Governor Janet Mills announced today that her inaugural celebration – which will be held on Thursday, January 5th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Augusta Civic Center – will feature entertainment by Maine-based musicians. And also provide food and drinks from all over the country. state
“The opening ceremony pays tribute to our incredible state and people.” Governor Janet Mills said. “I am excited to showcase the extraordinary foods, cultures and music that make our state so unique.”
Entertainment for the evening includes the RJ Miller Trio, Jenna and the Red Eye Flight Crew, and retrospectives. The menu for the celebration honors the cultures and tastes of the people of Maine. From Franco-American tartare and poutine to New-American African chicken and peanut butter tarts, to mini Italians and Greek/North African lamb kefta, Maine’s diversity and flavors will be on display. In addition, local vendors and sponsors will be featured with a twist on classic New England fare, such as Shuck’s Lobster Mac and Cheese, Maine Coast Fisherman’s Monkfish Stew and Maine Green Corn and Maple Muffins. Desserts will include Maine Needham Company, Bixby Chocolates, and Coffee by Design.
The opening ceremony will be headlined by Beach 93.1 Blake Hayes. In keeping with past practice, the “Cocktail Attire, Beanie Optional” event is by invitation only. The festival will feature a large stage, dance floor, tables, food stations, and cash bars for entertainment. Costs will be covered by a $30 ticketing fee, as well as donations collected by the fair’s inaugural committee.
The event is open to the press but will require accreditation for coverage. Additional details on accreditation and coverage logistics will be released later today.
Schedule (subject to change) and entertainment background
- 7:00 pm: Welcome from emcee, Blake Hayes
- 7:05 p.m.: Music and Dance, RJ Miller Trio
The RJ Miller Trio features Maine-based drummer and composer RJ Miller, guitarist Peter Herman, and bassist Dan Klingsberg. A longtime fixture in the New York City jazz and experimental music scenes, the globe-trotting, Maine-born drummer can be heard on recordings such as “Live in Japan” (Aaron Parks), “Ben Entrada La Nite” (Bill McEnery), and His own electronic solo debut album “Ronald’s Rhythm” (2013). Miller teaches music at the Maine Academy of Arts, Bowdoin College, Colby College and the University of Maine Augusta, while maintaining musical contacts/connections in Europe and New York. Cole supports.
- 7:45 p.m.: Music and Dance, Jenna and the Red Eye Flight Crew
When Boston-based singer Jenna Alberio moved to Portland, she formed “Jenna and the Red-Eyes Flight Crew” with members of Rustic Overtones, Jaw Gems, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds and Model Airplane. Elibrio’s vocals have been compared to the blues savvy of Susan Tedeschi with the songwriting prowess of a young Christian McVeigh. The powerful nine-piece band tackles the original with a flair for gritty and seasoned professionalism. Flight Crew’s catalog pulls from the best of pop, soul, and R&B that may surprise you, but will definitely move you.
- 8:40 p.m.: Ben Waxman, co-owner of American Roots, introduces Governor Mills
- 8:45 pm: Governor Mills delivers brief remarks
- 8:50pm: Music and Dance, Retrospecticus
Retrospecticus is a high energy dance band specializing in popular music for over 7 decades. The group is fronted by the talented and soulful singer Stephanie Fogg and directed by her husband and pianist Matthew Fogg. Together, the duo has performed alongside artists as diverse as Otis Redding III and Delvin Chois, and venues as wide-ranging as intimate weddings by the ocean, from the Maine coast to Carnegie Hall.