Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's Happening this Weekend...

Time flies when you're having fun!

Anah Temple Shrine Circus
April 30 - May 2
Bangor Auditorium & Civic Center
The circus is back in town!
Friday: 3 and 7 pm; Saturday: 10 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm; Sunday: 11 am and 3 pm. $7 adults; $4 children.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
April 14 - May 2
Penobscot Theatre, Bangor
This groundbreaking Obie-winning off-Broadway smash tells the story of internationally ignored song stylist Hedwig Schmidt, an East German rock 'n' roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation.

Downeast Adventure Race
May 1
Washington County Community College, Calais
This 5th annual event features mountain biking, whitewater canoeing, sea kayaking, running, and team challenges. New this year is an orientation component, where racers will need to navigate with a map and compass for some parts of the race. Registrations are due by 5 pm Friday, April 30. Race starts at 9 am. $30 per person; $80 per team.

Armida-Gioachino Rossini
May 1
Collins Center for the Arts, Orono
The University of Maine presents the Metropolitan Opera for one night only. Inspired by the epic poem Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso, this opera tells the enchanting tale of the beautiful sorceress Armida in the time of the Crusades. 1 pm. $24.

Creature Feature III: Small Works Art Show & Sale
May 1 - 21
The Grand, Ellsworth
Works from five nationally known local artists will be on display in the Grand’s lobby. The art will be up for sale May 21, 3–7 pm. Ten percent of sales will be donated to the Grand.

May 1–22
Belfast Maskers Theater
Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy classic Harvey is a comedy of errors. It tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, his family, and his friend Harvey—an invisible giant rabbit. Suitable for teens and adults. Wed.–Sat. 7 pm; Sun. 2 pm. $15 adults; $10 teens.

Cellardoor Winery Food & Wine Pairing
May 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 23, 29, & 30
The Villa, Lincolnville
Food and wine pairings include cheeses and other foods from a different Maine farm each week. 12–3 pm. Must be 21 or older.

May 2
Camden Opera House
Barrage, a Canadian group of six fiddle players, blends jazz, classical, and rock with the assistance of a backup rock band. Their music has been likened to “Led Zeppelin played by a pack of out-for-blood violins.” Presented by Bay Chamber Concerts. 2:30 pm. $25–$45 adults; $8 children.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coffee Pot Cafe

By Melanie Brooks

My family has been enjoying sandwiches from the Coffee Pot for years. So when Skip Rist decided to close his deli on State Street we were all mourning the loss of a treasured treat. I was skeptical of all of the Copy Pots that sprung up around the area -- and I never tried any. To me, they couldn't match the original so why bother.

But today I grabbed Sidekick Shane (who had never had a Coffee Pot) and took us to the Coffee Pot Cafe to feed my nostalgia.

Located in the sidecar building to Bangor Savings Bank on Broadway, the Coffee Pot Cafe has a prime location. And much to my delight on this rainy Wednesday, there was ample space inside the building for the line. No more snaking around the building! The best addition, in my humble opinion, is the drive through window. Call ahead, order your sandwich(s), and avoid standing in line all together!

We took our sandwiches back to Bangor Metro world headquarters and dug in. It was the same onion-y goodness that I had expected. It was all at once a sigh of relief and a sigh of contentment. Welcome back Coffee Pot! Lunch just wasn't the same without you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stay & Play Paddle Adventures

By Melanie Brooks

Summer will be here before you know it and many of us (myself included) are already planning our summer vacation. But you don't have to go far to have fun. The City of Old Town has recently announced a new way to take advantage of Maine's Canoe City.

Their Stay & Play Paddle Adventures gives locals and visitors alike hassle-free paddle fun on some of the area's most scenic waterways in an Old Town Canoe. There are 7 different guided paddle adventures to choose from and vary in difficulty and routes, so there's no reason that even the most novice paddler can't participate.

To make their paddle adventures a reality, the City partnered with various businesses, communities, and organizations including Old Town Canoe, Johnson Outdoors, Black Bear Inn, the University of Maine, Penobscot Nation, Cyr Bus Line, Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Old Town Trading Post.

"This is a great opportunity for any outdoor enthusiast because they are able to paddle along our beautiful waterways in world-class kayaks and canoes," said Tim Magoon from Old Town Canoe.

The Stay & Play packages will run during specific weekends in July and August and include equipment, ground transportation, and guides. Packages range from a half or full day paddle adventure (which start as low as $39.95 per person) to an overnight package (starting at $141.95 per person).

This is a great opportunity for people (like me) who don't have their own canoe or kayak. And it's a great excuse to enjoy the wilderness in our own backyard. Click here for more information.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's Happening this Weekend...

April showers bring May flowers...

Hedwig & the Angry Inch
April 14 - May 2
Penobscot Theatre, Bangor
This groundbreaking Obie-winning off-Broadway smash tells the story of internationally ignored song stylist Hedwig Schmidt, an East German rock 'n' roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation.

The Habit of Art
April 23
The Strand Theatre, Rockland
Live in HD from London, The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett has won numerous awards. Directed by Nicholas Hytner.
2 pm. $23 adults; $10 students.

Cherish the Ladies
April 23
The Strand Theatre, Rockland
With their unique blend of instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements, and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture in a humorous and entertaining package.
8 pm. $30.

Bangor's Garden Show
April 23-25
Bangor Auditorium
After a one-year hiatus, Bangor's Garden Show will "bloom" again. There will be brilliant gardenscape displays, with all the vibrant colors and smells of spring in Maine, as well as 48 vendors featuring everything for the gardener and garden lover.
Friday and Saturday: 10 am - 7 pm; Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm. $5; children under 12 free; $10 for a three day pass.

Hope Festival & Garden Expo
April 24
Student Recreation & Fitness Center, Orono
This free event sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine includes performances, talks, children's activities, workshops, farmers market, and food court.
11 am - 4 pm.

Belfast Free Range Music Festival
April 24
Various Venues, Belfast
This indoor music festival features an eclectic array of Maine, New England, and national musicians, groups, and band performances. Continuous live performances at various locations around Belfast.

17th Annual Celebrity Chefs Gala
April 24
Holiday Inn, Ellsworth
The 17th Annual Chefs Gala benefits the Breast Clinic at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.
5:30 pm - midnight. $85.

Bangor Spring Craft & Business Expo
April 24 & 25
Hollywood Slots, Bangor
A craft show/business expo combination. Whether you like jewelry, candles, wood work, or wish to look at items for home improvements, this is the event for you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wicked Whoopie Pies

By Melanie Brooks

I've been writing a story for Maine Ahead's "Maine Mogul" section on the Gardiner-based Wicked Whoopie Pies for the May/June issue. Amy Bouchard, the Queen Whoopie, started the business out of her kitchen about 16 years ago. She's been sweet as pie to work with and I can't wait until her story hits the shelves.

To my great surprise today, four boxes of her delicious treats showed up at my office. I have to say, I'm not the biggest whoopie pie fan. But these. Oh these whoopies were different. I've taken the liberty to sample each flavor. We have original, strawberry, lemon, and red velvet. They're not huge either. Each pie has around 4 or 5 bites, depending on how big your mouth is. After just one bite, our bookkeeper, Anthony, announced (with a full mouth), "The filling is way better than regular!"

The packaging was so beautiful we almost didn't dare rip into it. Almost.

There's nothing better than a classic chocolate whoopie pie and a glass of milk.

Sandy, our art director, picked a good day to work in the office.

You can order them online here, or get them at your local Hannaford Supermarket. And be sure to check them out in the May/June issue of Maine Ahead.

Real Maine Weddings 2011

By Melanie Brooks

Spring is here and the wedding season will kick it into high gear in just a couple of weeks. We're done oohing and ahhing over the 2010 issue of Real Maine Weddings and getting ready to produce another gorgeous issue for 2011.

We're looking for photo submissions for the following sections:


We publish six wedding features in our magazine. We're not only looking for gorgeous photographs but also an interesting wedding story.

Have you been noticing any trends lately you want to share? We want to hear about it.

Editors Picks
These are a collection of whimsical photos that we love. They may not fit into the above two categories, but are strong enough to stand alone.

There are a few ways you can submit your photos.

1. Create a slide show of images on your website and send me a link. You can reach me at

2. Mail me a disc with your images on it, along with a synopsis of the wedding story. Our address is:
Real Maine Weddings
Attn: Melanie Brooks
One Cumberland Place, Suite 316
Bangor, ME 04401

3. Email me a collection of low res images, along with a synopsis of the wedding story.

I have no preference on how you send the images -- I just want to see them!

Our deadline is July 16. We are accepting photos from summer 2009 weddings through the deadline. We're shooting for an October, 2010 release date.

If you have any questions, email me at

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


By Melanie Brooks

Who knew baby moose were so adorable? Not me! I've lived in Maine the majority of my life and have never seen a moose calf. I think adult moose are sort of, well, awkward-looking to say the least. But these young moose look downright cuddly.

Below are three photos from the over 300 that were submitted for our Maine Moose Photo Contest. All three feature a mama moose and her calf(s). Vote for your favorite photo below!

Photo by Jim Borden

Photo by Kerwin Whitney

Photo by Linda Belisle

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's Happening this Weekend...

No chance to be bored this weekend...

Hedwig & the Angry Inch
April 14 - May 2
Penobscot Theatre, Bangor
This groundbreaking Obie-winning off-Broadway smash tells the story of internationally ignored song stylist Hedwig Schmidt, an East German rock 'n' roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation.

American Acrobats
April 16
The Grand, Ellsworth
This five-person group will wow audiences with their gymnastics, contortions, juggling, hoop diving, rope jumping, and so much more. Don't miss out on this exciting and infectious show. 10 am. $3.

Beads & Baubles
April 16 & 17
Maine Grind Building, Ellsworth
This spring bead and jewelry show returns its second year with over 15 vendors. Crystal gemstones, as well as porcelain, vintage, and contemporary beads, are for sale. Friday: 12 - 6 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm

Home Show
April 16 - 18
Bangor Auditorium & Civic Center
Over 250 booths showcase the best of the region's builders, remodelers, and local businesses. Fri. 1 - 9 pm; Sat. 10 am - 9 pm; Sun. 10 am - 5 pm. $6; children under 12 get in free.

April 17
The Strand Theatre, Rockland
The works of Shakespeare have inspired more operatic adaptations than any other writer's. Simon Keenlyside and Natalie Dessay bring their extraordinary acting and singing skills to two of the Bard's most unforgettable characters in this new production of Hamlet. 1 pm. $15 adults; $5 students.

Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race
April 17
Kenduskeag to Bangor
Snag a seat on the riverbanks and watch dozens of canoeists and kayakers brave the 16.5 mile journey from Kenduskeag to the Penobscot River in Bangor.

Earth Day Celebration
April 17
College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor
Enjoy music, children's activities, exhibits, andmore on Earth Day at the College of the Atlantic. Celebrate the earth, our world, and sustainable existence.

YMCA's Healthy Kids Day
April 17
MDI YMCA, Bar Harbor
There are lots of fun and games in store for YMCA's national Healthy Kids Day, all to promote healthy lifestyles for all generations.

Park Day Cleanup Project
April 17
Fort Knox, Bucksport
Volunteers are needed to assist in Park Day Cleanup, held by Fort Knox, the Civil War Preservation Trust, and the History Channel. Volunteers who pick up and remove winter debris will receive T-shirts and a tour of Fort Knox. 10 am.

The Great Orono Bike Swap
April 18
Student Recreation & Fitness Center, Orono
Hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, this event features hundreds of bikes, an area to test ride, exhibits by local bike shops, and refreshments. A small commission from all sales benefits the Coalition. 9 am - 2 pm. $3 admission; free for UMaine students.

Midcoast Wedding Expo
April 18
Point Lookout Resort & Conference Center, Northport
This event includes everything a bride could need, complete with a fashion show, vendors, gifts, and prizes. 8 am - 5 pm.

Christmas for Families
April 18
American Legion Post 207, Trenton
The Christmas for Families Country Music Show and Indoor Yard Sale raises money for families in need during the holidays. 10 am.

Mozart in Paris
April 18
Collins Center for the Arts, Orono
Enjoy French delights with musical portraits from two of the nation's most celebrated composers. Features conductor Michael Butterman, soprano Suzanne Nance, and the University of Maine singers and Oratorio Society. 3 pm.

Merry Wives of Windsor
April 18
Camden Opera House
Don't miss this rarely seen Shakespearean comedy performed by the Camden Civic Theatre. 8 pm. Tickets $12 - $16 with $2 off for students and seniors.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Photos and captions by Michael Alden

It's that time of year again -- and with the weather being so wet the Kenduskeag Stream is looking pretty swift. Thanks to Brewer photog Mike Alden for sharing some of his photos from last year. Alden also runs the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race website. Check it out!

Robert Lang of New Brunswick, Canada - the current all time record holder of the Kenduskeag with a race time of 1:50:08, set in 1997.

Earl Baldwin of Orrington is a boat builder and Maine paddling legend. An octogenarian, Baldwin often cruises past other paddlers who are a less than a quarter of his age.

The Gumby Boat is something of an institution on the Kenduskeag. They've been featured in Sports Illustrated among other national publications.

Zip Kellogg paddles the race while standing upright the entire time, even through the rapids. Often dressed in natty attire while steering a boat festooned with flowers, Kellogg cuts a striking figure on the Kenduskeag.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's Happening this Weekend...

Less than stellar weekend weather? Here are some fun ideas!

April 9
Collins Center for the Arts, Orono
Cherryholmes has stormed to the top of the bluegrass world. Their sound is made up of hard-driving instrumental virtuosity and explosive vocal harmonies, featuring a mixture of original songs written by members of the band and carefully chosen classics. 8 pm.

Robinson Ballet Live 2010
April 9 & 10
Bangor Opera House, The Grand, Ellsworth
Don't miss this live show performed by the Robinson Ballet. This year's children's show is La Botique Fantasque (The Magic Toy Shop) — a love story between two cancan dancer dolls. 7 pm all nights. Friday: $14 adults; $10 students; $8 seniors and children; Saturday: 3 pm. $5.

Merry Wives of Windsor
April 9 - 18
Camden Opera House
Don't miss this rarely seen Shakespearean comedy performed by the Camden Civic Theatre.
8 pm. $12 - $16, with $2 off for students and seniors.

AAUW Book Sale
April 10
Church of Universal Fellowship, Orono
The American Association of University Women marks its 59th annual book sale promoting equality for women and girls. The sale includes a variety of used books for all ages, a light lunch, and snacks. 8 - 9 am: $10 for early admission; 9 am - 2 pm: Free admission.

Jonathan Biss
April 10
Rockport Opera House
One of the top pianists on the international circuit, Jonathan Biss returns to perform for Bay Chamber Concerts. Don't miss this Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award winner. 7 pm.

Ruthie Foster & The Family Band
April 10
The Strand Theatre, Rockland
There's southern blues in her groove, rock in her rhythm, a blend of gospel redemption, country, poetry, and jazz elegance in her singing. 7 pm. $23.

Flannery Brothers
April 11
The Grand, Ellsworth
The fabulous brothers from Bangor sing songs from their album Love Songs for Silly Things! Their songs range from doo-wop and R&B, to surf rock and folk songs. 2 - 3:30 pm.

Todd Wolfe Band
April 11
Unity Centre for the Performing Arts
Gritty, bluesy, and full of fire, Todd Wolfe, former guitarist for Sheryl Crow, favors heavy riffs, wicked phrasing, dirty slide, and syrupy tones. They have shared the bill with the likes of the Allman Brothers, Black Crowes, Blues Traveler, Dickey Betts, Peter Frampton, and Johnny Winter. 7:30 pm. $15.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Early Opening for Maine State Parks

By Melanie Brooks

Thanks to some uncharacteristically warm spring weather, some of Maine's state parks are opening their camp sites earlier than expected -- which is good news if you ask me. Early openings are highly unusual, regional parks manager Ron Hunt said in a press release. "This is almost three and a half weeks earlier than the listed date." Nevertheless, park staffers are prepared and visitors are showing up.

It's reported to be rainy on Saturday but partly sunny and 60 degrees out on Sunday, according to the powers that be at So if you're itching to get out there and be one with nature, head to one of the following parks and get your camping on:

Sebago Lake State Park in Casco and Naples

Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal
Camden Hills State Park in Camden
Lake St. George State Park in Liberty

Monday, April 5, 2010

No Good Gluten

By Melanie Brooks
Photo by Leslie Bowman

If you are one of the approximately 3 million American's suffering from celiac disease, you'll want to check out our Metro Health article for April. And since April 15th is tax day, I thought I'd share a little nugget of info I just found out: people suffering from celiac disease can take tax deductions for gluten-free foods as a medical expense! There are some rules and regulations, of course, but you can find out more information here.

If you would like more information on the Celiac Support Group in Bangor, shoot me an email at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's Happening this Weekend...

This is not a joke: The weather will be nice this weekend!

Spotlight on Country
April 2
Center Theatre, Dover-Foxcroft
A night of country music featuring Hank Hughes and Vintage Country, plus special guests New Relm, the Higgins Family, Bob Elston, and Kenny James.
7 - 9 pm. $8 in advance $10 at the door.

Robinson Ballet Live 2010
April 2 & 3
Bangor Opera House, The Grand, Ellsworth
Don't miss this live show performed by the Robinson Ballet. This year's children's show is La Boutique Fantasque (The Magic Toy Shop) — a love story between two cancan dancer dolls.
7 pm all nights. Friday: $14 adults; $10 students; $8 children and seniors; Saturday: 3 pm. $5.

Passy River Canoe Race
April 3
Littlefield Farm, Waldo
It's time for the 37th annual canoe race on the Passagasswakeag River. It starts at Littlefield Farm and runs for four miles, with several sections of Class I, II, and III whitewater.

Child Parent Day
April 3
Waldo County YMCA, Belfast
A day of fun for the whole family, including crafts, music, fitness activities, dress-up, and games. Get close to live owls, plant seeds, try the obstacle course, and receive a free book. Sponsored by Waldo County Child and Parent Council and the Waldo County YMCA.
10 am - 2 pm. Free.

WHSN's 7th Annual Acoustic Showcase
April 3
Gracie Theatre, Bangor
Live at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University. Featuring all-acoustic performances from the Sea Captains Headstart and Rustic Overtones.
$20 with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Maine Chapter of the National MS Society.