Sparkling lakes? Check. Scenic hiking trails? Check. Soft summer breezes? Check. But they are just the beginning of what draws people to the greater Oakland area each summer.

Take music, for example. For more than 70 years the New England Music Camp, 8 Goldenrod Lane, Sidney, (now a part of the Snow Pond Center for the Arts) has opened its elegant Bowl in the Pines for free weekend concerts. This year’s schedule begins Saturday, July 7 and ends Sunday, August 12. Concerts begin at 3 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. No concert on Saturday, July 21. Bench seating is available or pack lawn chairs and settle in the shade of one of those magnificent pines.

The 2018 Snow Pond Music Festival begins June 10 and ends June 26, filled with recitals, performances and a Sunday, June 24 Jazz Brunch at 10:30 a.m. Details at SnowPond.org.

The Snow Pond Symphony celebrates American legends Leonard Bernstein and John Williams on Sunday, July 1 at 6 p.m. in Bowl in the Pines. A bar-b-que picnic begins at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 adult with bar-b-cue, $18 adult concert only. $15 student/child with bar-b-que. $9 student concert only.

Consult the Snow Pond Center for the Arts website SnowPond.org for the July performance schedule of Alumni Guest Artist and jazz pianist Jim Holton.

July 21 brings the 39th New England Music Camp (NEMC) Annual Pops Concert at Bowl in the Pines. The 6 p.m. performance also features a silent auction and door prizes. Tickets $20, with all proceeds benefiting the NEMC scholarship fund.

The Camp’s musical theater students conclude the 2018 season with two performances of the deliciously devious “Little Shop of Horrors” in Alumni Hall on Thursday, August 9 and Friday, August 10. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for adults $20 and students $10. Limited seating.

NEMC celebrates its traditional Maine Appreciation Day Sunday, August 12, beginning with a 1 p.m. Artisan Market featuring artists, craftspersons and gourmet carts purveying their wares. The 3 p.m. concert is in the Bowl in the Pines and is free.

Monday, August 13 the Snow Pond Center for the Arts welcomes Don Campbell for an Evening of Dan Fogelberg music in Alumni Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. Concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets $20. Cash bar.

Broadway comes to Maine on Tuesday, August 28 when musical award nominees Bryce Pinkham and Scarlett Strallen take the audience on a magical evening of Broadway classics directed by Paul Staroba. The Alumni Hall doors open at 6:30 p.m. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for VIP seating with Meet and Greet $35; adult general admission $20; student general admission $15. Cash bar.

The 2018 season closes with a Wednesday, September 5 performance by “The Fab Four: the Ultimate Tribute.” With note-for-note precision, these performers recreate the magic of the Beatles. Gates open under the Bowl in the Pines lights at 6:30 p.m. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. VIP tickets $35; general admission $25. So “Hey Jude,” spend “A Day in the Life” in “Penny Lane” because “Here Comes the Sun.”

Tickets and details for all shows are available at SnowPond.org. All proceeds for ticketed events benefit the student scholarship program.

Then there’s Oakfest 2018, Oakland’s annual weekend celebration July 27 to 29. The opening parade, hosted by the Oakland Lions Club, begins Friday at 6 p.m., “honoring our first responders,” says Oakland Town Office administrator Kathy Paradis. Food vendors and an adult beverage tent will add to the celebration. To participate in the parade, consult the Oakfest website at Oakfestmaine.com for forms and rules.

Bring your lawn chairs for the Main Street street dance following the parade—although the Rockit Band’s music and RJ the DJ may keep you up and dancing.

Saturday’s open-air market bursts with family activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Williams Elementary School, 55 Pleasant Street, Oakland. What’s there? Artisans and crafters, food, and kids’ activities like a bounce house, slide, bungee run and petting zoo for starters. Live music and entertainment from The Merry-Go-Round Band and Camp Manitou will fill the air. Horse and carriage rides, a Civil War reenactment and an antique car show appeal to all ages and interests.

The Sunday morning Triad begins at 8 a.m. at the Oakland Boat Landing on Old Belgrade Avenue. Individuals or teams will paddle, run and bike their way to the finish line. Cheering onlookers welcome! For details and registration information, please consult Oakfestmaine.com.

For more Oakfest information, consult its website at Oakfestmaine.com or telephone Kathy Paradis at 465-7358.

Calling all kids. It’s Libraries Rock! at the Oakland Public Library, 18 Church Street, Oakland. Each of these Friday morning programs begin at 10:30 a.m.:
July 13 Music with Judy Pancoast;
July 20 Bug Invasion! By the Chewonki Foundation;
July 27 Animal Talk with Gene Roy;
August 3 Everyone is a Musician! with Peter Godfrey;
August 10 Celebration Party! with the Library staff.
Parents of kids loving art, music or theater can contact Snow Pond Center for the Arts for information about their six separate weeks of arts day camp at the Center, 8 Goldenrod Lane in Sidney. For details contact enrichment.snowpond.org or telephone Jen Birch at (844) 476-6976 x401.
Let’s eat! What’s summer without a bar-b-que? The Oakland Firefighters annual chicken bar-b-que lights up at the Fire Station at 11 Fairfield Street on Saturday, July 14 from 11 a.m. until sold out. Each $9 meal includes a half chicken, roll, chips, coleslaw and soda. Proceeds help finance fire-fighting equipment purchases.
Lobster, anyone? The annual Oakland Lions Club lobster bake has moved to the Oakland Waterfront Park and Boat Landing on Old Belgrade Avenue, Oakland. This year’s event takes place Saturday, August 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dine onsite to enjoy the lakeside view or take out. Each dinner includes a lobster (or two), baked potato, corn on the cob, blueberry cake, and a cold soft drink. Single lobster dinner is $14. A double lobster dinner is $22. Please reserve your dinner by calling Tom at 702-3935.
How about ice cream! The Oakland Historical Society plans two summer ice cream socials at the Macartney House Museum, 25 Main Street, Oakland. For dates and times, please consult the Society website at rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mecoakla.

Yard Saling! The Oakland Lions Club continues their monthly summer yard sales. Friday and Saturday, June 22 and 23; Saturday, July 14, and Friday and Saturday, August 17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s bargain heaven at the Lions Club building, 15 Hubbard Street, Oakland.

This summer, enjoy the small-town charm of Oakland.

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