Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Valentine's Day Contest!

It might seem a bit early to be thinking of Valentine's Day with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas on the horizon. But the crew at Bangor Metro is always thinking ahead, and we have put together a sweet deal for one lucky winner.

Tell us how you met your sweetheart and your story could be featured in the 2010 January/February issue of Bangor Metro.

The Prizes:
One night stay, dinner, and breakfast at the
Hilton Garden Inn
A dozen roses courtesy of Chapel Hill Floral.
A Specialty Sweets chocolate basket.

Tempting isn't it!

Here's how to enter:
Send us the story of how you met your sweetheart in 200 words or less by November 26.

Snail Mail:

Bangor Metro Magazine
1 Cumberland Place, Suite 316
Bangor, ME 04401
Attn: Melanie Brooks


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's Happening This Weekend...

It may be hard to believe, but October is here. With the changing leaves, cool air, and Halloween looming, October is full of fun events. This weekend check out some documentaries, listen to Jonatha Brooke, or channel your inner bookworm. For more, check out the What's Happening section of the October magazine.

Camden International Film Festival
October 1-4
Rockland, Camden, Rockport
This festival features four days of independent documentary films from talented filmmakers. Individual tickets are $8.50 at the door.

Jonatha Brooke at The Grand
October 4
Enjoy Jonatha Brooke's contemporary folk-rock tunes in the historic Grand Theater at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Call 667-9500.

Bangor Book Festival
October 2-3
Downtown Bangor
Browse for a new read and listen to a variety of book readings and panel discussions from local authors and artists, including Douglas Preston and Robert Shetterly.

Living History Days
October 3-4
Leaonard's Mills, Bradley
Turn back time to the 1790's Colonial era and enjoy hot cider fresh from the press or a covered wagon ride from 10am to 4pm. $8 for adults, $2 for children.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Ride on the Patience

For the past two years, Bangor Metro has invited their freelancers, friends, and families to take a cruise on the Penobscot River. If you've ever been to the Sea Dog you have probably seen the steamboat Patience. The boat was built in Stonington in 1982 and has an open air top deck and an enclosed area on the bottom deck -- perfect for a scenic fall cruise.

The weather was brisk but sunny and we all had a great time up on deck catching up with each other and taking in the foliage.

Shane Leonard, always with a camera in hand, takes some candid shots on the one-and-a-half hour trip.

Melanie Brooks and MPBN's Anne Ravana bundle up on the upper deck.

Jodi Hersey (left) and Joy Hollowell, Maine media mavens, bring their husbands, Brian and Chris, along for the ride.

The Patience will be cruising the river until mid-October so get out there and have a go! They offer a one hour, one-and-a-half hour, and dinner cruises. You can also charter the boat for a private party. For more information check out their website.

Common Ground Fair Draws Mainers Down to Earth

By Kayla Riley
Photos by Melanie Brooks

The Common Ground Country Fair held annually in Unity, Maine is now a cultural mainstay, providing locals with information about organic farming, delicious food, Maine made wares, and song and dance. But in its early stages it was small potatoes.

It began as a “harvest celebration” in 1977 at the Litchfield Fairgrounds. A small group of Mainers with a passion for organic gardening and farming had recently started the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, or MOFGA. An astounding 10,000 people attended, and members of MOFGA soon realized they would have to find a bigger venue.

In 1981, MOFGA held the Common Ground Fair at the Windsor Fairgrounds. That year, the crowd multiplied to over 50,000 people. For years, MOFGA searched for a more suitable location that could not only house the Fair and its many attendees but also a year-round agricultural center.

The perfect place happened to be Unity, and in 1996 MOFGA purchased more than 200 acres of land on which to hold the yearly event. The Common Ground Fair was held for the first time in Unity in 1998. Along with the popularity of the Fair, MOFGA has grown to about 5,000 members, 18 staff members and 2,000 current volunteers.

This year’s turnout was no exception to previous years. With everything from the remarkable sheep dog demonstration to the rather unpleasant Harry S. Truman Memorial manure toss, the Fair had something for everyone. For the kids, there was a wide variety of activities including face painting, arts and crafts and a vegetable garden parade. At the folk arts tents, local artists could be found sharing their talents with eager onlookers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's Happening This Weekend...

Fall is now in full swing, and there is no shortage of ways to experience it. For inspiration, read on to find a sampling of area events going on this weekend. A more extensive list can be found in the What's Happening section of the September magazine.

Common Ground Country Fair
September 25-27
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) puts on this 24th annual country fair to celebrate rural and organic living. Hundreds of vendors, exhibitions, and demonstrations. Gates open at 9am. $10 adults, $8 seniors, and free for children 12 and under.

Planetarium Show
September 25
The Jordan Planetarium in Wingate Hall on the UMaine campus will be holding a planetarium show open to the public. The theme on Friday is "Ice Worlds". It's a great show for families and starts at 7pm. Admission is $3. For reservations, call 581-1341.

Manhattan Short Film Festival
September 26
The Grand Auditorium is presenting the Manhattan Short Film Festival from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. This Film Festival is being held in over 150 cities worldwide. With the statement "one week, one world, one festival", it is meant to unite audiences by way of the twelve best short films of the year. Tickets are $8 for members, $9 for seniors, and $10 for adults.

Friday, September 18, 2009

With Fall Comes Foliage

By Kayla Riley
Photos by Michael Alden

As daylight decreases and temperatures drop, Maine's fall foliage comes into full bloom. For all you leaf peepers out there, there's a website dedicated to the viewing of foliage. This website lists the current foliage status over 7 regions of the state.

According the latest foliage report, the viewing is currently best in Northern Maine, but as September ends the lower part of the state will begin to see its own trees turn vibrant shades.

So once the leaves start turning, where's the best place to see them? That's up to the peeper, but one of the most scenic foliage locations is Acadia National Park, which will be holding guided hikes on Sundays. Those lucky leaf peepers who find an ideal spot can share the wealth on the Maine foliage website in the foliage forum.

Since summer weather was such a bust, why not take advantage of the beautiful fall we're having? Take a moment to enjoy this season's fabulous foliage, whether it's simply glancing out the window on the drive home or hiking a wooded trail.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's Happening This Weekend...

With temperatures in the 60s this weekend, fall is in the air. Get out and enjoy it this weekend. Here is a listing of some interesting events you might want to check out. For a more extensive list check out the What's Happening section of the September magazine.

MDI Garlic Festival
September 19
Southwest Harbor
Vampires beware -- the MDI Garlic Festival is in full swing on Saturday. Tempt your taste buds with garlic-smoked meats, garlic flavored beer and wine, and a pig roast. It's all you can eat so come hungry! 11 am to 5 pm. $20 at the door of $15 in advance.

BangPop! Comic & Pop Culture Convention
September 19 & 20
Bangor Civic Center
Bringing events from the pop culture fringe to the Bangor area, BangPop! presents its second annual comic con. Meet writers, artists, and other special guests and enjoy panel discussions, film screenings, costume masquerade, and more. Kids Day on Sunday.

Art in the Park
September 19 & 20
Village Green, Bar Harbor
Over 35 painters and photographers we be displaying and selling their original works. Rain or shine. Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm. Sunday: 10 am to 4 pm.

Komen Race for the Cure
September 20
Bangor Waterfront
Help fight breast cancer by running, walking, or dancing through the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Registration is from 7:30 to 9:30 am. The 5k starts at 10 am. Get some exercise for a good cause.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pink Tulip Project

By Melanie Brooks

I love tulips. And pink ones just happen to be my very favorite. If you feel the same way why not get involved with the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Pink Tulip Project? They’re currently seeking volunteers to organize gardens and get digging.

The Pink Tulip Project will be singing up new gardens until October 1st. Over 300,000 bulbs are waiting to be planted during the week of October 19. Help raise cancer awareness in your community by organizing a pink tulip garden. There are hundreds of volunteers from Portland to Millinocket who are ready to help plant, but the project always needs more. “This can be a terrific community building event and wonderful for schools, community service organizations, and cancer support groups, too,” says Robin Whitten, founder of the Pink Tulip Project.

Want to get involved? All the tools new gardeners need to set up an official Pink Tulip Project garden is available at Last year the project raised over $50,000 for cancer research grants given through the Women’s Cancer Fund of the Maine Cancer Foundation.

Photo of the Belfast Garden Club

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Conquering Katahdin

By Kayla Riley

At an elevation of 5,267 feet, Mt. Katahdin is not meant for the fair-weather hiker. Maybe I should have thought of that before I decided to meet the challenge head-on last Saturday. With my new Camelbak filled with water, gently used hiking boots, and a group of friends, I conquered Maine’s biggest mountain.

We started our climb at around 8:15 am on the Abol trail, which rises 3,970 feet over 3.8 miles. After weaving through the woodsy path that makes up the first part of Abol, I was feeling pretty good. But then came the boulders. For about 3 miles, Abol is made up of steep boulders painted with little white dashes marking the way. My limited hiking experience had not prepared me for this. It was then that the fit half of our group forged ahead while the other half (myself included) lagged behind.

As my muscles burned and Baxter Peak loomed far ahead, I was reminded of the moral of one of Aesop’s fables—slow and steady wins the race. At least, that’s what I told myself as I took frequent water breaks and gasped for breath through increasing elevation.

After about 4 grueling hours, we had all reached the summit. I was amazed by how many other ambitious hikers were up there. We even met Nelson Daigle, a 71-year-old Millinocket man who was completing his 410th Katahdin climb. Also noteworthy were the bearded, weather-worn through-hikers, whose last stop on the Appalachian Trail is Mt. Katahdin.

Once we had eaten lunch and rested, we got together for a group picture by the famous sign. My friend Lindsey and I had brought our stilettos up for that very purpose, and we were met with looks of amusement (from hikers) and concern (from a park ranger).

I can say with certainty that the view atop Katahdin is worth the pain. Something about seeing the world from that angle and knowing you’ve earned it is positively addicting. I’m already planning for next year—this time with a little more preparation.

Check out some more of my hike below...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Busy Weekend

It's only Wednesday, but with so much going on this weekend in the Bangor metro area it's not too soon to start planning. Here is a listing of some interesting events you might want to check out. For a more extensive list check out the What's Happening section of the September magazine.

International Seaplane Fly-In

September 10-13
Watch as land and float-planes buzz into Moosehead Lake for the 36th annual fly-in. You can also check out Moosehead's largest craft fair.

Bangor Car Show
September 12
Bangor Waterfront
Rev your engines for this second annual show. Hot rides from the '50s to the present. Entertainment by Rockin' Ron. Vehicle check-in starts at 8 am. Trophies awarded at 2 pm.

Medieval Tournament

September 12
Fort Knox, Prospect
This 7th annual event includes knights in armored combat, medieval music, and an archery tournament. The day starts with a parade at 9:45 am.

Maine Salmon Festival
September 13
Celebrate the Atlantic salmon. Festivities include boat tours of salmon beds, seafood chowder and chili sale, motorcycle show, live entertainment, and a salmon dinner. Free admission and parking.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Blue Hill Fair

By Melanie Brooks

The Blue Hill Fair is an end-of-summer rite of passage for many in the midcoast area. Since I hadn't been to this particular fair since junior high (I'm not even going to tell you how long ago that was) and it was a beautiful weekend, I convinced my parents to take a ride with me and my camera to Blue Hill. We had the pleasure of taking my 2-year-old niece, Ayda, along for the ride.

Ayda loves to look at animals but refuses to touch them. No big deal. We saw a lot of beautiful cows, friendly goats, and cute little pigs. I particularly liked the alpaca tent. These animals intrigue me with their odd shape and silky soft hair. I love their big, soft eyes.

The cows at the Blue Hill Fair were some of the cleanest and prettiest I've seen in years. These two little cows were happy to chomp away while posing for pictures.

Note: Wearing flip flops to an agricultural fair is never a good idea. I learned an important lesson. In Ayda's words, "Ewwwwwwww! Poopy on your foot!"

After we had our fill of animals we headed to the eats and rides part of the fair. We all shared a delicious bloomin' onion and begrudgingly shelled out $8.00 for two kiddie fair rides for Ayda. It's hard to say no to an adorable child but $8.00 was a lot to pay for a few minutes of fun on two merry-go-rounds. Luckily when you ask Ayda what her favorite part of the fair was she says "the ride with the little cars."

We strategically avoided the booth with Dora the Explorer balloons and headed back to take one more look at the farm animals before heading back home to Orono. Check out more photos of the fair on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Maine Moose Photo Contest

Isn't this an amazing photo? What a good looking moose! Do you have a moose photo of your own? We want to see it...

Bangor Metro is sponsoring a Maine Moose photo contest. The grand prize is $200 and a possible cover image. There will be 5-7 runner-up photos that will also be published in the Perspectives section of our magazine. Guest judge Mark Picard, a self-taught wildlife and nature photographer, will join Bangor Metro's photo editor, Leslie Bowman, and Maine Woods and Waters columnist, Brad Eden, to make final selections from all entries received by the deadline of November 30, 2009.

Each photographer can submit up to five images as low resolution jpegs or hard copy prints. Final digital photographs must be 300 dpi at 8.5" x 11" size. The only rule is that the photograph must have been taken in Maine. Residents and visitors alike are welcome to submit. There is no entry fee.

For inquiries or to submit contact The deadline is approaching so get out your photo albums or head to the woods in search of the grand Maine moose!