Crossroads International Celtic Festival debuts in western Maine
Celtic musicians from Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States will be performing in the inaugural Crossroads International Celtic Festival, Sept. 11-15. The festival, modeled on the Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, will feature 18 live performances in small towns in western Maine’s Franklin and Oxford counties, as well as companion events such as community suppers, after-hours programs, and art walks.
Concert venues include a hike-in hut on the Maine Huts & Trails system, the Oxford County Fair, Oxford High School, Kingfield’s Stanley Museum, Rumford’s Town Hall, Norland’s Living History Museum’s Washburn Meeting House, Sunday River resort, and other theaters and halls, intimate and grand, from Eustis to Fryeburg, and Lovell to Farmington. A highlight will be after-hours clubs, in which musicians meet to share ideas and jam in a supportive, creative environment. Among the musicians committed are Buddy MacDonald, David Munnelly and Mick Conneely, Long Time Courting, Sprag Session, Boréal Tordeau, Don Roy Band, Frank Farrell, Gawler Family Band, and others. Ticket sales and information will be available online July 1. 207-562-4445, www.crossroadscelticfestival.com
In May, the Keeper’s House at Owls Head Light will become the new home of the American Lighthouse Foundation. “We’ve had the tower open for the last five years, and the question visitors always asked was if they could get inside the house. This past fall the Coast Guard asked if we’d be interested in the house,” says Bob Trapani Jr., executive director. “It’s a great place to tie in our mission at a light station.”
The first floor will be open to the public as an educational interpretive center. Visitors will be able to learn not only about the history of Owls Head, but also the history of lighthouses in general and Maine lighthouses as well. “We hope to foster more appreciation and awareness for the human side of the legacy that kept these lights burning for two centuries in Maine,” Trapani says. The opening day has yet to be set, but Trapani says definitely by Memorial Day weekend, and perhaps earlier. The Keeper’s House will be open Wed-Fri noon-4, and Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-4. The lighthouse tower is open Wed 1-4 and Sat-Sun 10-4. No admission is charged, but donations are welcome.
Bike Maine launches one-week supported ride
Join 350 cyclists on a 400-mile, fully supported ride from Sept. 7-14. The moderately difficult course loops from Orono, through Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Castine, Bar Harbor, Ellsworth, and back, covering 57-72 miles daily. The rolling terrain is best suited for fit, experienced riders. The $875 fee includes all but three meals, a lobster bake, beverages and snacks during the ride, transport for one bag, support vans, and campsites with showers, restrooms, entertainment, food vendors, and mechanics. Extra options include tent and porter service ($400) including set-up and take-down.
Hilary Nangle can be reached at hilarynangle.com.