Hit the Wine Trail

Picture it: A warm summer breeze drifts by as you sit on the sprawling deck of a local vineyard, overlooking acres of grapes and sipping a delicious Maine-made wine. Sound ideal? Then it’s time to hit the Maine Wine Trail! Whether you pick and choose one to visit each week this summer or go for the gold and make a vacation out of tackling the whole trail, you can’t go wrong! Check out just a few of the wineries that are close enough for a day trip from Dirigo Pines.

Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery

The owners of Barrett Hill Farm in Union started exploring blueberry wines several years ago, and since have added acres of grape vineyards over the past 13 years to now offer a huge selection of Maine grown grape wines. And check out their Summer Concert Series, featuring Michael Franti and Spearhead on July 15; The Mavericks on July 19; and Chris Isaak on August 17! Union is about an hour and a half from Dirigo Pines in Orono.

175 Barrett Hill Road, Union ∙ www.savageoakes.com

Dragonfly Farm & Winery

With a love of German Riesling Style wines, Dragonfly started a vineyard right here in Maine. Most of their white wines are hybrids of the Riesling Grape, while the reds are French hybrids. They offer seven varieties of whites, six reds and eight fruit wines; a selection that will satisfy most palates! Just over 30 minutes from Dirigo Pines.

1069 Mullen Road, Stetson ∙ www.mainewinegrower.com

Winterport Winery

Winterport Winery is located in the historic village of Winterport, not far from Orono, and offers a selection of award winning fruit wines to complement various cuisines. Sophisticated and supple, their wines both elegantly accompany formal occasions and also stand refreshingly on their own. To expand their beverage offerings to include beer, Penobscot Bay Brewery – an on-site brewing facility – was started in 2009 specializing in small batch, handcrafted brews that are fresh, flavorful and fantastic. Only a half hour from Dirigo Pines.

279 South Main St., Winterport ∙ www.winterportwinery.com

Cellardoor Winery

From cooking classes to tastings to concerts, Cellardoor Winery is a stunning winery in Lincolnville, Maine with a lot to offer. The winery offers over 20 wines, appealing to every palate. Check out their free Complimentary Pairings events online, and find tickets for events like Live at the Vines featuring Aaron Neville. Just over an hour from Dirigo Pines.

367 Youngtown Road, Lincolnville ∙ mainewine.com

Better yet, explore the entire Maine Wine Trail! Invite some friends and make a summertime event of it! Download the map and discover more here: www.mainewineryguild.com.

Living in Vacationland — Part 2: July Events

Summer in Vacationland means festivals and fairs aplenty! And they’re not just for tourists. Plan the ultimate “staycation” and check out these fun events and happenings throughout the summer and close enough to Dirigo Pines for a day trip or quick weekend getaway!

Southern Uprising Concert – July 7

Outdoor concerts are one of the best parts of summer! Check out this amazing grouping featuring Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band and Outlaws! All together in Bangor at Darlings Waterfront Pavilion on July 7.

waterfrontconcerts.com

Moxie Festival – July 13-15

Since 1982, the Moxie Festival has been held on the second weekend in July in Lisbon, Maine. And just in case you’re “from away” and wondering “What exactly is Moxie?” we’ll fill you in on this Maine treasure. Moxie is a uniquely New England soft drink. Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union, Maine, first marketed Moxie as medicine in 1876 in Lowell, Massachusetts, according the Moxie Festival website, and it was guaranteed to cure multiple ills, including “loss of manhood, paralysis and softening of the brain.” To take advantage of the new and growing soft drink market, it was later put on the soft drink market in 1884 as “Beverage Moxie Nerve Food” and eventually just “Moxie.” What’s it taste like? Well, it’s root beer-adjacent but not as sweet — some love it, some say it tastes like the medicine it was originally advertised as. You’ll just have to try it for yourself at the festival!

moxiefestival.com

North Atlantic Blues Festival – July 14-15

Featuring two full days of live music, the North Atlantic Blues Festival at Rockland Harbor Park will feature Bobby Rush, Wee Willie Walker and the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, Tab Benoit and more! In addition to all day live entertainment, the festival has vendors selling a wide array of food, drinks and crafts. Overlooking the picturesque Rockland Harbor, this festival is not to be missed!

northatlanticbluesfestival.com

Bucksport Bay Festival – July 20-22

Food, crafts, a 5K run, pageant, parade, music and more! All on the on the beautiful Bucksport Waterfront. Bucksport is just a short drive (about 30 minutes) from Dirigo Pines.

bucksportbaychamber.com

Kneading Conference – July 26-27

What’s better than fresh made bread? Farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, researchers, and grain enthusiasts from around the world gather for two days of intensive baking workshops, wood-fired oven building workshops, and discussions about grain growing and running grain businesses. Attendees choose from hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions and more.

kneadingconference.com

Stay tuned to DiscoverDirigo.com for more Maine events and fun throughout the summer! And add your own suggestions to the comments area below!

Living in Vacationland — Part 1: June Events

Summer in Vacationland means festivals and fairs aplenty! And they’re not just for tourists. Plan the ultimate “staycation” and check out these fun events and happenings throughout the summer and close enough to Dirigo Pines for a day trip or quick weekend getaway!

Acadia Birding Festival — May 31-June 3

Celebrate the ecological wonders of the birds of the Gulf of Maine at the Acadia Birding Festival. Explore Mount Desert Island — just over an hour away from Dirigo Pines — and its birds through numerous events and venues. Greet warblers on early morning birding walks, visit with puffins and pelagic birds at sea, and observe Peregrine Falcons at an active breeding site in Acadia National Park.

acadiabirdingfestival.com

Maine Blues Festival — June 15-17

Enjoy the musical stylings of dozens of Maine blues artists at a variety of venues in the Naples area (about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Dirigo Pines). Want more blues? Stay tuned for the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland (about an hour and 45 minutes away) coming July 14-15.

mainebluesfestival.com

northatlanticbluesfestival.com

Melissa Etheridge at Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery — June 16

Enjoy a beautiful summer evening of music set in a stunning vineyard with farm-to-table pub fare and a wide selection of Maine craft wine and beer. And it’s only about an hour and half away from Dirigo Pines in Union. That’s how to take advantage of living in vacationland!

savageoakes.com

Maine Whoopie Pie Festival — June 23

If you haven’t been to the Whoopie Pie Festival, you need to make it a “must” for this summer. Fun music, tons of vendors, lots of food — and whoopie pies in every flavor and form imaginable. Dark chocolate, blueberry, red velvet, oatmeal cookie, lemon, orange… nom, nom nom. And Dover-Foxcroft is less than a hour from Dirigo Pines!

mainewhoopiepiefestival.com

Stay tuned to DiscoverDirigo.com for more Maine events and fun throughout the summer!

Events to Celebrate Spring

Does it feel like we had to wait extra long for spring to finally spring up this year? I blame Dirigo Dug for making us hopeful for an early spring. (Watch his prediction here. I just don’t know about that guy sometimes.) But springtime in Maine is nothing if unpredictable — then again, it’s always worth the wait. Check out these harbingers of warmer weather and plan to get outside!

  • Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race: In nearby Bangor, every April we celebrate the arrival of spring by canoeing the Kenduskeag Stream in bizarre costumes — or simply watching from banks with the rest of the river vultures (even the spectators have their own special lingo at this annual spectacle on water). Six Mile Falls (click here for directions from Dirigo Pines) is a good spot to watch some wicked wipe outs or head to the finish line in downtown Bangor. Remember to dress warm and bring snacks. This year’s race is scheduled for Saturday, April 21. Check out kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com for more info.
  • Orono Bog Walk: Set to open May 1, this incredible natural resource is just minutes from Dirigo Pines and a great place to take a springtime walk. Learn more about the Bog Walk here. The boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly facility, and benches for rest and contemplation are provided at least every 200 feet. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Bog Walk.
  • Sea Dogs Opening Day: Opening day at Hadlock Field is set for April 13, versus the Rumble Ponies. Hadlock is home to the Portland Sea Dogs — Maine’s minor league baseball team that’s affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. Fun fact: 13 of 25 former Sea Dogs are slated for the Red Sox opening day roster. The Sea Dogs season consists of 140 games (70 home and 70 away) against 11 opponents. Sea Dogs tickets are reasonably priced and the city of Portland makes a fun day or weekend trip from Dirigo Pines! You might even meet Slugger the Sea Dog if you’re lucky! Click here for more: www.seadogs.com.
  • National Park Week: Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free. Get into Acadia National Park for free on April 21, the first day of National Park Week. Take advantage and beat the crowds to Acadia, one of the nation’s most popular parks. Can’t make it this April? No problem. Everyone age 62 and over can get a lifetime pass to America’s National Park for $80; annual senior passes are just $20!

Take in a Show

Our area has become a hotspot of major shows and concerts — and now’s the time to stock up on your tickets! From nationally touring shows at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and the recently revitalized Collins Center in Orono to the Waterfront Concert series that brings major acts to Portland and Bangor, there’s no shortage of things to do around here!

Get your tickets soon for these upcoming events:

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

April 4 at 7 p.m. — Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the hilarious hit show that won the 2014 Tony Award® for Best Musical. It’s the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way… and be done in time for tea.

Click here for more information.

Masterworks V: Mozart & Beethoven

April 8 at 3 p.m. — Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

The BSO under Maestro Lucas Richman continues its multi-year Beethoven cycle with the composer’s First Symphony, followed by Mozart’s glorious Mass in C Minor, a beloved work that will feature the University of Maine Singers and Oratorio Society in our annual collaboration.

Click here for more information. 

The Wizard of Oz

April 10 at 7:30 p.m. — Cross Insurance Center, Bangor

This production is a spectacular celebration of the classic 1939 film. It’s a new, refreshed and lavish rendition of the beloved classic. Audiences young and old, seeing it for the first time or the fifth, will be dazzled by the brightly colored sets, charmed by its timeless score and enthralled with its breathtaking special effects. Whether it creates new memories or conjures them up from the past, everyone deserves to experience or relive the wonderful, whimsical and enduring story.

Click here for more information. 

Comedian Jim Gaffigan

May 6 at 7 p.m. — Cross Insurance Center, Bangor

The Fixer Upper Tour is the new show from Jim Gaffigan, a Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. Last December, Gaffigan became one of only ten comics in history to sell out Madison Square Garden and few months prior, Gaffigan had the honor of performing for Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia.

Click here for more information. 

Jason Aldean

May 27 at 7:30 p.m. — Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, Bangor

Waterfront Concerts presents the return of two-time and reigning ACM “Entertainer of the Year” country music’s Jason Aldean on his High Noon Neon Tour with special guests Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina live at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.

Click here for more information. 

February Fun and Events

Sure, it’s cold out, but that’s no reason to hibernate. There’s lots to do all over our area this month — that’s just one of the reasons to love living at Dirigo Pines. Check out these fun activities, and add your own suggestions to the comments!

All Month Long: High School Basketball Tournaments at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor

It’s tourney time! High school basketball culminates with a massive month-long tournament, and Bangor is host to Classes B North, C, North, and D North at Cross Insurance Center. This exciting championship is not to be missed. Visit mpa.cc for a full schedule.

Feb. 1: Cinderella at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor

It’s the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love— the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists!

Feb. 1-18: Escanaba in da Moonlight at the Penobscot Theatre in Bangor

Check out the Maine premiere of this play by Jeff Daniels. When the Soady clan gathers at the family’s camp for the opening day of deer season, 35-year-old Reuben bears the dubious distinction of being the oldest Soady in the history of the Soadys never to have bagged a buck. In a hunting story to beat all hunting stories, Reuben goes to extraordinary lengths to remove himself from the family record book. 

Feb. 25: Masterworks IV: Winter Dreams at the Collins Center in Orono

Acclaimed pianist Orli Shaham joins the BSO for Bartok’s thrilling Piano Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1, “Winter Dreams”, paints the perfect picture for Maine in February. Smetana’s sparkling Overture to The Bartered Bride opens the program.

What you looking forward to this month? Share your event below!

Out and About: Follow the Maine Art Museum Trail

With a stunning coastline, colorful seasons, rolling fields and a rich history, it’s no wonder our state inspires so many artists — including many creative folks right here at Dirigo Pines. Interested in diving into local art and Maine culture? The Maine Art Museum Trail is great place to start. The trail is a collection of eight museums from Bangor to Ogunquit  featuring more than 73,000 works of art, including the talents of famed artists like Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Pick and choose museums for great day trips, or follow the loop to complete the Maine Art Museum Trail!

University of Maine Museum of Art

40 Harlow St., Bangor

Make downtown Bangor (just a short drive from Dirigo Pines) the first stop on your trip. UMaine’s museum focuses on  “diverse contemporary exhibitions, with a permanent collection focusing on works of art since 1945, and educational programming.” Their permanent collection includes over 3,800 works of art from names like Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, Alex Katz, and Andrew Wyeth.

Farnsworth Art Museum

16 Museum St., Rockland

Head east next and enjoy the beautiful and inspiring Maine coastline along Route 1. Stop in Rockland at the Farnsworth Art Museum for all things Wyeth — three generations of Wyeths, from Andrew to N.C. to Jamie. “Andrew Wyeth at 100” is currently on display through the end of the month. The museum boasts over 15,000 works of art, including Louise Nevelson’s sculptures.

Rockland’s new addition to the arts community is also worth a stop — the Center for Maine Contemporary Art’s new museum at 21 Winter St. just recently opened and features works from the latest generation of artists.

Monhegan Museum of Art & History

1 Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan

A little off the beaten path (or art trail as it were), the Mohegan Museum of Art is home to works from island artists and those inspired by the island. Discover art from Andrew Wyeth, Alice Stoddard, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent and more. The museum is house in the historic Monhegan Light Station, with pieces spanning two centuries worth of artists.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

9400 College Station, Brunswick

Recently renovated, Bowdoin’s museum is one of the oldest collegiate art collections in the nation, founded in 1811. Open to the public at no charge, it’s worth a stop to check out some of the 20,000 works in the museum’s collection.

Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square, Portland

Even the building (in the heart of the city) housing the Portland Museum of Art is a work of art — designed by IM Pei, who also designed the Louvre Pyramids in Paris. Collection highlights include works from Winslow Homer, Dahlov Ipcar, Renoir, Degas, Alex Katz, Edward Hopper, Monet, Robert Indiana, and more.

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

543 Shore Road, Ogunquit

You’ll have to mark this museum for a summer visit — it’s currently closed for the winter with plans to open for the season May 1, 2018. But it’s worth a special visit with an impressive collection of works by Peggy Bacon, Jack Levine, Rockwell Kent, Will Barnet, Walt Kuhn, Marsden Hartley, Charles Woodbury, and more on display. Not to mention it’s stunning location along Maine’s coast and it’s garden displays.

Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston

75 Russell St., Lewiston

Turn the car back northbound on your tour and head toward Lewiston. Bates College is currently displaying an exhibit from sculptor Rona Pondick and painter Robert Feintuch through March 2018. In addition to its temporary exhibits, the museum includes a permanent collection of 5,000 art works of regional, national, or international connection to Maine.

Colby Museum of Art

5600 Mayflower Hill, Waterville

Just a hour from Dirigo Pines, the museum at Colby College in Waterville is housed in a three-story glass pavilion opened in 2013 and one of the largest art museums in Maine. Collections include works from John Marin, and American art from the early 18th century to today.

Want to learn more about the Maine Art Museum Trail? Click here! Happy trails!

 

Holiday Festivals and Festivities 

Get in a festive mood with these upcoming events and activities close to Dirigo Pines! Share your favorite holiday festivities in the comments below!

Nov. 17-Dec. 31: Gardens Aglow

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay

Over 500,000 LED lights will decorate the gardens this winter, making this the biggest light display in Maine. Get your tickets early! In addition to the lighting, visitors will enjoy music, special food and beverage options and holiday shopping. Be sure to check out other activities in the Boothbay area, including a visit from Santa, sales, and the Festival of Lights.

www.mainegardens.org 

boothbaylights.com

Dec. 2: Festival of Lights Parade

Downtown Bangor

The Rotary Club of Bangor hosts this annual parade featuring dozens of entries all lit up for the holidays. The parade steps off at 4:30 p.m. As one might expect, Santa Claus will be the main attraction; his appearance will formally usher in the holiday season. Watch for other activities earlier in the day, including winter art making from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Maine Museum of Art at 40 Harlow St.; Santa and cookie decorating from 1-4 p.m. at Bagel Central; and the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra Music-A-Thon from 2-4:30 p.m. at the Bangor Arts Exchange at 193 Exchange St. 

www.visitbangormaine.com

Dec. 2-3: Victorian Christmas

Penobscot Marine Museum, Fowler-True-Ross Sea Captain’s House & Museum Store, Searsport

The Ship Captain’s house is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with live music and holiday-themed readings. The Town of Searsport’s Tree Lighting And Carol Singing are on Friday night. 

www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org

Dec. 7-30: Beauty and the Beast 

The Penobscot Theatre, Bangor

It’s a tale as old as time — and sure to be a holiday hit for all ages! Enjoy Disney’s musical rendition of Beauty and the Beast, live on stage in downtown Bangor. Make a day of it and check out great local shopping and dining downtown while you’re at it!

www.penobscottheatre.org

Dec. 16-17: Bangor Symphony Orchestra presents “The Nutcracker”

Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

A holiday tradition for all ages, the BSO’s annual production of The Nutcracker with the Robinson Ballet is beloved by audiences throughout Maine. Join us for as a magical production as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker grace the stage of the Collins Center for the Arts. 

www.bangorsymphony.org

Dec. 19: The Oak Ridge Boys – Christmas Celebration Tour

Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

With a mix of traditional and contemporary songs, this Grammy-award winning quartet is bringing its Christmas show, complete with trees, falling snow and a visit from Santa, to the Collins Center, just down the road from Dirigo Pines. 

collinscenterforthearts.com 

Around Town: Craft Fair Season

On the search for fun and unique gifts to give this holiday? You’re in luck — it’s craft fair time and Dirigo Pines is surrounded by fairs with something for everyone. Here are few to mark on the calendar — and we welcome you to leave your favorite craft fair suggestions below!

Nov. 4-5: The 29th annual Bangor Arts & Crafts Show is coming to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $3 at the door.

Enjoy all the wonderful handcrafted items that United Maine Craftsmen members have to offer! There will also be free gift giveaways! United Maine Craftsmen is a non-profit membership organization founded in 1969 to promote Maine artists by providing opportunities for marketing, education and collaboration.

For more info, click here or email unitedmainecraftsmen@gmail.com.

Nov. 11-12: Stop by the Maine Harvest Festival’s 7th annual event at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

This amazing, local event invites those in the Greater Bangor Area and the great state of Maine to come celebrate farm fresh. The Maine Harvest Festival brings together farmers, food processors, brewers, fiber artisans, chefs, presenters and more to one area where they can showcase, sell, demonstrate and campaign as well as sample, purchase, learn and enjoy all the wonderful things the Maine Harvest Festival has to offer! 

Learn more information, visit MaineHarvestFestival.com

Nov. 18: Looking for something a little different? Craftastic is an alternative craft fair celebrating talented, independent creators from Maine and New England. It’s happening at the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit craftasticmaine.com for more information.

Nov 24-26: Give a Maine-made gift this holiday. United Maine Craftsmen artisans present their 43rd annual Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show, selling their locally made products at the Brewer Auditorium on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit unitedmainecraftsmen.com.

Also keep an eye out this month for: The Zonta Club of Bangor’s annual Marketplace, Antique and Craft Fair at Brewer Auditorium. Always a fun day, with tons of vendors for your Christmas shopping. Stop at the Zonta Cafe for a delicious lunch of homemade chowder and other treats. And don’t miss the Silent Auction and Food to Go where you can get sweets and lots of take home meals.

Stephen King Fun for the Constant Reader

Feeling brave? This October is the perfect time to take advantage of living so close to a world famous horror author and jump into some paranormal activity. Stephen King is a graduate of the nearby University of Maine in Orono and calls Bangor (often appearing in his books under the guise of Derry) home. From haunted sewer grates to sematary tours, there’s lots of ghoulish fun to be had.

Go See IT

If those red balloons that keep popping up all over town send shivers down your spine, maybe it’s time to go see Stephen King’s IT. Check out the new film on the big screen (now showing in local theaters and the Bangor Drive-In) for the full fear factor. You could even prep ahead of time by adding the novel to required reading for your book club or planning an IT tour around Derry, I mean Bangor, to get in the mood. Visit the Paul Bunyan statue on Main Street in front of the Cross Insurance Center — the statue comes to life in the novel thanks to that clever clown Pennywise. Check out the sewer drain on the corner of Jackson and Union Street where Pennywise lured young Georgie Denbrough (just don’t stick your arm in there), then head up the hill to the Thomas Hill Standpipe that inspired the haunted water tower in the story.

Take the Full Tour

For the full Stephen King experience and visits to many other nearby spots that inspired King, check out SK Tours of Maine. Stu Tinker offers private narrated tours seven days a week all year round. The tour features about 30 stops at places King worked, lived, spots that have inspired him, and actual film locations from his movies. Check out more here. 

Rare Collection

New to downtown Bangor is Gerald Winters & Son, featuring an impressive collection of rare Stephen King books and memorabilia. Part store, part museum, you’ll find signed copies of books, T-shirts and posters, fun collectibles, and lots of rarities. An asbestos wrapped version of Firestarter, perhaps? You’ll also find some awesome first-edition works by J.R.R. Tolkien, J.D. Salinger and more.

And one last stop — drive by King’s house at 47 West Broadway in Bangor and stop for a picture in front of the famed gargoyled gate. Just keep an eye out for red balloons.