Things to do: two art festivals and ale on the railway

See “Pony” at Mechanics’ Hall in Portland. Graphics by Michi Ohira

19:00 Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 17:00 Sunday. Until September 4 (not check-in on August 28). Mechanics’ Hall, 519 Congress St., Portland, $20 to $100.
The Portland Theater Festival concludes with a play called “Pony,” based on Sylvan Oswald’s play, which will run for several weeks at Mechanics Hall. Pony is an ex-convict trans man who decides to start over in a small country town. There, he falls in love with a murder-obsessed waitress, and questions about his past begin to surface. “Pony” meaningfully explores generational differences, as well as class and gender.

Shoppers at the Braunschweig Outdoor Art Festival explore juried exhibitions by artists at last year’s event. Photo courtesy of the Brunswick Downtown Association

Braunschweig Open Air Arts Festival
Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Downtown Brunswick.
There are plenty of reasons to head to the 16th annual Braunschweig Outdoor Arts Festival on Saturday. The event features more than 80 craft exhibits and demonstrations that will be displayed on the sidewalks and in the Town Mall on Main Street. Plus, you’ll find 10 specialty vendors and some entertainment for kids, including jugglers, clowns and hula hoops. The stage will be set up in front of the Bank of America and you can see performances by Jimmy Joe and the Jumbol’ Ayuhs (Cajun), Backwoods Road (bluegrass) and Liza & The Erratics (swing and jazz). Or you can hear traveling musicians playing many genres throughout the day.

Performance during River Jam 2021. Photo courtesy of Delilah Poupore

River Jam & Fringe Festival
Friday and Saturday. Downtown, Biddeford.
Now in its eighth year, the River Jam & Fringe Festival is a free two-day celebration of art, music and food in Biddeford. The Friday night Fringe Festival runs from 5pm to 9pm on Main Street and Chevenell Park, where you’ll find a variety of theatre, dance, music, art and spoken word performances. Saturday’s River Jam Festival features live music and family activities, including a water slide at Mechanics Park. You’ll also see Bollywood dancers, and if you’re of legal age, you can enjoy beer and a wine garden. Music artists include Mehuman Music, Love By Numb3rs and Coyote Island. There will be several food trucks parked throughout, and the evening will end on an exciting note with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad in Portland. Brianna Sukup/Staff Photographer

Reiki and Ales
6, 7 and 8 pm on Friday. Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, 49 Thames St., Portland, $16-$25.
Who doesn’t love a train ride? Relax in Portland’s East End aboard the Maine Narrow Gauge Train while sipping a delicious beverage and taking in the ocean views. If you’re 21 or older, you can drink local beer or hard seltzer, and for everyone else, soda, fruit juice, and non-alcoholic seltzer. After your adventure, head out at night and find dinner at dozens of restaurants on and around the waterfront. The last run of the summer is September 2.

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