Tag Archives: Gardiner Main Street

Gardiner’s 8th Annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Water Street, Downtown Gardiner, Maine

I lived in Gardiner for a decade, but moved back to Brunswick last summer to be closer to work. I am always glad to spend the day in my former town at one of my favorite events, our eighth annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest. Sponsored by the dedicated folks at Gardiner Main Street, it combines Maine beer and pork, games, and live music from Maine artists. There’s even more fun to be had at Swine & Stein, though, and it’s truly family friendly. There’s a hilarious beard and mustache competition, a frozen t-shirt contest, (impressively partially blindfolded) butchering demonstrations led by Leon from Emery’s Meat and Produce), a rock-paper-scissors competition, giant Jenga, and even a chicken fling.

I was thrilled to be asked back as a local judge for the fourth annual Swine & Stein Beard and Mustache Competition, sponsored by Monkitree. We love hosting the guys from the Maine Facial Hair Club, and they were out in full force. Gardiner Main Street’s Executive Director, Patrick Wright, emceed the entire day and did a fabulous job.

We were treated to Maine musical acts on the main stage all day—Oktoberfest German Band, Spare Parts Band, Duquette, The Jason Spooner Band, and OC and the Offbeats. I had to take off early in OC and the Offbeats’ set to make it to school to chaperone the Homecoming dance (quite a Saturday, eh?), but they were really fun and I’d like to see them invited back for an earlier set.

The VIP tent hosted by Craft Beer Cellar was steadily busy all day. The 6th Annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Competition was fiercely competitive. The finalists were a couple, and I hope they’re okay since only one of them could win. The chicken fling competition was hilarious, as always, and Amy and Steve won a second year in a row! I love the fire that folks bring to these friendly competitions.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make Swine & Stein a great day! Gardiner Main Street and all of the many, many volunteers I saw in bright orange t-shirts—you rock! See you next year! I posted lots more photos below, so please check them out. If you’d like to use one somehow, please give photo credit to whatbreesees.com. Thank you!

xo,

bree

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Gardiner’s 7th Annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Water Street, Downtown Gardiner, Maine

I lived in Gardiner for a decade, but moved over the summer back to Brunswick to be closer to work. I really grew to love that sweet little town and miss it a lot. I was excited to spend the day in my former town at one of my favorite annual events, our seventh annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest. Sponsored by the dedicated folks at Gardiner Main Street, it combines Maine beer, Maine pork, and live music from Maine artists. Add in a hilarious beard and mustache competition, a frozen t-shirt contest, butchering demonstrations, and a rock-paper-scissors competition, and you’ve got a great day. Swine & Stein is always wonderful, and this year, with warm temperatures and some sunshine, was no different.

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Beautiful downtown Gardiner, Maine

I was thrilled to be asked back as a local judge for the third annual Swine & Stein Beard and Mustache Competition, sponsored by Monkitree. It was ultimately the reason I got my concussed self (I hit my head a bit too hard during Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a couple of days earlier) up to Gardiner even though I was feeling a little dazed. The men who compete are always smiling and come back from year to year and we have a great time.

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Nearly all of the competitors in the 3rd annual Swine & Stein Beard and Mustache Competition!

We were treated to talented musical acts on the main stage all day—Dominic Lavoie, Oktoberfest German Band, Gunther Brown, Tricky Britches, and The Scolded Dogs. Last year’s cool new additions to the schedule were both back—the “Beer U” tent hosted by Craft Beer Cellar and butchering demonstrations by Emery’s Meat and Produce. I ended up missing the 5th Annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Competition because I ran into old friends and we chatted through it. Next year. It’s one of my favorite things!

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make Swine & Stein a great day! Gardiner Main Street and all of the many, many volunteers I saw in bright orange t-shirts—you rock! See you next year! If you’d like to use one of my photos somehow, please give photo credit to Bree Candland of whatbreesees.com. Thank you!

xo,

bree

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Gardiner’s 6th Annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Water Street, Downtown Gardiner, Maine

I’ve lived in Gardiner for over nine years now and have come to love my sweet little town and am proud to call this fabulous place home. Gardiner continues to grow, and much of that energy and progress has to do with the efforts of Gardiner Main Street. One of my favorite annual events, sponsored by the dedicated folks at Gardiner Main Street, is our Swine & Stein Oktoberfest. It combines Maine beer, Maine pork, and live music from Maine artists. Where else can you get all those things and a beard and mustache competition, a frozen t shirt contest, a rubber chicken toss, AND a rock-paper-scissors competition?! Swine & Stein is always a great day, and this year—the 6th annual—was no different.

Gardiner's 6th Annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest

Gardiner’s 6th Annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest

I was thrilled to be asked back as a local judge for the second annual Swine & Stein Beard and Mustache Competition, sponsored by Monkitree. Mike Miclon, Executive Artistic Director of Johnson Hall, called it a “dog show, but with less touching.” It’s such good fun.

The impressive winners of the Second Annual Swine & Stein Beard and Mustache Competition

The impressive winners of the Second Annual Swine & Stein Beard and Mustache Competition

Sometimes, the bearded and mustachioed must dance!

Sometimes, the bearded and mustachioed must dance!

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Bronwyn took home the 4th Annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Competition!

Bronwyn took home the 4th Annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Competition!

We were treated to talented musical acts on the main stage all day—Emilia Dahlin, the Oktoberfest German Band, Muddy Ruckus, The Pete Kilpatrick Band, and The Colwell Brothers. A couple of new things this year—the “Beer U” tent hosted by Craft Beer Celler (opening very soon on Water Street in downtown Gardiner) and a butchering demonstration by Emery’s Meat and Produce that was quite well attended. I don’t eat pork because I think pigs are wicked cute, but I dropped by the butchering demonstration and it was fascinating.

Emilia Dahlin

Emilia Dahlin

The Pete Kilpatrick Band

The Pete Kilpatrick Band

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make Swine & Stein a great day! Gardiner Main Street—you rock! I had the pleasure of introducing The Colwell Brothers to the main stage for their set, and I mentioned to the crowd that we love having everyone visit Gardiner for Swine & Stein, but that we are also here and open for business all the time! Come back and visit us soon! And, of course, we’ll see you next year at Swine & Stein! I took lots more photos, so please check them out below. If you’d like to use one somehow, please give photo credit to Bree Candland of whatbreesees.com. Thank you!

xo,

bree

Swine & Stein is a kid-friendly event

Swine & Stein is a kid-friendly event

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So many Gardiner Main Street volunteers on the scene! Thanks, All!

So many Gardiner Main Street volunteers on the scene! Thanks, All!

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Giant jenga was a bit hit!

Giant jenga was a bit hit!

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All of the Beard & Mustache Competition entrants!

All of the Beard & Mustache Competition entrants!

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The Oktoberfest German Band

The Oktoberfest German Band

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Mike Miclon of Johnson Hall with Clare Marron of Monkitree

Mike Miclon of Johnson Hall with Clare Marron of Monkitree

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Muddy Ruckus

Muddy Ruckus

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Butchering demonstration

Butchering demonstration

Rock-paper-scissors preliminary rounds

Rock-paper-scissors preliminary rounds

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The Colwell Brothers

The Colwell Brothers

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Tricky Britches at the Gardiner Fire Relief Benefit Concert

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gardiner Waterfront, Gardiner, Maine

Gardiner, Maine—the sweet little town I proudly call home—suffered a major fire on July 16, 2015. Four historical buildings on Water Street (our main drag downtown) were destroyed along with a few businesses and all the possessions of a dozen tenants. The Gardiner Fire Department responded swiftly and decisively, and with the help of many neighboring fire departments, was able to contain the fire.

Aerial views of the fire from Jason Daughtery via WMTW's Facebook page

Aerial views of the fire from Jason Daughtery via WMTW’s Facebook page

Gardiner's Water Street

Gardiner’s Water Street

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Although there was, amazingly, no loss of human life, a cat was reported lost in the fire. As a proud cat lady, my heart was heavy in the days that followed, not just because so many people had lost all of their cherished possessions, but also because Jolene’s cat, Carol Ann, was gone. I cried some tears over it. To my amazement, a few weeks later, I saw this post on Facebook:

Jolene and Carol Ann--reunited! Courtesy of Gardiner Police Department's Facebook Page

Jolene and Carol Ann–reunited! Courtesy of Gardiner Police Department’s Facebook Page

A kind soul in downtown Gardiner spotted a cat wandering around the rubble of the gutted buildings lost in the fire in the weeks that followed. The cat was taken to Kennebec Valley Humane Society, and Carol Ann, hereby dubbed “The Miracle Kitty!,” was found and reunited with her overjoyed mom, Jolene. My heart grew three sizes. I called At Home Veterinary Hospital and covered the cost of Carol Ann’s vet bill so she could be cleared and go home to her mom.

So many people and businesses have graciously supported the Gardiner fire relief fund after this devastating fire. Clare Marron at Monkitree hosted a silent auction that raised over $5,000 in one weekend alone. The Boys & Girls Club of Gardiner hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. There were many others too. It’s still not too late to donate to the fire relief fund hosted by the United Way of Kennebec Valley. I noticed just last week that Gardiner’s Hannaford was collecting donations for the fund, too.

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Gardiner Main Street, with help from generous local sponsors, threw a “Thank You” party for the firefighters who responded to the fire. The Gardiner Rotary Club grilled dinner for all of the firefighters and their guests and then opened up the remains for the rest of us and raised an additional $1,500. Johnson Hall hosted Portland bluegrass band, Tricky Britches, as part of their free summer Waterfront Concert Series that night, and the band provided great entertainment at this wonderful community event. WMTW Channel 8 was on hand to cover the event.

Gardiner Main Street Director Patrick Wright alongside Tricky Britches

Gardiner Main Street Director Patrick Wright alongside Tricky Britches

Mayor Thom Harnett thanking local fire fighters

Mayor Thom Harnett thanking local fire fighters

Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon with Tricky Britches

Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon with Tricky Britches

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I was among a handful of people honored during intermission by Thom Harnett, Gardiner’s extraordinary mayor, with a Gardiner Heart & Soul Award for efforts related to the fire relief. My small contribution to helping Gardiner’s “Miracle Kitty” being recognized publicly, and totally unnecessarily, just goes to show what a dear community Gardiner is. I was genuinely overjoyed that night to be cheered as a local supporter of my sweet town. If you are looking for a community that will welcome, nurture, support, and celebrate you, too, Gardiner’s the place! More photos below!

xo,

bree

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A beautiful night on the Gardiner Waterfront

A beautiful night on the Gardiner Waterfront

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A wholly undeserved, but very welcome recognition from my sweet town!

A wholly undeserved, but very welcome recognition from my sweet town!

Surely one of Gardiner's cutest little ones

Surely one of Gardiner’s cutest little ones

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Gardiner, Maine’s 5th Annual Swine and Stein Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gardiner, Maine

Dedicated people in my sweet little town have been working hard for years to revitalize the downtown and attract people to Gardiner. My sense is that this work is starting to pay off. Surely the biggest event hosted by Gardiner Maine Street is our annual Swine and Stein Oktoberfest. This was the fifth annual Swine and Stein, and I’d say it was the best one yet! I had such a fun day and there were smiling people everywhere. Thanks so much to everyone who came, and to Gardiner Maine Street, the vendors, the musicians, and the more than sixty (60!) volunteers who made such a wonderful event possible! Patrick Wright—director of Gardiner Main Street—you deserve a special shout out for a job incredibly well done! Thanks, Patrick! What I saw on Saturday makes me proud to live in Gardiner.

I showed up a few minutes before the gates opened at 11:30AM to grab a donut at Frosty’s and check out the layout since improvements are made each year to strengthen the event. I got to pet baby goats and sleeping piglets on my short walk along Water Street, which only heightened my excitement for Swine and Stein. If you’ve never been to Swine and Stein, we shut down auto traffic on our picturesque main street (Water Street), and host live animals, food vendors (featuring A LOT of local pork), a local beer tent, fun activities for all ages, and live local bands all day. It’s a great day, and this year, the weather cooperated beautifully, too.

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All of the photos in this post were taken by me. If you’d like to share, please give me (Bree Candland of whatbreesees.com) photo credit. Thanks!

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I overheard a couple wondering how Swine and Stein works, so I stopped to welcome them and explain the event and show them to the gate. I could hear superstar volunteer Derek Zardus of Zardus Art of Massage & Wellness Spa welcoming people to Gardiner and to Swine and Stein at the gate long before I could see him. We moved quickly through the line, got our three drink tickets (included with admission) cleverly attached to our wristband, and the first 1,000 through the line also got a souvenir 5 oz. tasting glass. Later in the day I saw how many people didn’t have one of those little glasses, so I am guessing a lot more than 1,000 people showed up!

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Derek Zardus

Derek Zardus

I LOVED the addition of a professional stage with a sound engineer this year! I could hear Sorcha and Monique Barrett playing as I said my hellos and wandered through the food area to scope out what I might want to get for lunch later. Sorcha is a friend in music—she’s played Swine and Stein before and I’m always happy to get to see her live. She and Monique harmonize beautifully, and their covers of “Jolene” and “Crazy” were flawless. I wasn’t taking notes because I wanted to enjoy the day, but I liked the song Sorcha wrote for a friend’s wedding (the name of which I’d normally have jotted down), and one of Monique’s that might be called “Make It Better.” Later in the day, I introduced them to Johnson Hall director Michael Miclon. We talked about having a singer-songwriter circle show at Johnson Hall sometime this season. I took Sorcha and Monique into Johnson Hall to show them the beautifully renovated performance space downstairs and to show off the cleaned up third floor, which is beautiful and totally ready for renovation. Built in 1864, Johnson Hall has been a ballroom, a movie house, and a theatre. Johnson Hall hopes to renovate the upper floors to use for performances and other events. The potential in that space is unreal. Monique and Sorcha talked about how cool it would be to record an album together (since they often play together, but don’t have one) in that space. The acoustics are amazing. When I took them to the top floor, they were so wowed by the beauty of the space that they broke out in song! I have high hopes for the capital campaign and would LOVE to see Johnson Hall restored.

Sorcha and Monique Barrett

Sorcha and Monique Barrett

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Mike Miclon and Logan Johnston

Mike Miclon and Logan Johnston in front of Johnson Hall

The amazing space on the top floor of Johnson Hall

The amazing space on the top floor of Johnson Hall

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I loved the fun competitions and events that were planned for the day in between bands. The event that stole my heart, however, was the first-ever Swine and Stein Beard and Mustache Competition. Danielle Rodrigue, local beauty expert from Concepts Hair Design and and the MAYOR of Gardiner, Thom Harnett, were the other two judges, and I was thrilled to be asked to join them. I couldn’t believe my eyes when Patrick called contestants to the stage and a wave of beautifully bearded and mustachioed men approached the stage. Did you know there’s a Maine Facial Hair Club? What a great group of guys. We judged in six categories—beards more or less than six inches, partial mustache, freestyle, and a couple of others that I can’t recall since I was on cloud nine the whole time. Clare Marron, Gardiner Maine Street board member and owner of Monkitree, Gardiner’s fine art and craft gallery, organized the event. She worked with The Potter’s House to create amazing mugs (in honor of American Craft Week) for the winners of each category. The winners were thrilled with their surprise award.

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That's me, Danielle, and Gardiner mayor Thom Harnett

That’s me, Danielle, and Gardiner mayor Thom Harnett

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I think you tell I was a BIG fan of the beard and mustache competition!

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Clare Marron of Monkitree gave out awesome prizes to the winners

Clare Marron of Monkitree gave out awesome prizes to the winners

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The German Oktoberfest Band always sets the perfect mood, and they had people swaying and toasting along. My dear friend Rachel came in her dirndl and valiantly competed in the frozen t-shirt contest, but lost in a very close race to the finish.

The German Oktoberfest Band

The German Oktoberfest Band

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Rachel and Ian appropriately dressed for Oktoberfest

Rachel and Ian appropriately dressed for Oktoberfest

The frozen t-shirt content was HILARIOUS

The frozen t-shirt content was HILARIOUS

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Photo finish! That was CLOSE!

Photo finish! That was CLOSE!

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Vintage Wine Bar had a wine tent this year!

Vintage Wine Bar had a wine tent this year!

Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!

BBQ!

BBQ!

My delicious lunch

My delicious lunch

Cute dogs!

Cute dogs!

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Dublin the golden retriever

Dublin the golden retriever

Bo surrounded by admirers at Monkitree

Bo surrounded by admirers at Monkitree. Photo courtesy of Clare Marron.

I’d never seen Gunther Brown live, even though lead singer Pete Dubuc sent me their music early on in whatbreesees.com and I liked it a lot. Senator Susan Collins and her team were at Swine and Stein, and she stopped to give a wave to the band early in their set. I was especially glad to hear “(Don’t Forget To) Don’t Go” and “Hello Tonight” live.

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Senator Susan Collins saying hello to Gunther Brown

Senator Susan Collins saying hello to Gunther Brown

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The rock-paper-scissors competition run by Mike Miclon of Johnson Hall was awesome. He held preliminary rounds earlier in the day that I watched and then the semi finalists joined him at the stage to compete in front of all of the Swine and Stein attendees. It was an absolute hoot to watch, and the winner won two free tickets to any upcoming Johnson Hall event. Patrick Wright called up local bearded men to compete in a scaled down version of the earlier event, and a handful of kids who’d made their own mustaches at the craft table competed as well.

The rock-paper-scissor competition preliminary rounds

The rock-paper-scissors competition preliminary rounds

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The rock-paper-scissor finals were a BLAST!

The rock-paper-scissors final rounds were a BLAST!

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I was glad to see The Jason Spooner Band again. It had been quite a while and they sound great. As the day wound down, The Spare Parts Band, featuring Oakland Farms owner and Gardiner city councilor Logan Johnston took the stage to close the event.

The Jason Spooner Band

The Jason Spooner Band

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I nearly forgot about this adorable competition!

I nearly forgot about this adorable competition!

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The Spare Parts Band

The Spare Parts Band

Logan Johnston

Logan Johnston

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Swine and Stein was a blast this year! I went right home and drank some tea to warm and up promptly ended up taking a nap! Thank you so much to everyone who helped make it a success and we’ll see you next year!

xo,

bree

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