Debut Exhibition of South African Photographer Jo Ractliffe at PEM

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is the proud host of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe’s U.S. debut exhibition. The exhibition, Someone Else’s Country, Photographs by Jo Ractliffe, features nearly 50 works from the aftermath of the bloody Angolan Civil War. That civil war was one of the longest and bloodiest in African history costing nearly 1.5 million lives and displacing millions more.

The exhibit will start on October 11, 2014 and will run through the spring of 2015

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Boston StrEATS Motors its Way to Franklin Square in Boston

Last night kicked off Boston StrEATS, a nighttime food truck festival in Franklin Square, a beautiful park on Washington Street in Boston’s South End. The festival will be a regular Thursday night occurrence from 5 PM to 9 PM featuring some of Boston’s best food trucks and live music. Time to put a recurring event into your calendar for Thursday nights!

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2014 Wings of Freedom Tour Winging Its Way Into New England

Unfortunately, the end of summer is in sight, but that is not completely bad news. As happens every year toward the end of summer, the Collings Foundation‘s Wings of Freedom Tour makes its way back to New England. So aviation buffs take note, the tour will touchdown starting in September. Following is the schedule for the New England portion of the tour:

  • 9/5 to 9/7, 2014 in Oxford, CT at the Waterbury-Oxford Airport
  • 9/12 to 9/14, 2013 in Norwood, MA at the Norwood Memorial Airport
  • 9/17 to 9/19, 2014 in Hyannis, MA at the Barnstable Municipal Airport
  • 9/19 – 9/21, 2014 in Worcester, MA at the Worcester Regional Airport

So if the dearth of air shows the last few years has you down, here is your chance to get a good shot of aviation history as the Collings Foundation brings their P-51, B-17, and B-24 planes to New England for you to see and tour.

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Summer Brewfest 2014 at Indian Ranch

Indian Ranch, known for their summer concert series, will take a break from concerts this coming weekend for their seventh annual Summer Brewfest. The Brewfest will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 2 to 6 PM and will feature brewers from all over the United States.

The New England states will be well represented with the following breweries in attendance:

From the rest of the country there will be a dozen other breweries in attendance even from as far away as Hawaii.

Musical entertainment will be provided by StilBurnin, and food by B.T.’s Smokehouse.

The long range forecast for the weekend is for beautiful weather – so how about some tasty cold brews on the shores of Webster Lake?

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Some Great Late Summer Festivals in Maine

Looking for some late summer festival fun? Well the State of Maine has some nice festivals on tap to help you bring the summer of 2014 home in a festive way.

  • American Folk Festival – The American Folk Festival brings a “celebration of multi-cultural traditional arts – music, dance, crafts, food and storytelling” to the Bangor waterfront August 22 through August 24, 2014. The festival features four stages of music and dance, craft demonstrations and exhibits, food, a marketplace, and much more. . .
  • Blistered FingersBlistered Fingers features great bluegrass music fun for the whole family. Come and listen to the world of banjos, fiddles, “and those high, lonesome harmonies” from August 20 to 23, 2014 in Litchfield, Maine.
  • Crown of Maine Balloon Fest – For a different type of festival check out the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest in Presque Isle from August 21 to 24, 2014. The festival will feature a dozen hot air balloons, a street fair, a craft fair, and more.

So if you are looking for some festive fun before the kids head back to school, check out one of these great festivals in Maine.

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Maine Maritime Museums and Aquariums

Continuing with our series on the maritime history of New England finds us in the State of Maine. It should come as no surprise that the New England state with the longest coastline is home to many wonderful museums chronicling maritime history, including the following:

Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, ME – Learn about the maritime heritage of the Kennebunks at the Brick Store Museum.

Maine Lighthouse Museum at the Maine Discovery Center, Rockland, ME – At the Maine Lighthouse Museum you will find a large collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses, as well as an extensive collection of lighthouse artifacts and Coast Guard memorabilia.

Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, ME – Learn about the maritime heritage of Maine through exhibits and artifacts at the Maine Maritime Museum. The museum also offers lighthouse and nature cruises as well as Bath Iron Works trolly tours.

Maine State Aquarium,  West Boothbay Harbor, ME – You will find a variety of aquatic exhibits at the Maine State Aquarium.

Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum, Port Clyde, ME – Learn a little bit about the local history of mid-coast Maine at the Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum.

Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center, Brunswick, ME – The collection at the Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center at Bowdoin College is built around material donated by arctic explorer and researcher Donald B. MacMillan.

Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME – The Penobscot Marine Museum celebrates the “maritime culture of the Penobscot Bay region and beyond”.

Portland Head Light, Museum, & Gift Shop, Portland, ME – You will find the Portland Head Light, Museum, & Gift Shop in Fort Williams Park. The museum is open from Memorial Day to the Friday following Columbus Day.

Winslow Homer Studio, Portland, ME – Run by the Portland Museum of Art, the Winslow Homer Studio is where the great American artist known for his paintings of marine subjects lived and painted. The studio is open from early April through mid-November.

Other Articles in this Series

Picture credits: The picture of the Maine Maritime Museum waterfront is by the Maine Maritime Museum and is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


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Great Outdoor Fun with Maine Huts and Trails

Looking to bring this summer home with some great outdoor activities. Well Maine Huts and Trails has some great ideas for those who live to be outdoors:

  • Bike with a Guide: How about biking with an experienced mountain biking guide? Get to know the trails of the Carrabassett Valley with an experienced mountain biker. The bike with a guide tour is free to guests staying at Poplar or Stratton Brook Hut and is offered every Thursday in August.
  • Guided Dead River Paddle Trip: Head out with a Main Registered Guide for a 2-night, 3-day trip paddling down the Dead River to Grand Falls Hut. This Guided Dead River Paddle Trip is offered on August 17-19 and September 28-30, 2014.
  • Guided Flagstaff Paddle Trip: Another adventurous paddle with a Main Registered Guide – in the Guided Flagstaff Paddle Trip you get to paddle on Flagstaff Lake, spend two nights at Flagstaff Hut, and one overnight camping on the lake. Dates for this trip are August 12-15 or September 22-25, 2014
  • Hike & Paddle at Stratton Brook Hut: Starting at Stratton Brook Hut you hike to Stratton Brook Pond with a guide and then go for a relaxing paddle. This day trip is available Sunday through Thursday in August and into the Fall. You may want to think about it when foliage season comes around…

There is still plenty of wonderful summer and fall weather left so get out into the great outdoors with Maine Huts and Trails!

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2014 Portland Chamber Music Festival

Picture of Harpist Bridget Kibbey

Harpist Bridget Kibbey

August 14, 2014 marks the beginning of the 21st season for the Portland Chamber Music Festival (PCMF). The PCMF is held at the Abromson Center on the Portland Campus of the University of Southern Maine. The festival has a well earned reputation for presenting outstanding performers and imaginative programming. This year’s concert schedule includes:

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8 PM: Opening Night presenting Stravinsky, Meltzer, and Tchaikovsky.
  • Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 8 PM: Harpist Bridget Kibbey and Friends
  • Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 8 PM: Honoring the Legacy of Cellist Marc Johnson
  • Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 8 PM: Season Finale with Host Suzanne Nance presenting works of Vivaldi, Josh Newton, and Brahms

The Portland Chamber Music Festival will also present its annual free Children’s Concert on Sunday, August 17, 2014 at noon.

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Soulfest 2014 in Gilford, NH

Christian music fans take note. Soulfest will take up residence at Gunstock in Gilford, NH on August 7 through 9, 2014. Billed as New England’s premier Christian Music Festival, Soulfest will feature artists on five different stages including:

  • Toby Mac
  • Switchfoot
  • Third Day
  • Kari Jobe
  • Natalie Grant
  • Mandisa
  • Britt Nocole
  • Crowder
  • Thousand Foot Crutch
  • . . . and many more . . .

Soulfest will also feature speakers and workshops. All told there are more than 125 artists and speakers at Soulfest.

Looking for a place to stay for Soulfest. For the festival Gunstock expands their camping availability. You may also want to check out these Hotel options in Gilford.

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Happy Birthday Cape Cod Canal

On January 29, 1914, one day after the start of World War I, the Cape Cod Canal opened for business. Today is the 100th anniversary of that grand opening. To learn more about the Cap Cod Canal’s history here. Or check out this centennial celebration video.


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