Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Harvest On The Harbor – Starts Tomorrow!

How did the middle of October get here so quickly?  That seems to be the theme of the year for me – it has simply flown by and I find it hard to believe we’re well into fall, harvest, and foliage season.

With this time of year comes Maine’s premier food and wine festival, Harvest on the Harbor.  Beginning tomorrow, October 21st, and running through Sunday, October 25th, this festival brings together exceptional talent from food and drink to entertainment.  The events are not cheap, but they sound incredible.  You can review the schedule at-a-glance here and buy tickets here.  A few that appeal to me the most:

Vines to Wines – Oct 23rd, 5:30pm – 7pm at Custom Home

Maine Marketplace – Taste the 8 Regions of Maine – two times, Oct 24th from 12pm – 2:30pm and 4pm – 6:30pm at The Portland Company

Harvest Hop Beer & Whiskey Crawl – Oct 24th, 7pm – 9pm – East Bayside

Get out and enjoy all the city and the state has to offer!

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Fridays are for…

Fridays are for enjoying, relaxing, and welcoming the weekend. And, on the first Friday of the month, they are also for celebrating art at the First Friday Art Walk in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to my sister, Kathleen (also known as ‘Bean’) for taking the pictures you see in this post.

Kathleen and Liz

Kathleen and Liz

While I don’t feel old or wise enough to classify myself as a “patron” of the arts, I enjoy all types of art – painting, glass, music, etc. – and recognize the significant role the arts play in our self-expression and education.  Kathleen was the one to introduce me to the First Friday Art Walk in Portland, and this is exactly the type of event I hope to promote and educate others about through this blog.

Art walks are held all over the country as well as throughout the state of Maine.  Portland’s occurs monthly on the first Friday, all year round (which, as you might imagine, gets quite brisk at times), from 5pm – 8pm.  The event is a free, self-guided tour of more than 60 artistic destinations, which include local galleries, studios, museums, and alternative art venues.

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Locations all over Portland participate – from the Portland Art District (which runs from Temple Street to State Street), to the East End, to the Old Port… well, you get the picture.  In conversations with my sister, she expressed that her favorite thing about the art walk, which she attends almost every month, is that it offers a fresh experience each time – although many artists may be the same, they create something new, often theme-based, for each walk.  There is typically some type of music playing, and periodically the music is actually one of the exhibits – as was the case with the Zimbabwean Miramba musicians.

Themed art: Nest in the sky

Themed art: Nest in the sky

My mother also said the art walk provides an opportunity for artists who might not otherwise be seen, to be seen and hopefully gain recognition.  While there are galleries that regularly participate, she enjoys going into other venues that are exhibiting several artists who work exclusively in their own studios – and aren’t visible in a Portland storefront typically.  On the First Friday Art Walk in April, a steel drum band participated, taking advantage of the opportunity to fundraise and build awareness about the potential development of a small, local park.

This event is simply another demonstration of what makes Portland special.  For a little city, it packs a cultural punch.  Out of respect for the seriousness of the artists and galleries that participate, I do want to encourage you to attend only if your intent is to be a respectful and active patron of the arts – and by that I mean, don’t go only for the free wine and cheese.  Go because you enjoy the arts and have a sincere desire to be educated, and possibly challenged, by what you see and hear.

Maine coasters by Randy Hazelton

Maine coasters by Randy Hazelton

The next Art Walk is on Friday, May 3rd.  Click here for a full list of participating destinatons… and enjoy the Portland art scene! (now, if I had only posted this on a Friday…)


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Portland On Ice!

Portland On Ice, a winter festival celebrating the city’s arts’ scene, kicked off yesterday evening, January 25, 2013, and runs through Saturday, February 2nd.

You gotta love this charming city!

You gotta love this charming city!

This event is a celebration of Portland’s diverse music scene, world renowned museums and galleries, and destination shopping (which we know is fantastic!).  The Portland Harbor Hotel featured an Ice Bar to get things started, and the week continues with a series of live music events.  As someone who loves live music, I can only lament that I can’t be there to participate in the festivities!

Today, The Asylum is hosting a free event called Strike A Chord from 12pm – 6pm, which features interactive music exhibits from local studios, labels, musicians, photographers, and more.  It also includes an instrument petting zoo and an open mic session at 3pm.

All week long, various locations in Portland will host bands and other attractions.  Below are just a few from each day – for a complete listing, check out the event page here.

Saturday, January 26th:

Front of Ri Ra in the Old Port

Front of Ri Ra in the Old Port

Sunday, January 27th:

  • Dobra Tea: 3-2-1 Poetry Slam
  • Merrill Auditorium: Happy Birthday Mozart
  • Andy’s Old Port Pub: Peter Gavett

Monday, January 28th:

Tuesday, January 29th:

  • Andy’s Old Port Pub: Dave Magario
  • Big Easy: Mama’s Boomshack

Wednesday, January 30th:

  • Big Easy: Rap Night
  • Blue: Tim Adam’s Bodhran Spectacular
  • Ri Ra: Jeff Cusack

Thursday, January 31st:

  • Ri Ra: Kilcollins Band
  • Andy’s Old Port Pub: Isaiah Bennett
  • Gingko Blue: OCTANE

Friday, February 1st:

Saturday, February 2nd:

  • One Longfellow Square: The THE BAND Band Tribute to Bob Dylan
  • Blue: Jesse Lupica Quartet
  • Civic Center: Portland Pirates vs. Albany
Front of One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine

Front of One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine

I hope you get out there and enjoy this great event – there are certainly plenty of opportunities!