Spring is the least trustworthy season in Maine; sometimes it snows in April, sometimes you can go to the beach in May. But even if we won’t sugarcoat it, we can pour maple syrup all over it because it all kicks off with Maine Maple Sunday Weekend, which is back in full swing this year.

Also returning is the All Roads Music Festival in Belfast with a sensational lineup. A couple of our mountain ski resorts have plenty of spring merriment scheduled, and let’s not forget our Portland Sea Dogs who can’t wait to run out to that diamond at Hadlock Field.

The previous two springs were challenging because of the many pandemic-related cancellations, but this year, you can choose from a bouquet of spring events and start getting back out there.

Dunn Family Maple in Buxton. Photo courtesy of Scott Dunn Photo courtesy of Scott Dunn

Maine Maple Sunday Weekend
Saturday and Sunday. Statewide. mainemapleproducers.com
Sweet dreams are made of this! Scott Dunn, president of the board of directors of the Maine Maple Producers and owner of Dunn Family Maple in Buxton agrees. Although it’s not a banner year for sap flow, he said, there will certainly be plenty of syrup to go around and more than 100 sugarhouses will be opening their doors so you can see maple syrup production up close. Many houses also have farm animals to visit with, and they’ll all be selling maple syrup. At Dunn’s farm, they’ll be firing up the doughnut maker, and you can also expect some sugarhouses to be serving Maine wild blueberry pancakes as Wyman’s is an official partner this year. Check with individual sugarhouses for schedules and details. How sweet it is!

Maine Garden + Marketplace
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Brick South at Thompson’s Point, Portland, $17, $12 seniors and veterans, free for under 12. mainegardenplusmarketplace.com
If your green thumb is looking a little pale, head to the Maine Garden + Marketplace to give it a massive recharge. More than 100 garden and landscape exhibits will be set up at Brick South for you to peruse. As you roam around, you’ll discover the latest gardening and arbor tools and supplies. You can also partake of tasty local food, craft beer and spirits. Best of all, you can get expert advice from the pros to discuss plans for everything from small gardens to big yardscaping projects. Think of this as one-stop shopping in a gardener’s paradise.

Competitor in a previous year’s Pond-A-Palooza at Sunday River Resort. Photo by Nick Lambert

Sunday River Spring Fest Weekend & Pond-A-Palooza
April 1-3 and April 9. Sunday River, 15 S. Ridge Road, Newry. sundayriver.com/events
Sunday River Resort has two fun reasons to venture to their slopes in April. First up is the Spring Fest Weekend from April 1-3. Picture a mountainside party with a very beachy theme. The return of spring is celebrated with live music, painkiller cocktails, barbecues and, of course, spring skiing. Make a day of it or book a room for the whole shebang.  Pond-A-Palooza is on April 9, and the annual pond skimming contest draws up to 100 participants, maybe including you! You’ll don a costume as you ski down a hill and skim your way across a chilly pond hoping to stay upright as long as possible.


Reggae Fest at Sugarloaf. Photo by Jamie Walter/Courtesy of Sugarloaf

Reggae Fest 
April 7-10. Sugarloaf, 5092 Access Road, Carrabassett Valley. sugarloaf.com
Baxter Outdoors invites you to bask in the glow of the Sugarloaf Reggae Festival. Over the course of four days, there will be multiple parties with two nights of live music in the King Pine room, three nights in The Widowmaker and plenty of outside entertainment on the temporary yet terrific “beach.” Reggae DJs will be spinning at Bullwinkle’s, and you’ll be feeling the vibe all weekend long. Head back to The Loaf on April 16 for the East Coast Pond Skimming championship, where you can either participate or cheer on skiers who skim their way across a not-so-frozen pond.

Portland Sea Dogs fans bundle up for an early-season game at Hadlock Field in 2019. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Portland Sea Dogs Opening Day
6 p.m. April 8. Hadlock Field, Portland, $8 to $16. portlandseadogs.com
One moment that signifies spring in Maine better than most others is the first pitch at Hadlock Field. Is it cold in April? You bet! But us Mainers will bundle up and cheer on the boys of summer as they face the New Hampshire Fisher Cats for a weekend series. The hot dogs will be sizzling, the pretzels will be hot, and the beer will be flowing as the innings go by. Swing batter, batter, swing!

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will open for the season in May. Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Opening Day at Maine Botanical Gardens
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 1. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 205 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay, $22, $18 seniors and vets, $15 students, $10 kids, under three free. mainegardens.org
Another hallmark of spring in Maine is the annual opening of Maine Botanical Gardens. Inhale the fresh air as you roam its many paths and keep an eye out for the Guardians of the Seeds giant trolls who are hidden throughout the vast wooded areas. Find spots like the Vayo meditation garden, fairy house village, arbor garden, Burpee kitchen garden and Slater Forest Pond, among other lovely elements of the gardens’ more than 300 acres. Also, calling all artists! The garden is hosting plein air days May 14-17, and you’re invited to set up your easel to paint or sketch with free entry for artists.

Caribbean Night
7 p.m. May 7. Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, 86 Townsend Ave., $10 in advance, $15 day of show. boothbayoperahouse.com
They had to put it on ice the past two years, but Caribbean Night is back in Boothbay Harbor. Put on your favorite beachwear and head out for a night of dancing to the drumming of Pan Fried Steel. The Opera House will be transformed into a sandy island for the night, and the special drink will be the Pan Fried Punch. Flip-flops are encouraged, and no matter what the early May evening throws at you outside, it will be hot, hot, hot inside.

All Roads Music Festival
May 20 & 21. Downtown locations, Belfast, $25 to $75.  allroadmusicfest.org
After a painful two-year pandemic hiatus, the All Roads Music Festival is back in a huge way. The annual Belfast indie  music extravaganza kicks off on Friday night with opening performances held at the Steamboat Landing. Then on Saturday, it’s a full-throttle schedule of curated showcases, panel discussions and the Maine Songwriter’s Circle. Venues include the Belfast Free Library, the American Legion Hall, Waterfall Arts with more to be announced. This year’s lineup is stacked with Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, The Mallett Brothers Band, Sunny War, Love By Numb3rs, Drive By Todd, Crystal Canyon, Toby McCallister and a gazillion other bands who can’t wait to play for you.

The Mallett Brothers Band will be part of the All Roads Music Festival in Belfast and the Sandy River Music Festival in Farmington. Photo by Dennis Welsh

Sandy River Music Festival
May 28 & 29. Maine Narrow Gauge Cinema, 123 Narrow Gauge Square, Farmington, $30 for Saturday or Sunday, $50 for two-day pass. whistlestopconcertseries.com/sandy-river-music-festival
The Whistlestop Concert Series presents a sensational and musical way to spend part of your Memorial Day weekend. The two-day outdoor Sandy River Music Festival features performances by Maine acts Mallett Brothers Band, GoldenOak, Jason Spooner Band, Pete Kilpatrick Band, Love By Numb3rs, David Mallett Band, Eleanor Buckland, Juke Joint Devils, The Only Hope and Brent Laflin. You’ll hear a wide range of styles including Americana, roots, blues, folk and alternative rock. The music starts at 2 p.m. on both days, and for a more immersive experience, you can reserve a camping site that’s 100 yards away from where the music is and a five-minute walk to Sandy River and downtown Farmington. Bring your own gear or rent a tent. Sites are also available for recreational vehicles.

The Astrosphere at Funtown Splashtown USA. in Saco. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Opening weekend at Funtown Splashtown U.S.A.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 28-30. Funtown Splashtown USA, 774 Portland Road, Saco, $25 to $50. funtownsplashtown.com
With the last day of school drawing close, here’s a chance to give your kids – or yourself – a proper sneak peak of summer, courtesy of Funtown Splashtown USA. They open for the season on Memorial Day weekend, then weekday hours kick in starting on June 22. From bumper boats, Dragon’s Descent, the Exalibur roller coaster and the quintessential Funtown ride, Astrosphere, there’s something for every fun- and thrill-seeker out there. Need something a little more chill? Try the antique cars or the classic carousel. The youngest in your crew will love Cactus Canyon, the Frog Hopper and Red Baron Planes, among other attractions. Unleash your inner child, but keep an eye on your actual one.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: