This Month It’s festival and food truck season

It’s festival and food truck season

This Month

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Battle of the Food Trucks. Photo courtesy of Stonewall Kitchen

Battle of the Food Trucks
June 8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2 Stonewall Lane, Stonewall Kitchen, York
This 5th annual battle of the food trucks includes music, games and, of course, some of the area’s best food trucks, including Mainely Burgers, Clyde’s Cupcakes, Mami and Crepe Elizabeth. There is a twist though; each food truck will offer menu items made with Stonewall Kitchen products.

Old Port Festival
June 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last call on the Old Port Festival, which is ending after a 46-year run. The Shoestring Theater puppets lead the final parade at 11 a.m., starting at the Press Hotel and kicking off a six-hour, free street party with live music and entertainment on four stages scattered through the Old Port.

Maine Initiatives’ Changemakers Celebration
June 13, 6–9 p.m.
O’Maine Studios, 54 Danforth St., Portland
Maine Initiatives’ 25th anniversary celebration recognizes 30 Changemakers—grassroots, community-based organizations working to advance racial justice and equity in Maine. With hors d’oeuvres and jazz by Viva & the Reinforcements. Honorees include Dawn Neptune Adams, an activist on tribal sovereignty and decolonization, and Doborah Felder, who was the first executive director of Maine Initiatives. ($60; maineinitiatives.org)

Wicked Maine Outdoor Festival*
June 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cumberland Fairgrounds, 197 Blanchard Road, Cumberland Center
This one-day festival includes archery and rock climbing, music by Sons of Alfond, food trucks, a craft beer and wine garden, shopping and information about all manner of outdoor stuff. Free for 12 and under, others $10 at eventbrite.com with proceeds benefiting Girl Scouts of Maine outdoor programs. Event address is wickedmaineoutdoorfest.com 

Maine Mega Yard Sale
June 22, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Farmington Fairgrounds, 282 High St., Farmington
This mega indoor-outdoor yard sale includes crafters, food vendors and antique dealers. Entrance free for kids 6 and under, all others $1; proceeds benefit Franklin County Animal Shelter.

Maine Yoga Festival. Photo of courtesy Patricia Cousins

Maine Yoga Festival
June 28–30
East End Community School, 195 North St., Portland
With more than 50 workshops and 45 teachers, this three-day event serves up yoga every which way—from restorative to aerial to downward dog on a paddleboard. Join the party Friday night with a blend of yoga, music and meditation with instructor Kelly Rich and DJ Taz Rashid. Passes range in price and include a $96 option for three workshops. The kayak-and-yoga excursion to Fort Gorges is sure to fill up. But anyone can drop by for “Yoga for ALL of Us,” a free community class taught by Katie Beane, Sunday from 8:30–10 a.m. Full schedule at maineyogafest.com.

*This calendar item has been updated to reflect the new name of the event and the correct price for tickets.  

Amy Paradysz, a freelance writer from Scarborough, is obsessed with community events.

CANOE CLASS
No experience is necessary to build a canoe in this women-only course

Elisa Schine putting a canoe to the test. Photo courtesy of Schine

Elisa Schine knows there are women who want to build boats. But in five summers of teaching traditional wood-and-canvas canoe construction at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, she’s only had two female students. So, this August, Schine is trying something different: a six-day course exclusively for women.

“The idea is to open a door,” Schine says. “Previous classes have been so male dominated, I wanted to give women an easy way to sign up. This is a class specifically for you.”

She describes the course as a “mad dash” to assemble boats made from the forms (think patterns) favored by Maine guides for more than a century, adapted from indigenous birch bark designs. The idea of steam-bending cedar “ribs,” fastening planks, stretching canvas and then trusting it all to float can sound intimidating, Schine says, but she emphasizes that no prior woodworking experience is necessary to enjoy building a canoe. When she started, she was familiar with some of the tools, but had none of the skills to use them. “I remember that very clearly,” she says. “It’s hard for adults to be beginners. We’re not used to it. It takes a lot of patience and managing frustration—but it can also be a lot of fun.”

Schine, who grew up in Vermont and spent summers paddling the waters around Grand Lake Stream in Maine, learned from the best; she’s a protégé of Rollin Thurlow, a master craftsman who helped write the definitive text for wood-and-canvas canoe building. She has sanded, cut and hammered beside him in his Atkinson workshop for six years.

Schine fondly remembers a married couple who came to Thurlow’s workshop a few years ago to learn the art of canoe building. It was the husband who wanted to study canoes, his wife was along for the ride. “She had a car full of knitting,” Schine recalls, “but she never touched it.” Instead the woman, with no woodworking experience, spent the whole week inside the workshop, absorbed in the process of boat making. The husband was astonished at his wife’s accomplishments each day in the shop. “I don’t think they had done anything like that together for a long time.”

At least two raffle-winning students in the Schine’s women-only course will take home almost-completed canoes at the end of the week. “All the boats will need is sanding and paint, sanding and varnish.” Considering that a new wood-and-canvas canoe can cost more than $5,000—and it’s less than $900 to attend Schine’s course—that’s a bargain for the lottery winners.

Traditional Wood-and-Canvas Canoe Construction with Elisa Schine will be offered at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin (3 1/2 hours north of Portland) Aug. 4–10. The school has a scholarship program and a 50% discount for high school and college students. Find more information and register at thewoodenboatschool.com.
—Erica Kaufmann

PORTLAND WINE WEEK

Syrah at sea? Portland Wine Week features sunset sails. Photo courtesy of Wine Wise Events

Portland’s Wine Week (June 17–23) is expanding in its second year, and in a very directed way: toward women. At last year’s inaugural event, a panel discussion about women in the wine industry generated so much interest that Erica Archer, the event’s founder, opted to open this year’s event with a full day of female-focused events, June 17, at the Falmouth Country Club.

There will be an expanded panel this year, including Stella Hernandez, owner and wine director of Lolita; Courtney “Coco” O’Neill, operations manager for Central Provisions and Tipo; and Carolyn Giles, sales representative for distributor Devenish Wines. Then there is a cook-off/pour-off featuring 10 sommeliers and five chefs—all Maine women—squaring off for a “Who Paired It Better?” dinner.

“I think it’s the largest showcase of talent in the restaurant scene the state has ever seen,” says Archer, a sommelier who also runs Wine Wise, an events company that specializes in wine education. “And there’s a little bit of competition, two sommeliers paired off with each chef. Guests will vote on each wine pairing for each course and overall.”

Portland Wine Week moves to the peninsula June 18 and continues through June 23 with classes, dinners, brunch, a blind tasting, a wine walk, sunset wine sails on Casco Bay and an excursion to Civil War-era Fort Gorges. Smaller events, especially anything taking place on a boat, will sell out in advance. But some aspects of Portland Wine Week aren’t ticketed, such as the Wine Passport. With a downloaded “passport,” you can collect stamps at the participating Portland restaurants. Get all the stamps and be entered to win an invitation to an event at next year’s Wine Week. If you come up shy on all the stamps, Archer promises you’ll at least be tasting something out of the ordinary by the glass at participating restaurants.

“There’s a trend in the wine industry that is shifting away from big bulk wine producers to high-quality small lots,” Archer says. “What makes Portland special is some restaurants here have relationships with those producers and we’re getting those wines here. It’s fun, for example, to try a beautiful sparkling wine from some obscure region of Spain.”

Other highlights include a dessert, port and Madeira at Gross Confection Bar (June 18), a food and Devenish Wines pairing menu at LB Kitchen (June 19) and daily oysters and sparkling wine specials at Island Creek Oysters’ The Shop throughout the week. For a full schedule, portlandwineweek.com.
—Amy Paradysz