Category Archives: Events

Shore Signs of Spring In Maine

Spring has arrived in Maine…sometimes its slow to arrive, with snow in April and skiing til May at Sugarloaf. Maine winters can be long, cold and snowy – skiers and snowmobiler love it but some folks just long for spring. Longer warmer days, beach weather and beautiful flowers. Cheers – spring is here!

Here are 7 shore signs of Spring in Maine:
Flowers popping their tender heads out of garden beds… the bright yellow daffodils, purple pansies, regal red tulips and golden forsythia buds busting forth – say that 3 times!

Shrink wrap ripping of boats as trailers and hauls drop boats into the water – well not literally dropping the boats – that would be a bad start to the yacht season!

Shorts – As the barometer peaks over 70, bold brave eager Mainers shed their long LL Bean layers and don shorts for the first time since September. Beware the bright white legs that have been under rap all winter.

Decks at your favorite Maine restaurants on the water are opening up faster than you can say “let’s get a drink down by the water.”

Portland’s Sea Dogs are playing ball. Nothing says spring in Maine like a home opener of baseball at Portland’s Hadlock Field with Slugger the Sea Dog and the Boston Red Sox Double A Team.

Lawns – the purr of lawnmowers returns as homeowners greet and groom the green grass they have missed  – buried under a winter coat of snow.

Lobster – yes it’s the season to start cracking into Maine lobster again. Here’s praying for a plentiful yield of crustacean this year. Maine lobstermen have set and exceeded their records for the biggest catch for seven straight years… insert clap of claws here.

Cheers to spring in Maine! Get in your short, get on a boat, go to the beach, catch a ballgame, enjoy a beer on a waterfront deck, and enjoy some Maine lobster.

For Maine lodging, visit Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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The Patriots are coming to Ogunquit this Spring

The beautiful coastal town of Ogunquit was established in 1686. To this day, Ogunquit carries a proud heritage of sea faring, coastal art and seafood. The “beautiful place by the sea”, Ogunquit’s translation in Abenaki, celebrates its seaside vibrancy with festivals.  perhaps the biggest event is Ogunquit’s Annual Patriots Day Weekend celebration April 21-23!

The entire ocean front communities turns out and celebrates with historical characters walking the streets, musterings, and fife & drum concerts, craft fairs, Colonial treasure hunts, and a Chefs’ taste of the Town. this year marks the 27th Annual Patriots Weekend in Ogunquit with some extra fun events like a Pooch Pageant, Washington Crossing the Delaware, and Maine Street – Ogunquit’s biggest nightclub – celebrating 17 years with a big Friday night party. For lodging during this fun festive weekend, see our Guide to Ogunquit’s best lodging.

Ogunquit’s Annual Patriots Day Weekend Events:
All Weekend Long
TREASURE HUNTS:
 Complete your Patriots Day booklet to the Chamber at the Main Beach tent, and be entered to win a prize! As a bonus, answer the question on the entry card correctly, and we will double your prize!

HISTORICAL BUILDING HUNT (throughout Ogunquit) Patriots Day celebrates Ogunquit’s history. Draw at least six of the following the most historic buildings and landmarks in your Patriots Day booklet and be entered to win a prize: Ogunquit Memorial Library, Ogunquit Heritage Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit Playhouse, Marginal Way Lighthouse, Perkins Cove Bridge, Footbridge (at Footbridge Beach), pedestrian bridge (at end of Wharf Lane)

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017
9:00am-5:00pm: LIBRARY BOOK SALE (Ogunquit Memorial Library) Used book sale, with proceeds to fund the Ogunquit Memorial Library.

5:00pm: FUNDRAISING FRIDAY (Bintliff’s Restaurant, 335 Main Street). 

6:50pm-7:10pm: HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENT: WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE, December 25, 1776 (watch from Sea Chambers or the Main Beach Parking Lot) You’ve seen the painting – now see it come to life! asked that read to all of his soldiers. Hear George Washington excerpts from this reading of Thomas Paine’s December 23, 1776 The American Crisis before Washington crosses the River.

7:10pm-7:20pm: FIFE & DRUM PARADE (starting at Sea Chambers and ending at Ogunquit Baptist Church) March with historic characters to authentic revolutionary music to a fife and drum concert at the Ogunquit Baptist Church!

7:30pm (or directly following the parade): FIFE AND DRUM CONCERT (upstairs at the Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Learn about our colonial heritage of song as the Patriot Fife and Drum Duo play traditional songs and teach us about the instruments themselves and the signals revolutionary fifers and drummers gave to the soldiers in the heat of battle.

8:00pm: MAINESTREET CELEBRATES 17 YEARS (Mainestreet). – Free hors d’oeuvres and red carnations (the flower for 17th anniversaries) at Ogunquit’s biggest wildest night club. Free limited edition MEST pint glass koozies (come early-while supplies last). Fun music videos playing on our multiple TV screens in our newly renovated main lounge. 21+.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY:
OGUNQUIT STOCKS, AND  PHOTO OPS (Main Beach Parking Lot & Perkins Cove) Selfie photo opportunities for the whole family! Don’t worry, the stocks don’t lock, but they will be available all weekend for photo opportunities. Another fun photo opportunity available with a life-size cut-out stand-up where you can take a photo of yourself dressed in old-time bathing suits, as Uncle Sam, and more!

COLONIAL FLAG TREASURE HUNT (under the tents at the Beach) Find all of the flags at the craft fair. Using the page in your brochure, draw each flag in the appropriate colony’s box. Don’t worry, you aren’t being judged for artistic talent! We may throw in some other Colonial-era flags in to throw you off the trail! Turn in your solution at the Ogunquit Chamber table under the tent, and be entered to win a prize.

GUESS THE WEIGHT OF THE TEA CHEST (under the tents at the beach) How much did a tea chest weigh? Look at the chest and guess what it would have weighed when full of tea. No, as a safety precaution, you will not get to lift the box! As a bonus, answer the question on the entry card correctly, and we will double your prize! 

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017 
9:00am – 4:00pm: BEACH BAZAAR ( Kennebunk Savings Bank tents at the Beach parking lot) Over 50 vendors will sell their wares under the tent! We’re collecting donations of non-perishable food for York County Shelter Program, and pet food for the Animal Welfare Society.

9:00am-5:00pm: OGUNQUIT MEMORIAL LIBRARY BOOK SALE (Ogunquit Memorial Library)

9:30am – 10:15am: COLONIAL CHILDREN’S GAMES AND CRAFTS (Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Play games from the colonial era, and make your own to take home and play later! Make your own Bilbo Catcher, Button Whirligig, or Toothpick Top, then learn how they work. Learn about the crafts of the colonial times, then make your own doll of yarn. Learn about the fashions of colonial times – make paper dolls and appropriate outfits for you to dress them in!

10:15 – 10:45am: BOOK READING AND SIGNING (Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Local author Brenda York Goodale will read her new children’s book, The Pride of Perkins Cove, the tale of a boy’s quest to find a lost carved boat, loosely based on Perkins Cove history, that adults as well as children will enjoy. Appropriate for children ages 5-10. Books available for sale and signing by author after the reading.

10:45-11:30am: MAKE A PATRIOTS DAY SCRAPBOOK (Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a Kindle. But real books were all the fashion in colonial days. Learn how to make a book using a fold and cut method and a sewing method. Then use our art supplies to start decorating the book. Use it to record your Patriots Day Weekend adventure! Appropriate for ages 9 and up.

10:00am – 3:00pm: HAY RIDES (Main Beach Parking Lot0 $5 per person.

12:00 noon: AMERICAN PIE CONTEST (downstairs at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street) Submit one home-made pie in an “American” flavor to our “celebrity judges”. Pies will be judged during Taste of the Town in the following categories: theme, appearance, and taste. The grand prize winner will receive $50 in Gift of Ogunquit gift certificates, and the recipe will be featured in the next edition of our Ogunquit cookbook. Of course the best prize is the bragging rights for having made the best pie in Ogunquit! Winners will be announced after Taste of the Town.

12:00 – 2:30pm: “TASTE OF THE TOWN” (Dunaway Center, 23 School Street) A variety of Ogunquit restaurants’ top Chefs will serve up their special dishes for you to try out! Buy tickets at the door or ahead of time under the tent at the beach. AGAIN THIS YEAR: You can choose to eat only at the Taste of the Town at the Dunaway Center, or buy an expanded “Touring Taste of the Town” ticket. Tickets for the traditional event at the Dunaway Center are $10. Tickets for “Touring Taste of the Town” are $15, and include admission to the event at the Dunaway Center as well as tasting portions at establishments during their business hours.

6:30pm: RE-ENACTMENT OF THE BOSTON TEA PARTY (Perkins Cove) Watch our colonists from the dock as they throw chests of tea off the Bunny Clark.

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017
10:00am – 3:00pm: BEACH BAZAAR (at the Kennebunk Savings Bank tent at the Main Beach parking lot) See Saturday description.

10:00am – 3:00pm: HAY RIDES (Main Beach Parking Lot. Weather permitting.) $5 per person.

10:30am: CUB SCOUT DUCK RACE (Ogunquit River) Buy your tickets for the Duck Race under the tent prior to the race. You need not be present to win.

11am: RE-ENACTENT OF THE FLAG RAISING AT IWO JIMA (Marginal Way) While the flag raising at Iwo Jima did not take place during the Revolutionary War, we take a moment to remember and give thanks to all of those who have fought for our freedom throughout our history. Weather permitting.

12:30pm: PATRIOTIC POOCH PAGEANT AND FASHION SHOW (Liquid Dreams parking lot, 696 Main Street. Weather permitting.) Dress your dog in costume, or just come to watch the show! Two costume categories: Patriotic(red, white, and blue) and Favorite American (any Abe Lincoln wannabe’s out there?) Prizes will be awarded for most patriotic costume and best costume impersonation. Animal Welfare Society will be there to feature some of their adoptable dogs.

2:00pm: OGUNQUIT PERFORMING ARTS PRESENTS FREE FILM – “THE PATRIOT” (Dunaway Center, 23 School Street) See “The Patriot”, starring Jeff Daniels as George Washington. Free parking! Free movie! Free popcorn!

5:00 – 8:00pm: MARGINAL WAY FUNDRAISER – MEATLOAF CONTEST (Bintliff’s Restaurant, 335 Main Street). Prizes! Raffle! Silent Auction! Lots of yummy meatloaf! All to help preserve the Marginal Way, one of Maine’s greatest treasures.

See more Southern Maine Coast events and festivals, like the Kennebunkport Festival, and visit Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and Portland Maine soon.

For Maine lodging, visit Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Fall sun, fun, music, beer and boats

1cape-arundel-inn-oceanFall on the Southern Maine Coast is super. The warm summer weather continues, ushering cool clear evenings and autumnal sunsets. You can still have your beach days, boat rides, and the towns of Kennebunkport ,Ogunquit and Wells are far less busy as kids have gone back to school. September and October are full of festivals, fairs, art and music in Maine.

pineapple-ketch-nonantumOur favorite events in September:
Nonantum’s Paddlebattle is a super fun day on the river Saturday, September 3rd, 1-5pm at The Nonantum Resort on Ocean Ave. Whether you battle it out on your paddleboard, kayak or canoe, or just observe and cheer from the waterfront, it’s a great event. This 4th annual river race is open to all levels of kayakers, canoers, stand-up paddle boarders, even surfboarders. The 1pm race, at high tide,  from the sup-kennebunkportNonantum goes up river, under the Mathew Lanigan Bridge, around a  barge and back for a  1.7 mile course, beginning and ending at the Nonantum with live music, and a BBQ on the riverfront lawn. You can be competitive or casual just enjoying the camaraderie and scenery along the way. There’s even a kids race, which was named a top Summer Fun event by Sports Illustrated Kids’ magazine. Sign up before September 2 – your $30 admission fee includes a t-shirt, day of the event is $35, benefitting the Kennebunkport Fire vinegar-hillDepartment’s Aquatic Safety Division.

For music the first weekend in September, Vinegar Hill Music Theatre hosts two great bands, Friday September 2 is the Live Bullet Band – New England’s Bob Seger Tribute. Saturday September 3 is the Johnny Winter All Star Band.

The fun keeps flowing Tuesday September 6 as Nonantum Resort’s new Executive Chef Steve Sicinski hosts a Craft Beer Dinner. Chef Steve will pair his four courses of innovative cuisine with local craft beers. The dinner with beer and Chef Steve’s accompaniment is $65pp.

Kport1 (3)Friday September 9 is the Village Art Walk, always the 2nd Friday. Art galleries and artisan studios in Lower Village Kennebunk and Kennebunkport open their doors and serve snacks and drinks for patrons to enjoy while browsing local art, photography and crafts.

The weekend of September 10- 11 is the big Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival in Wells at Laudholm Farms.

While you are visiting Southern Maine, be shore to get aboard a boat, The Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour is a great hour and half trip out the Kennebunk River, you will haul lobster traps, see the Bush’s estate – Walkers’ Point from the water, and maybe a few harbor seals during your beautiful cruise. If you prefer pineapple-ketchto sail, The Pineapple Ketch is a beautiful sailboat which also departs from the docks at the Nonantum for daily sails and a spectacular sunset cruise. If fishing is your thing, then Captain Bruce will take you out aboard the Libreti Rose II to catch some striper and have a fun charter at sea.

See our Maine lodging guide for the best places to stay in Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, York and Old Orchard Beach, Portland and Freeport too.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0749.Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Maine’s Best Festivals

Best Festivals in Maine – food, crafts, music, decorations – you name it – Maine celebrates it!

January
Polar Plunge New Years Day l Kennebunkport, Portland and Old Orchard Beach

2heart-dock-square-ocean2February is for Lovers | Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport celebrates February for Lovers with a “Paint the Town Red” month of Red tag sales in boutiques, red plates at the best restaurants,  lodging specials,  red lights and hearts strewn around the seaside town.

March
Maine Maple Sunday | Statewide
Maine Maple Sugar Shacks provide free samples and show how maple syrup is made at sugar shacks aroiuond the state typically the third weekend in March.

April
Parrothead Weekend | Sunday River, Bethel
Jimmy Buffet music, spring skiing, margarita mix key lime pie contests and pond skimming at this annual event at Sunday River.

perkins-cove-footbridge2Patriots Weekend l Ogunquit
Fife & Drum Parade, Soldier Re-enactments, taste of the town and a Patriotic Pooch parade.

Sugarloaf Reggae Fest l Sugarloaf
4 days of Reggae Bands, and spring skiing at the Loaf

kennebunkport-festival-singerMay
Kennebunk May Day
The 1st weekend in May downtown Kennebunk hosts a hometown parade, live outdoor music, craft fairs and farmers market.

Taste of Bar Harbor | Bar Harbor
This May festival of food in Bar Harbor showcases creative local cuisine, with the best chefs and restaurants of Bar Harbor.

Memorial Day Weekend Parades and Events Throughout the state of Maine Towns.

June
kennebunkport-festivalKennebunkport Festival | Kennebunkport
An early June fine food, art and wine festival celebrated in Kennebunkport.

Kennebunkport LAUNCH – a Maritime Festival and Blessing of the Fleet| Kennebunkport

George H W Bush Celebrity Golf Classic  | Kennebunkport
Annual June golf tournament with past presidents, pros and celebrities is followed by an evening gala at The Colony Hotel in a fundraiser for Gary’s House.

arundel_wharfTour de Cure | Wells Reserve, Wells

Annual fund-raising bicycle ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association offers one of five routes, 5K, 25K, 50K, 100K, or 100 Mile.

Old Port Festival | Portland
Portland’s annual Old Port Fest is Maine’s largest one-day event, for over 40 years with live  music, crafts, activities and a Puppet Company parade on Exchange Street.

Trek Across Maine l Sunday River to Portland
A mid June bike ride fundraiser across Maine from Sunday River to Portland, Maine to benefit the American Lung Association.

July
Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayFireworks July 4 around Maine, and at beach towns Kennebunk, Old Orchard, York and Portland

Windjammer Days Festival | Boothbay Harbor
A parade of windjammers sail into Boothbay Harbor.

Moxie Festival | Lisbon
Since 1982, a festival celebrating Moxie – Maine’s original soda pop l Lisbon
Maine Windjammer Parade in Rockland and Tall Ships in Camden Harbor | Rockland

lobsterLobster Boat Races | Stonington
Deer Isle goes wild as working lobster men in suped-up boats race around the harbor.

Maine Lobster Festival  | Rockland
Maine lobsters, music, Maine arts and crafts.

August
Maine Boats, Homes and Harbor Show | Rockland
Three day in water boat show in Rockland

Casco Bay Swim Run l Portland

Wells Annual Chilifest | Wells

September
Camden Windjammer Festival and Parade | Camden
Camden’s beautiful windjammers sail in fleet through Camden Harbor.

sup-kennebunkportPaddle Battle at Nonantum Resort l Kennebunkport
Annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River.

Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival | Laudholm Farm, Wells
Summer Solstice and Nature Crafts Festival the first Weekend after Labor Day.

Lobsterman Triathlon | South Freeport
riathlons of lobstermen and athletes swimming across Casco bay, biking and running.

halfway-light-casco-bay (3)Maine Open Lighthouse Day
Maine’s lighthouses are open to the public and free of charge one day each September.

October
Fryeburg Fair | Fryeburg
Since 1851, local farmers show off their produce, livestock and goods, along with a midway, live entertainment and booths.

The Dempsey Challenge | Lewiston
Actor Patrick Dempsey’s (Grey’s Anatomy) annual Cancer Fundraiser walk/run/bike ride from Lewiston Auburn through Maine’s Lakes and Mountains.

North American Wife Carrying Championships | Sunday River, Bethel
Men and women compete in a challenging obstacle course with a twist – the husband must carry the wife in the Estonian style to win her weight in beer and a cash prizes.

w-farm-pumpkins4Kennebunk Harvestfest | Downtown Kennebunk
Farmers Market, parade, craft fair, food and music are part of this  fall festival.

York Harvestfest | York Beach
An annual celebration of Maine food and culture, a juried craft fair, marketplace, and music on York Beach, Maine.

OgunquitFest | Ogunquit
Fall weekend of pumpkin and cookie decorating, costume parade, classic car show, craft show, fun house, high heel race, bed race, wagon rides,  and a scarecrow contest.

Harvest on the Harbor | Portland
 pineapple-ketch-nonantumPortland’s premier food and wine event showcasing top local chefs, Maine food and wines in a beautiful waterfront settings.

Nonantum Phantom l Kennebunkport
Annual Halloween Bash for adults with costumes and live band at this historic, haunted Kennebunkport inn.

November
Festival of Lights | Kennebunk
Kennebunk’s Christmas Tree illuminates the night in downtown Kennebunk the weekend following Thanksgiving!

Lobster Trap Christmas TreeFestival of Trees | Saco
Dozens of decorated trees and wreaths are  displayed at Dyer Library, Saco Museum.

Lighting of the Nubble | Sohier Park, York
he annual Lighting of the iconic Nubble Lighthouse in Sohier Park at dusk is beautiful.

December
Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude Celebration | Kennebunkport
Two weeks of holiday events, tee lightings, entertainment, shopping, craft fairs, caroling, and Santa in a lobster boat!

Freeport Sparkle Weekend | Freeport
Parade of Lights down Main Street, Holiday Movie Marathon, Tuba Christmas Concert, Visits with Santa, Horse Drawn Wagons, Musical Holiday Light Shows in Freeport.

Festival of Lights | York
Festival of Lights and craft fairs in York.

1kbpt-sign-heartChristmas By the Sea Celebration | Ogunquit
A seaside Christmas season celebration in December in Ogunquit.

Christmas Boat Parade of Lights | Portland
Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks.

Southern Maine Christmas Parade | Wells

See more great Maine Events and where to stay in Maine to enjoy all these fun festivals.

See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide  – bring the family, the dog to a pet friendly place, or just your sweetheart to a romantic inn in Maine.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Maine Summer Concerts and Theatre

wells-so-beach3Summer on the Maine coast means more than just beaches, lighthouse beacons and breaking into a fresh Maine lobster. You can add some culture to that side of Maine crustacean… after all summer stock theatre on the southern Maine coast is classic, and some of the best bands and performers come to the coast to host concerts and performances. Let’s just say it a good gig for the audience as well as the band.

ogunplayHere are the top theaters and concert venues on the southern Maine coast:
The Ogunquit Playhouse got its start in 1933, in a garage, during the depression when Walter Hartwig brought the Manhattan Theatre Colony to Maine.  In 1937, the playhouse moved to its current location on Maine Street, Route 1. In 1951, John Lane took the reins, before Bradford Kenney. The Ogunquit Playhouse brings top off Broadway productions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2016 is Ogunquit Playhouse 84th season and with the following productions:
Let It Be May 18 – June 11, a celebration of the music of the Beatles
Anything Goes June 15 – July 9 – a Cole Porter Classic
Hunchback of Notre Dame July 13 – August 6 –Victor Hugo’s medieval novel
Priscilla Queen of the Desert  August 10 – September 3 – a Broadway Musical Classical
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers  September 7 – October 1
Million Dollar Quartet  October 5 – November 6 – a musical of the Fathers of Rock n Roll

kennebunkport-festival-singerHackmatack Playhouse in Berwick was founded in 1972 as a classic summer stock theatre in a 1716 barn, the old Gupthill farm in pastoral south western Maine. The following plays fill the Hackmatack summer 2016:
“Noises Off” June 17 – July 2
“On the Town” July 6-23, 1944 – a NYC story of three sailors
“Once Upon a Mattress” July 23- Aug 13 – The Princess and The Pea version play
“Almost, Maine” August 17 – Sept 3 – a romantic comedy on a mythical Maine town.

dine-kennebunk-innVinegar Hill Music Theatre is Maine’s newest music venue, in the old Arundel Barn Playhouse near Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.  The new name Vinegar Hill pays tribute to the history of this area in Arundel and the Smith Sister’s Farm. Tim Harrington (also of  Kennebunkport Resort Collection) is the man behind the scenes as Vinegar Hill’s managing partner, with Broadway experienced George Dvorsky as Creative Director. Vinegar Hill will be more music venue than playhouse. Here are the big name music groups and talents to perform his summer at Vinegar Hill:
Four C Notes June 25
Deep Blue C Orchestra June 29
Liz Callaway
July  1 famous actor and singer of film songs.
Comedian Justin McKinney July 2
Frank Santos
July 7 – Comic Hypnotist
James Montgomery Band July 7  – a legendary local 70s rock & harmonic band
Debbie Gravitte July 9 – Tony Award singer
John Davidson Roots, Roles, Rhythym July 10
Joel Known Trio July 12
Venus Mars Project  
July 13 – Boston pop rock band
Carolyn Rhea Live July 14 – Comedienne
Evan Goodrow Band July 15
Emily Skinner
July 16
Juice Newton Trio July 20
The Quebe Sisters
July 21 – a fiddling sisters trio from Texas
Elliott Yamin July 22 – American idol star
Well-Strung
July 23 Men’s Quartet playing Beethoven to Madonna
Paula Cole
July 24 Grammy Award winner for “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”
Terry Sylvester July 27
Adam Ezra Group July 28  – Boston based awarded band, Ragtop Angel & Takin off
Joe Louis Walker July 29 – Blues Hallof Famer
Linda Eider July 30 – Broadway singer
Livingston Taylor Aug 2
Medium Lauren Rainbow Aug 3
Frenchie Davis Aug 5 – American Idol & The Voice star
Evening with Ronan Tynan
Aug 6 – one of the Irish Tenors
Howie Day Aug 11
John Ford Coley
Aug 12  – the “I’d really love to see you tonight” wonder
Comedien Lenny Clark Aug 13
Sugar Blue Aug 18 Grammy award winning Harmonica
Evans Halle Salon Soiree
Aug 19
Larry Gatlin Acoustic
Aug 20 Catlin brother country singer
Sherry MacArthur
Aug 24 PBS musician
Joe Scarborough
Aug 26
Sally Mayes
Aug 27 – Tony award singer
Johnny Winter All Star Band
 Sept 3
Jennifer Porter
Sept 9 – Opera singer
Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders
Sept 16
Heather Maloney
Sept 30  -“Making Me Break” music fame
All About Elvis Oct 1

portland-headlight

Portland Maine State Pier brings in top shelf bands in summer, open air with a view of the ocean. For 2016, Maine State Pier will host Jackson Brown June 9, Bare Naked Ladies June 24, Beach Boys July 7, George Thorogood, Goo Goo Dolls,

At the Cross Insurance Center in Portland, aka the Portland Civic Center, summer rock concerts include Phish July 6, Bonnie Rait Aug 19, and ZZ Top Sept 4

Kittery Star Theatre and Community Center is another cool venue for music, productions and theater camps.

kennebunkport-festival-tentSo there are just a few fun performances and plays to mix in with your time at the Beach in York, Wells, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach and Portland Maine! May your summer be full of fun, music and theatre.

See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide  for lodging in Portland, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, Kittery and York.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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What is there to do on the Southern Maine Coast in winter?

5seaside-inn-winterWhat is there to do on the Southern Maine Coast in winter? Plenty – walk the beach, shop, eat, drink, ski, sled, skate, surf, cozy up to a fire at a romantic seaside inn, eat lobster, snowshoe, paint, read, write…

You can walk the beach all year round. In winter, Ogunquit, Wells Beach, Kennebunk Beach and Old Orchard are all beautiful. You can watch the surfers ride the winter waves, walk your dog, take pictures of the snow and sand, and just enjoy an entirely different season on the beach, read: not wearing your bikini.

Cross country skiing or snowshoeing at nearby Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm on their 7 mile of beautiful trails or Harris Farm in Dayton makes for a great day, even an hour outside enjoying the snow and the scenery.

2dock-square-kbpt2For a more relaxing romantic endeavor, take a horse drawn carriage ride through Kennebunkport’s Docks Square, Ogunquit and Kennebunk both have beautiful outdoor ice skating rinks. Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Pavilion is a free public covered ice rink in downtown Kennebunk next to the Kennebunk Inn.

Sledding hills are peppered throughout the coast – Kennebunk’s Sea Road Dump, no longer a landfill, is very popular for sledding on the well-pitched hill. Munjoy Hill and the Eastern Prom in Portland have some good sledding spots too.

99love-kbpt-davidsAs for fun festivals, Kennebunkport celebrates Paint The Town Red and February is For Lovers with red and white lights, Ice Bar at David’s KPT, heart decorations and romantic specials on lodging at fabulous inns, happy hours, dining and shopping.  Ogunquit throws a Mardi Gras party in February 20 weekend with fir jugglers, a Masquerade Ball and a Hat and Mask Parade down Ogunquit’s Main Street. Let the good time roll in Ogunquit in winter.

4dock-square-kbpt7Shopping is a four season sport, and Maine is no exception, especially with LL Bean open 365 24/7. Winter shopping in Maine means deals and sales – whether you are at Kittery Outlets, Freeport’s Outlets, or the many boutiques and shops in Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and the Old Port of Portland. You can also find bargains at Mardens and Reny’s  -two classic Maine shopping experiences – buy it if you see it – these Maine shopping institutions are never the same twice. The local people watching is a hoot to.

davids-serverMaine restaurants host Maine Restaurant Week March 1-16, 2016 – so it’s actually two weeks of great Maine dining deals at the best restaurants in southern Maine. Maine’s foodie scene as rocketed to top chef status, in fact Portland recently topped Boston as the coziest city in America – with the great dining spots as a number 1 reason.

Per capita, Portland Maine has more restaurants than any other city in the United States, and many are walkable and wonderful! Winter is a better time to tackle the Top Restaurants in Portland – less lines and less waiting for a table and better dining deals than peak summer. Don’t worry, lobster is always on the menu, clams too.

6captain-lord-mansion-kennebunkportLastly, cozy romantic lodging along the Southern Maine Coast in winter is a great deal. You can score a beautiful suite or a fireplace room in a BNB for less than spring, summer or fall, and you have the place to yourself. Many lodging properties like Seaside Inn and Captain Lord Mansion in K’port, and Ogunquit Resort Motel offer packages including wine and flowers, or dining certificates to local restaurants during your stay, even late check outs. Family resorts like Rhumb Line in Kennebunkport and Village by the Sea and Misty Harbor in Wells have indoor heated pools perfect for a family vacation.

love-kbpt-davids6See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide and plan a winter getaway today – bring the kids, the dog to a pet friendly place, or just your sweetheart to a romantic inn in Maine.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Copyright SouthernMaineCoast.com.  Text and photos property of IMS-21.net.

Love Wine and Love Maine? Try a Wine Walk

perkins-cove-footbridge2Wine Walks in Maine are the perfect pairing – wine education while on vacation – or an afternoon appreciating wine at new-to-you local venues. Your lovely host Erica Archer, CWP, WSET, offers this fun format of mobile wine classes in the Kennebunks, Ogunquit, and Portland, and Wine Sails in Portland and Camden.

I joined in a Friday Wine Walk in Kennebunk, as our group from Boothbay to Fort old-vines-bar-tableLauderdale, made our way to four Kennebunk restaurants tasting unique Chardonnays – the wine theme for the day. Erica, the beautiful blond brainchild behind Wine Wise – her wine event company founded five years ago, presented four fabulous wines with rich detail and description as we sipped away the afternoon together.

We uncorked our first taste at Duffy’s on Kennebunk’s Main Street. Chef John prepared a delicious poached salmon with summer squash medley that provided just the right balance to our buttery Kendall Jackson Vintner Reserve Chardonnay. Erica offered regional background, technical terms like malolactic fermentation, and then very pragmatic tips like how to open a bottle of wine perfectly and champagne like a pro (turning the bottle – not the cork).

winewalk2Our next stop at Owen’s Farmhouse, we smelled, sipped and savored a bright but subtle French Burgundy-region Albert Bichot Chardonnay which complemented the wood-fired pizzas we shared in this cozy café. Erica’s wine knowledge is impressive, she’s a Certified Wine Professional with Level Three Advanced Certification as a Sommelier. But she’s also warm, witty and passionate about her wines – no wine snobbery here. As Erica says, “If wine is a foreign language, we all become more fluent after a few glasses.”
winewalk1
At Academe, in the Kennebunk Inn, Chefs Brian and Shanna had created a clever BLT – Arancini with Brussels sprout and bacon which was fantastic with our beautiful bubbly – Veuve Clicquot Champagne (a Chardonnay in fancy French clothing).

We learned wonderful little wine facts:
Champagne corks can release at 45 mph
80% of the taste in wines comes from the aroma
Wines are served too cold, red, white, even rosé
French White Burgundy = Chardonnay
Red Burgundy = Pinot Noir
The Master Sommelier Certification Exam has a less than a 10% pass rate
The best wine opener* is the basic corkscrew with a knife, screw, and two notches
*note to my friends: please no more silly battery operated openers for my birthday

winewalk5Our final stop was 50 Local for a Foxglove Chardonnay from San Luis Obispo California paired with spicy tofu, local field greens, earthy pasta and mushrooms. So we had toured the west coast to France and back in our two-hour wine block walk. Our minds had been opened with each bottle, to new approaches to drinking wine, and better appreciation of how territory and treatment affect each vine and harvest. Our food pairings were excellent – showing Erica’s attention to detail and collaboration with her host chefs.

We walked away from our Wine Walk having tasted and toasted new friends with a new improved vino lingo and greater love of wines.

windjammer-maineNow I want to  Wine Sail in Camden or Portland at sunset, sounds sublime. See Wine Wise’s schedule for Erica’s upcoming Wine Walks in Ogunquit, Portland, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport and Wine Sails in Casco Bay and Camden.

Wine Walks in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport Poertland, and Ogunquit

Sunday, November 22 Wine (and food) Walk in Ogunquit, ME: Wines of Piedmont, Italy

Saturday, November 28 A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland’s West End: Delicious Wines of Spain

Sunday, November 29 Bourbon (and food) Walk in Portland, ME

Saturday, December 5  A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Cabernet Sauvignon

Saturday, December 12 A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Sparkling Wines

Saturday, December 19 A Wine Walk in The Old Port, Portland, ME: Italian Wine & Food Pairings

Sunday, December 20 A Wine (and food) Walk in Ogunquit, ME: Sparkling Wines

Saturday, December 26 -Wine (and food) Walk in the West End, Portland, ME: Wines of the Rhône Valley, France

Saturday, December 26 Wine (and food) Walk in the West End, Portland, ME: Wines of the Rhône Valley, France

Sunday, December 27 Spirits (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Scotch

See more fun food and wine events on the Southern Maine Coast including  Kennebunkport’s Progessive Dinner Trolley and The Kennebunkport Festival!

12th Annual OgunquitFest – Fall for Maine!

Maine fall landscapeIts fall y’all and that means  Ogunquitfest in the beautiful seaside village of Ogunquit. For this year’s 12th annual Ogunquit, get ready for a festive costume parade, scarecrow contest, the Maine Outdoor Film Fest, ghostly tours and the world-famous high heel dash. The Ogunquit fall events range from family friendly to silly and scary to a total scream… Ogunquitfest is Thursday- Sunday October 22 -25.

Come celebrate Halloween a weekend early in Ogunquit Maine, join in the fall festivities including pumpkin decorating and a costumer parade, dine on that last fresh Maine lobster of the season, shop, walk the beach on a crisp fall day, and stay at one of Ogunquit’s best lodging properties, or nearby in Wells Maine or lodge in The Kennebunks.

12th annual OgunquitFest Calendar of Fun Events

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ogunquit in the Fall
Ogunquit in Fall

MAINE OUTDOOR FILM FESTIVAL Leavitt Theatre. 8pm. short outdoor films – part of Maine Outdoor Film Festivals. Tickets: $9 adults, $7 children. Buy your tickets at the door or online at ogunquit.org.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Damnationlaned – The Way Life Should Bleed
Leavitt Theatre. 8pm. A Maine horro production. $10 admission

Saturday, October 24, 2015

AUTUMN BAZAAR 9am-4pm, Ogunquit Beach. 75 vendors with Maine crafts, perfect for holiday shopping! Non-perishable food donations are accepted for local food pantry or pet food for the Animal Welfare Society.

HORSE-DRAWN WAGON RIDES 10am-4pm, Veterans’ Park. $5 per person. Weather permitting.

w-farm-pumpkins4GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH PRESENTATION 10-11:30am, Dunaway Center, School Street. An autumn delight for kids of all ages. Pumpkins, paints, markers, and stickers supplied, however no sharp instruments or carving for everyone’s safety.

ANTIQUE & CLASSIC CAR SHOW 10am-1pm, Main Beach parking lot. Vote on your favorite classic car! Winners announced at 12:30pm. Free admission.

WINE TASTING 2pm-5pm. Village Food Market, 230 Main Street. Wine tasting with Aissa Sweets tasting as well.

OGUNQUITFEST OBSTACLE COURSE 2:30-3:30pm, Ogunquit Main Beach. Let the kids run off some energy in our Halloween-themed Obstacle Course on Ogunquit Beach.

wine_glass_corkWINE TASTING 2-5pm, Perkins & Perkins Wine and Cheese Shop, 478 Main Street. Featuring great wines for fall.

CHILDREN’S FALL STORYTELLING 4-5pm, Dunaway Center, School Street. Listen to local storyteller Diana Abbott tell tales of spooks and haunted happenings.

PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST 4-6pm 22 Main Street

GHOSTLY TOURS, 6-8:30pm. Ogunquit Heritage Museum, Obeds Lane. Stop in for a ghostly walk through Ogunquit. Tours by the Ogunquit Heritage Museum. Bring your flashlight – it’s dark out there! $5 Adults, children under 10 free. Weather permitting.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

AUTUMN BAZAAR 10am-3pm, Main Beach parking lot. See Saturday description.

COSTUME PARADE 1pm, Ogunquit Square to Main Beach. Costumed kids, adults, and canines welcome! Rain location: Under the tents at the Main Beach Parking Lot. DJ Jodi will spin tunes for this and the Bed Race that follows.

OPA’S OOMPA BAND Noon-4pm: Join Cornerstone for some fun polka music!

high heelHIGH HEEL DASH AND WALK-OFF 3:30pm, Perkins Cove. Watch this hilarious high heel race as men, ladies and a mix of brave souls put their best, highest foot forward and dash for cash. The race around Perkins Cove in high heels is fun to watch, even better to participate! Racer’s HighHeels must be at least 2” high. Prizes are awarded for Best Time, Highest Heel and Most Outrageous Costume! Proceeds from registration will go to Frannie Peabody Center.

4:30-6:30 SAM ADAMS BEEFEST – Amore Breakfast features fall brews and hard ciders. Must be 21+.

OgunquitFest Weekend is sponsored by the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce, our thanks to them from the SouthernMaineCoast.com

Copyright SouthernMaineCoast.com 2015, all photos and content.

Vacation Guide to the Southern Maine – Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, York, Old Orchard Beach – Resorts Inns

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Best Events on the Southern Maine Coast

wells-so-beach3There are so many fun events in Maine from Kittery to Kennebunkport and Portland Maine. You just have to “sea” some of these zany vibrant foodies fun festivals to appreciate how Maine does things, fun parades, parties, and celebrations …”The Way Life Should Be”!

Every Saturday in Kennebunk is a Farmers Market from 8-1pm. Fridays throughout Southern Maine.Art Walks occur every Friday evening  in Maine – the 1st Friday in Portland, 2nd Friday is the Village Art Walk in the Lower Village Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, and 3rd Friday Art Walk in downtown Kennebunk.

The Padpaddle-boarder2dle Battle at the river front Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport is August 2– this third annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River starts at 1:30,  register for the race here.  Food, music and fun are part of the event for non-paddlers too on this Father’s Day.

Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayFireworks at Old Orchard Beach every Thursday night  on the beach next to the Old Orchard Beach Pier all summer June 25 – September 3rd.

July 4th  fireworks on the coast at Maine Beach Towns including York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk Old Orchard Beach, Portland.

pineapple-ketchThe Tallships Parade Comes to Portland Maine  July 18-20 2015  – Portland Harbor will hosts 8 historic tallships on their final stop of the 2015 Tallships Challenge . The highlight, the Tallships Parade, sails into Portland Harbor at 1pm July 18

Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport has live entertainment and riverfront dining Monday – Thursday all summer 6:30-9:30.

Stripers Waterside Restaurant stripers-lobster-bakeat the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport has an authentic  Maine Lobster Clambake every Monday night at 6pm served outside on the river with beautiful sunset views.

Aug 29, 2015 is Wells Annual Chilifest at Wells Harbor – a Mexican fiesta in Maine as Wells best restaurants compete for the best chili title.

breakwater-river-view7Laudholm Summer Solstice Nature Crafts Festival in Wells is the 1st Weekend after Labor Day featuring 100 artisans, jewelers, and crafts people display at Wells Laudholm Farms.

MaineStage Shakespeare presents outdoor Shakepeare theatre in the park every Wednesday-Saturday at the Colony, Lafayette Park and River Green in Kennebunkport.

portland-headlightMaine Open Lighthouse Day is September 12 with free admission to Maine lighthouses along the coast

Maine Lobsterman Triathlon in South Freeport is September 12

cape-neddick-yorkFor lodging on the Southern Maine Coast during any of these events and festivals, go to our Lodging Deals Guide.

For a list of Events throughout Maine, see our Maine events page.

11th Annual Kennebunkport Festival

 

kennebunkport-festivalWhat started as the Kennebunkport Fine Food & Art Festival a decade ago has expanded and become simply “The Festival” of Kennebunkport Maine! The Kennebunkport Festival is now  in year 11, as Maine Magazine’s pet project, organized and promoted by their staff, with event tickets priced from $15 for Brews and Tunes, to cocktail parties each night at $40, to as much as $250 for exclusive Chef dinners at private mansions on the beach, Ocean Ave and Wood Fired Maine at Wells Laudholm Farm. This year’s Kennebunkport Festival is June 8-13, 2015.

kennebunkport-festival-tentA portion of The Kennebunkport Festival proceeds go to a local Maine charity – this year’s beneficiary is Full Plates Full Potential. But mostly it’s an event for sampling local Chefs’ best bites, sipping cocktails on the Kennebunk River, a week to see and be seen in the  famous town of Kennebunkport!

kennebunkport-festival-drinksFrom the cocktail parties to the after parties (see the schedule below), it’s a festival infused with high spirit, spirits, art, food, music and Maine scenery. It’s hardly a locals event, instead its hobnobbing with the publications folks from Portland, chefs from around the state, and the well heeled second-home owners. But its a feel good, do good festival nonetheless.

Monday, June 8 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Gratitude Cocktails at the Lodge on the Cove 5 – 7 pm $45
Barbara Bush’s 90th Birthday – Private Party – not part of the Kennebunkport Festival

Tuesday, June 9 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Cocktails at One Dock at Kennebunkport Inn 5 – 7 pm $40
A Taste of Grace at The White Barn Inn 7 – 10 pm $200

kennebunkport-festival-singerPrivate Art of Dining Tuesday Dinners
Captain Fairfield Inn Dinner with Chef Sam Talbot of Pig + Poet 7 – 10 pm $175
Handler Residence Art of Dining featuring Chef Brian Hill of Francine Bistro 7 – 10 pm $150
Hogan Residence Art of Dining with Chef Larry Matthews of Back Bay Grill 7 – 10 pm $175
Knudsen Residence dinner featuring Chef Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan 7 – 10 pm $175
Kuehnle Residence Dinner featuring Chef John Shaw of Tides Beach Club 7 – 10 pm $175
Leonardi Residence Dinner featuring Chef Josh Hixson of 40 Paper 7 – 10 pm $175
Lord Residence Dinner featuring Chef Damian Sansonetti of Piccolo 7 – 10 pm $150
Molloy Residence featuring Chef David Levi of Vinland 7 – 10 pm $175
Taranto/Ellms Residence featuring Chef Fred Eliot of Petite Jacqueline 7 – 10 pm $175
Weaver Residence featuring Chef Aaron Smith of Old Port Sea Grill 7 – 10 pm $175
After Party at Abbondante Tuesday 9-11pm – Complimentary

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0749.Wednesday, June 10 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Cocktails at The Colony 5 – 7 pm $40
Private Art of Dining Dinners on Wednesday 
Gillard Residence Dinner featuring Chef Dan Sriprasert of Green Elephant 7 – 10 pm $175
Gott Residence featuring Chef Mel Chaiken of The Fiddlehead Restaurant 7 – 10 pm $175
Granetz Residence featuring Justin Walker of Earth 7 – 10 pm $175
Hurlbutt Residence Dinner featuring Guy Hernandez of Lolita 7 – 10 pm $175
Kaufman Residence featuring Chef Jackson Yordon of Salt & Honey 7 – 10 pm $175
Keller Residence featuring Chef William Benner of The Black Point Inn 7 – 10 pm $175
Maushart Residence featuring Chef Leslie Oster of Aurora Provisions 7 – 10 pm $175
Taranto/Ellms Residence II with Chef Chris Wilcox of The Velveteen Habit 7 – 10 pm $175
Raffaelli Residence featuring Chef Harding Lee Smith of The Rooms 7 – 10 pm $175
Rice Residence featuring Chef Emil Rivera of Sur Lie 7 – 10 pm $175
Turner/Bull Residence featuring Chef Jeff Buerhaus of Walter’s 7 – 10 pm $175
After Party at Stripers Wednesday 9-11pm – Complimentary

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0442.Thursday, June 11 Kennebunkport Festival Events
The Hinckley Reception at Chicks Marina 5 – 7 pm $40
The Spirit of Maine Party at Pilot House Boatyard 6 – 11 pm $150.00

Friday, June 12 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Art Works Opening Reception at Gallery at the Grand 5 – 7 pm $40
Wood Fired at Wells Reserve at Laudholm 6 – 10 pm $225
Cucchiara Grand Cru featuring Ocean Chef Pierre Gignac  6 – 10 pm $225
After Party Pedros  9-11pm – Complimentary

Saturday, June 13 Kennebunkport Festival Events
Grand Tapas Party at Pilot House Boatyard Tent Noon – 4 pm $65
Brews & Tunes on the The River Green 2 – 5 pm $15
Cocktails at Old Vines – Pims on the Patio 5 – 7 pm $40
Biking in Kennebunkport MaineChoice Art Show at Maine Art 5 – 7 pm $40
Festival Grand Finale at David’s KPT 7 – 11 pm $140

Sunday June 14
Tour De Cure at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm

See you at The Kennebunkport Festival! Eat, drink and be merry in Maine!