To-Do List, 10.9.09

Columbus Day might just be the most underrated holiday. Yes, it's controversial. But it hasn't been Hallmarked to death. You won't find any trinkets depicting the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria unless the kids bring home a walnut-shell sailboat from school. And there is no expectation of gatherings, galas or get-togethers. It's just a long weekend during one of the most beautiful times of the year here in Maine. Fortunately, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate, and here are our suggestions — we'd love to hear yours.

Eat ME
The Maven is not a frozen dessert lover, but the pumpkin gelato at Massimo's in Bangor is like nothing we've ever tasted. This homemade confection is as rich as butter with a deep, not-too-sweet pumpkin flavor. Try one while it lasts.
When: Immediately
Where: Massimo's, 96 Hammond St., Bangor

Drink ME
The tea martini at Old Port Sea Grill in Portland is genius — and sophisticated. This mixture of Earl Grey-infused Ketel One, lemon juice and simple syrup hits the spot (The Maven wrote more about it in this month's Agenda column in maine. magazine — click here for a preview).
When: Three-martini lunch, anyone?
Where: 93 Commercial St., Portland

Dazzle ME
We haven't yet had a chance to see it, but the installation by Wendy Wischer at the University of Maine Museum of Art is said to be a show-stopper. Intrigued by the interplay of the natural and man-made, Wischer bedazzled hand-sculpted leaves with tens of thousands of Swarovski crystals and "planted" them in the intimate Zillman Gallery. Work by Dave Anderson and Meg Brown Payson is also on view.
When: Through Dec. 31
Where: 40 Harlow St., Bangor

Carve ME
Many places have pumpkin festivals, but as far as we know, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest is the only one that has a giant pumpkin regatta, in which participants carve out enormous gourds, strap on an outboard motor and use them in a boat race. It is not to be missed.
When: Through Oct. 12.
Where: Damariscotta

Taste ME
It's a fromage fest on Sunday thanks to the Maine Cheese Guild's annual Open Creamery Day. Meet Maine's cheese artisans — and the animals who provide the milk. Tour the facilities. And sample some of the state's amazing cheeses.
When: Sunday, Oct. 12
Where: Statewide (visit the Web site for a map)


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