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Arts and Entertainment | Maine Life | Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, 11:18 am

Five unique finds at Picnic Portland 2010

Bryan Bruchman | Maine Observer
Sure you can find T-shirts at Picnic. But what about capes, BBQ and mustaches?

It’s the tail end of summer and around Portland that typically means a few things: Tourists are starting to depart, somewhere the smooth sounds of Michael McDonald can be heard at Yacht Rock, and Picnic is just around the corner.

This is the third year the Picnic Music + Arts Festival is taking place, and they promise over 100 different crafters and artists will be pushing the kind of goods you can’t find elsewhere.

Of course the festival on Aug. 28 in Lincoln Park also promises treats (the kind you eat, courtesy of Verbena Cafe) and music, including Foam Castles, if and it, aLEX kEATON, Wood Burning Cat and more.

But what should you expect from this year’s festival? We all know there will be plenty of paintings and prints as well as a wealth of T-shirts and handmade jewelry. But what else? Let’s take a look at five unique things you’ll find at this year’s Picnic:

1.) Skinny Cart BBQ

Have you met Ron Gan? Have you heard about what he does with meat? Bad jokes aside, the man and his cart have been turning heads, winning stomachs and getting a lot of attention this summer. The Skinny Cart BBQ is something of a mythical figure, partially because you never can expect where to find it. Days it may be on India Street or Congress Street, at night it’s wherever the hungry drunks are. The other reason for the Cart’s mystique is the delicious, but simple offerings, which include pork sandwiches and meat-related “bongs.” Ron, the cart and the meat will be at Picnic. Prepare yourself.

2.) Phantom Buffalo

Arguably one of Portland’s most loved bands, if not one that has been together the longest, Phantom Buffalo will be playing the outdoor stage at Picnic. Yes, they’re on the bill with a number of other bands, but this month Phantom Buffalo released it’s newest album, A Cement Postcard with Owl Colors. So let’s recap: Phantom Buffalo, outdoors, new music. Sound good?

3.) Pillows and plushies

We can all say we want to grow up, but truly, how many of us are buying things like toys, action figures or plush beasts for “our nieces and nephews?” Face up to it, you’re buying (at least some of it) for yourself. And that’s OK. Because you want a Yeti Foot Throw Pillow. Why? Because it’s fuzzy, huggable, menacing and really ties the room together.

And if Yetis aren’t your thing, maybe plush mustaches are. Yes, a plush mustache, from the people at Fuzzy Inc. So much softer and approachable than your regular mustache.

4.) Capes, wizard hats, brain slugs and Burt Reynolds

Crafters and artists have a sense of humor and seem to know there audience well. So yes, if you are in need of a cape, for your LARPing, costume parties or… worse, you can get that and a wizard’s hat at Picnic. If the wizard’s hat is too pretentious, there’s always the brain slug cap, which is cute, but also practical in case the brain slug invasion actually happens. And if you need to send a note to someone after an evening cape stroll, or for the gift of a brain slug hat, you can say thanks the Burt Reynolds way. Or at least with letterpressed Burt Reynolds Thank You notes.

5. Hippie stink in soap form.

This is a real thing: Hippie Stink Vegan Cold Process Soap. It comes from the folks at Long Winter Farm, and they promise “This soap reeks of hippie goodness!”

Justin Ellis is the editor of The Signal.

2 Responses to “Five unique finds at Picnic Portland 2010”

  1. Matty says:

    Thanks for the Yacht Rock plug! Ya mo better be there next year.

  2. [...] your grammy’s seashell picture frames and scary dried apple head dolls, this craft fair stars STUFF THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT! and it’s coming soon to a hobo park near you, THIS [...]

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