Attending outdoor concerts in central Maine is as good as it gets for a summer outing. Most events are free and family-friendly, and they all provide a scenic, sociable setting in picturesque towns or villages, near views of water and reached by routes that wind through a countryside tapestry of woods, fields, and lakes.
From the unique venue of a drive-in theater to the historic music camp Bowl in the Pines to an inviting range of town parks and bandstands, outdoor concerts will be available during the remainder of the summer almost every day of the week to top off a schedule of vacation, work or what to do with the relatives.
Pick a day, pack up the kids and some lawn chairs, and maybe the dog, and definitely the guests and a bag with warm sweaters and perhaps some snack money and the outing is on.
If it’s Thursday, go to the Green, the Village Green in Belgrade Lakes. Every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the Village Green Music Series offers entertainment around the gazebo, hosted by musician Chris Poulson. For those staying in the village it’s a good walking destination.
(Monthly, the Union Coffeehouse has a performance on the Village Green. The next one is Saturday, August 20.)
Also on Thursday, a WaterFront Music Series takes place in Oakland’s WaterFront Park from 6 to 8 p.m. The park is on Lake Messalonskee and also has a playground, picnic tables and during the day a swimming area.
If it’s Friday there are concert options in different directions. The Johnson Hall Free Waterfront Concert Series take place in the Waterfront Park on the Kennebec River in Gardiner from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and the University of Maine at Farmington Summer Concert Series holds free concerts on the lawn of the Emery Community Arts Center at 7 p.m.
Farmington is also the site of the Narrow Gauge Cinemas and Drive-In where the Whistlestop Concert Series take place periodically through the summer.
Friday evening, too, Waterville Rocks with a free, family-friendly concert series at the Head Of Falls in downtown Waterville. Music starts at 6 p.m.
On Saturday and Sunday, the New England Music Camp in Sidney presents free concerts at 3 p.m. at the historic and recently renovated Bowl in the Pines on Lake Messalonskee. The Bowl in the Pines is also the site of the Snow Pond Center for the Arts ticketed showcase events. Go hither for more information about all concerts, free and paid, at the New England Music Camp and Snow Pond Center for the Arts.
Sunday’s concert schedule includes concerts at Norcross Point in Winthrop from 2 to 4 p.m. and in Coburn Park in Skowhegan from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. Norcross Point is on Lake Maranacook and Coburn Park is near the Kennebec River and both are on the edge of towns where eating out could be added to the outing.
Mondays the Western Maine Foothills Concerts in the Park Meetinghouse Park take place in the gazebo from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in downtown Farmington, another neat edge of town walkaround (and eat) location.
On Tuesday the Rock on the River, the Kennebec River, series takes place at the Grandstand in downtown Hallowell. Performances are from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, Mill Park in Augusta is the setting for a free summer concert series from 6 p.m. to sunset. Mill Park overlooks the Kennebec River.
Just when it seem like a week’s worth of concerts is over, consider all the concerts that are available at fairs and festivals, at community celebrations and old home days. That’s a lot of dates to make.
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