering in my slicker. Jenn's bike chain began to fall off half way up every hill and I would stop and help her and we'd continue on. A little more than half way we stopped at a rest stop to warm up.

By this time I had had it. I was soaked from head to toe. My knees were bothering me so that it hurt to pedal. Though I was drinking tea and wrapped from head to toe in blankets I couldn't get warm. I was ready to give up and Jenn was, too. We called our parents to come find us as they were heading down to Belfast to pick Jenn and John up. Miraculously their bright yellow truck showed up at our rest stop. My dad took one look at my blue lips and gave me his warm jacket. We instructed them to drive us to almost the end of the race so we could victoriously ride across the finish line. We skipped at least 20 miles of the race but we finished, got our medal, and headed off to take a nice hot shower and put on some dry clothes.

We had a lovely meal with my parents and Jenn and John's daughter and all headed our separate ways back home. It took a good week for my body to stop being sore. While I probably wont ever do the trek again, I would be a volunteer. It was a really fun weekend despite all the strenuous bike riding...

Here's a photo of all of us in Belfast. My heart goes out to all the 2009 Trekkers who are pedaling through this rainy weekend. Good job guys!

Chico and the Band

This country trio was the featured musical entertainment for last nights Cool Sounds Summer Concert Series.

There was a great crowd in attendance despite the cool fall-like weather. More than one person was wearing a winter jacket!

There was lots of people dancing -- including this young ballerina.

There were also some Red Hat Ladies in the audience!

And thanks to Camden National Bank, everyone got some delicious popcorn to munch on while toe-tapping along to the music.

Next weeks entertainment will feature Flash in the Pans -- a steeldrum band from the Blue Hill area.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bangor Metro's Super Softball Team!

By Melanie Brooks

I had no idea the company I work for was sponsoring a softball team this summer. Had I had I would have made it mandatory for the team to include me in their roster! Since none of us here at Bangor Metro's world headquarters have a clue who is playing under our name, I grabbed my friend Shane Leonard and headed over to Brewer Tuesday night to check out the action.

Don't let the girly pink uniforms throw you -- these guys are fierce! Check out that form! Knees bent, legs shoulder width apart, back wonder they're undefeated so far this season.

The socks were my favorite part of the uniform. The pink and red sort of clash on this guy, but softball fashion is more about function than form...

Shane and I had a good time working our cameras despite the mosquitoes. Both of us need a little practice covering sporting events but this action shot by Shane was one of my favorites.

The only snag of the evening was the fact that I brought my dog Miles to the game. I was politely informed that dogs weren't allowed at the field, much to my dismay. We made a new friend before we decided to duck the bugs and head home.

Classic Car Night at Nicky's

By Melanie Brooks

The traffic on Union Street was moving slowly last night as oglers inched by Nicky's Cruisin Diner to catch a glimpse of the spectacular array of classic cars. It was a gorgeous night and the place was packed!

Nicky's Cruise Nights began in the summer of 1992. Wednesday nights are reserved for cars and motorcycles get their turn to shine on Tuesdays. Oldies were playing on the sound system and the cars were waxed to an almost blinding shine.

Car owners were more than happy to talk to anyone interested in their hot rod. Many of them let admirers sit in their car and even start it up! If you are a car enthusiast you don't want to miss this weekly event. Come hungry and enjoy a burger and milkshake! Check out more photos below.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week One: Name That Sandwich Contest

By Melanie Brooks

Welcome to Week One of our Name That Sandwich Contest. Have a guess as to where I ate this delicious looking roast beef sandwich? Click on the "comments" tab below and give me your guess along with your email address. If you don't include your email I have no way to contact you if you won!

You have 24 hours to make your guess before I declare a winner at random. Good luck and good lunch!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Name That Sandwich Contest!

By Melanie Brooks

I know you are all just gaga over the June/July Summer Guide issue of Bangor Metro and couldn't possibly be thinking about the next issue yet...but we are. The upcoming August issue is one of our favorites -- and apparently yours too judging from the magazine rack sales -- BEST RESTAURANTS!

There is so much good stuff in the pages of this magazine that I can't wait for you to see it. The cover alone will make your mouth water! The mere fact that I know the winners of the Best Restaurant poll and I can't tell any of you is suffocating. I want to shout it from the rooftops of downtown Bangor -- but I can't. Not yet anyway.

So I'm going to tease you with a little competition. For the next four weeks I'm going to publish a photo on the blog of a sandwich I had for lunch. Your job is to guess what restaurant, cafe, or deli it comes from.

Here's how it's gonna work:
Each Monday for the next four weeks I will write a post with a photo of a sandwich.
You have 24 hours from the time of the post to guess where I ate.
Add a comment on the blog with your guess and email.
After 24 hours I will pick a right answer at random.
That lucky winner will get a $10 gift certificate from the place I ate lunch.

What a deal!

So check back here every Monday for a chance to win. It won't cost you anything and who might be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cool Sounds Concert: Bruce Nye the Elvis Guy

Tomorrow is the start of the Cool Sounds Concert Series in Pickering Square in downtown Bangor. Kicking off the summer is Bruce Nye the Elvis Guy. He'll be performing from 7-8 pm but get there early to check out the outdoor market which starts at 5 pm. Shop for jewelry, clothing, and produce among other things.

Bruce Nye, er, Elvis performs all over Maine and the Tampa, Florida area with his wife Darleene, er, Priscilla. He not only has the crooning voice of the King, he has the outfits too.

The rest of the Cool Sounds Concert Series will feature the following:

June 18: Chico and the Band (Country)
June 25: Flash in the Pans (Steel Drums)
July 2: Blue Northern (Bluegrass)
July 9: Montville Project (Celtic)
July 16: Evergreen (Folk)
July 23: Spontaneous Jazz (Jazz)
July 30: RetroRockerz (Rock)

Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 5, 2009

West Market Festival

By: Melanie Brooks

If you're looking for something fun to do on Saturday, head to downtown Bangor. The West Market Festival, put on by West Market Productions, is taking over downtown all day. The festival, which includes two stages with dozens of musical guests for all ages, fashion shows with stores like The Gap and Bella Luna, and a beer tent with Magic Hat brews outside of the Whig & Courier.

If you've got kids, head over to the Pickering Square stage at 12:15 to see the Flannery Brothers. The duo writes and performs children's songs about such things as broccoli, rutabagas, pillow, and being tucked in to name a few.

Maine's own Rustic Overtones is the headlining band. They take the stage in West Market Square at 6:15 pm. If you've never seen this jazz/rock/funk band there's no time like the present. Take a minute and check out the video below...

With musical performances from 10 am to 8 pm and fashion shows throughout the day, it's amazing that West Market Productions is putting this all on for FREE! For a full list of musicians, retailers in the fashion show, vendors, and supporters visit their website here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wide Load

For the past three days, trucks carting pieces of a gigantic wind turbine have cleared the streets of downtown Bangor. Gigantic is an understatement -- they're ginormous, gargantuan, colossal. This photo from exit 194 near Old Town doesn't do it justice.

Their route from Jackman to Chester takes a detour from Route 201 and the highway at Dysart's in Hermon. The trucks slowly head downtown then get back on the highway at Hogan Road. It's not a parade. According to the Bangor Police Department, the overpasses in this stretch of I-95 are too low for the turbines to fit under.

There has been a lot of discussion on the merits of wind power. There has also been a lot of discussion about how windmills corrupt the natural view of the landscape. What do you think?

Click on the links below to read stories about wind power in Bangor Metro!
Winds of Fortune

Composite Genius

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Supersized Sandwiches

By: Melanie Brooks

Ashley and I were in Pittsfield this morning conducting some interviews with ballet students at Maine Central Institute. The kids were so much fun to talk to that we didn't get done until noon -- lunch time! And what better place to fill your tummy in the Central Maine area than Big G's Deli.

My family has a cult-like devotion to Big G's. I've been going there since high school, sometimes driving the hour to Winslow with a friend just for a sandwich. Yes, they're that good.

My personal favorite sandwich is the Dr. Strangepork. It has turkey, muenster, tomatoes, and onions on their homemade bread. SO GOOD! And, so you know, this photo is just a HALF of a sandwich. A whole one can feed a family of four...

All the sandwiches have off-the-wall names. Here are a few off their menu, which is divided by protein in case you were wondering HOW you would possible choose:

Cindy Blodgett: Hot turkey, No Fowl, Swish Cheese, Slammed with Sprouts and Tomatoes. (Cindy grew up next door in Clinton, by the way.)

Richard Simmons
: Tuna Salad, Sprouts, Onions, Tomatoes, Pickles

Gov. King: Ham, Turkey, Bacon, Onions, Muenster, Cold Slaw.

Founded in 1986, Big G's has grown over the years thanks to fresh food, good service, and their big-as-your-head whoopie pies. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week from 6 am - 7 pm. Check them out online or stop in. You won't regret it!