Maine has begun to thaw—it’s a good time for your social calendar to come out of hibernation, too. From storytelling and bazaars to card playing, birding, and a Scottish Festival, here are some spring highlights.
Learn to Curl
Saturday, April 7 or April 14, 4:30–7:30 p.m.
Troubh Ice Arena, 225 Park Ave., Portland
You’ve seen it on the Olympics—that game that’s like chess on ice or hockey with funny shoes and brooms. Here’s your chance to give it a go with other newbies one Saturday. You might even decide to join the Pine Tree Curling Club. No experience or equipment necessary. (Pre-register for $35; pinetreecurlingclub.com)
Tuesdays at the State House
Tuesday, April 3, 10 or 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
State House Complex, Cross Building, 111 Sewall St., Augusta
This AARP-sponsored event is an easy and accessible way to get involved and to become more comfortable with the workings of the Maine State House. Meet in the lobby of the Cross Building between 9:30 and 10 a.m. and join the group to observe the House or Senate. This event concludes with complimentary lunch at the State House cafeteria. No registration required, and you don’t have to be an AARP member.
Maine Brew Fest Spring Session
Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7
Sunday River, Newry
The Fest kicks off on Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. in South Ridge Lodge with live music and food in the Foggy Goggle and brewers from across the state set up throughout the lodge for sampling. The fun continues Saturday at White Cap Lodge with more music, food and, of course, Maine beer, as well as spring skiing and riding. ($49 through April 5, $55 at the door, $15 for designated drivers; sundayriver.com)
Holistic Wellness Event
Sunday, April 8, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland
Check out natural approaches to wellness, including yoga, nutrition, acupuncture, massage, meditation and essential oils. Admission and parking are free, but a $3 donation is requested to benefit the local nonprofit A Family for ME, which develops resources for children in foster care.
Play Your Cards Right
Tuesdays and Saturdays through May 29
Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St., Bangor
This AARP-sponsored event is free and open to card-players of every skill level every Tuesday and Saturday night. Learn or teach cribbage, canasta, spades, pitch, pinochle and more. Play any Tuesday 5–7 p.m. or Saturday 1–4 p.m. (207–947–8336)
The Telling Room Presents Show & Tell: A Literary Spectacular
Tuesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
The State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland
This new performance fundraiser showcases a variety of storytellers, including New York Times best-selling novelist Paula McLain (“The Paris Wife”), writer Andre Dubus III (“Dirty Love”), singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, comedian John Hodgman, hip-hop artist Jean Grae and poet Zainab Almatwari. All proceeds will support the Telling Room’s free in-school and afterschool writing initiatives for Maine youth. ($25–$75 via Ticketmaster, 800–745–3000)
Stars on Ice 2018 Tour
Sunday, April 15, 4–6:30 p.m.
Cross Insurance Arena, 1 Civic Center Square, Portland
You’ve seen them on TV, but there’s nothing like seeing America’s finest figure skaters live in an Olympic year. The tour includes 2018 U.S. Champion Nathan Chen, three-time World Medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani, and U.S. Champion Karen Chen, plus Olympic medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. ($25–$135 via Ticketmaster, 800–745–3000)
Vintage Bazaar New England
Friday–Sunday, April 20–22
Thompson’s Point Brick South, Portland
Think antiques, plus upcycled salvage styles, unique handmade items and vintage treasures. More than 80 indoor vendors, plus music, food trucks and libations. (mybazaarlife.com)
ACLU of Maine Annual Dinner and Scolnik Award
Monday, April 23, 5–9 p.m.
Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St., Portland
Be inspired by featured speaker ACLU National Political Director Faiz Shakir, as well as Scolnik Award Honoree Dan Crewe, president of the Bob Crewe Foundation, which supports music and fine arts and LBGT programming. (aclumaine.org)
Daniel Bernard Roumain: En Masse
Friday, May 4, 5–8 p.m.
Portland’s Arts District
Daniel Bernard Roumain—innovative composer, thrilling violinist, and fierce arts advocate—returns to Portland for an expansive musical spectacle that is part flash mob and part processional. Celebrating music and community, En Masse features an array of Maine musicians of all ages with Roumain as maestro and pied piper, leading a musical parade through Portland’s Arts District and culminating in a community jam. Sponsored by Portland Ovations and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Center for Cultural Exchange Foundation. (Free; portlandovations.org)
Why Preservation Matters: A Sustainable and Equitable Future
Wednesday, May 9, 6 p.m.
First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., Portland
Join in a stimulating conversation with Max Page, professor of architecture and history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of “Why Preservation Matters,” for a timely discussion of the changing face of historic preservation. Page argues that preservation must stand against gentrification and work more closely with the environmental sustainability movement. ($15 for the lecture, 6–7 p.m., or $50 for the lecture and the cocktail reception to follow; portlandlandmarks.org/events)
Party with a Purpose
Wednesday, May 16, 5:30–8 p.m.
DiMillo’s on the Water, 25 Long Wharf, Portland
Enjoy delicious food, and wine and beer samplings while pursuing a live and silent auction items at this 20th annual fundraiser for Maine Children’s Cancer Program. Hosted by Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise. ($30 per person; mmc.org/mccpbenefit)
L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon Birding Festival
Saturday, May 26, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
L.L. Bean, Freeport
This day-long festival includes boat trips to explore the birds of Casco Bay, guided walks, live bird presentations, kids’ activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and a variety of workshops. The keynote speaker is renowned ornithologist David Sibley. Maine Audubon will lead several outings throughout the weekend; sign up for those at llbean.com/adventure and complete the participant agreement form.
Scottish Festival at Old Orchard
Saturday, June 2, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Park, 4 Heath St., Old Orchard Beach
Scottish food and drink, Highland Games, Scottish artisans and music all day long, featuring Scottish rock band Albannach. ($5; oldorchardbeachmaine.com)
Amy Paradysz is a writer, editor and photographer who lives in Scarborough.