Laugh, dance and rock out at Union Fair

Aug 13, 2019

UNION — Featured entertainment at the Union Fair this year runs the gamut from stand-up comedians to the ever-popular The Mallett Brothers Band to musicians jamming on Grateful Dead Night.

The 148th Union Fair & Maine Wild Blueberry Festival runs Saturday through Saturday, Aug. 17 through 24 at the fairgrounds, off Route 17. These main performances all take place at the Union Fair Entertainment Center.

Maine Event Comedy

Be prepared to laugh the night away when Maine Event Comedy takes center stage on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. Come laugh along with Johnny Ater, Bryan Valencia, Mark Turcotte and Julie Poulin.

Whether taking light-hearted swipes at himself and his fellow Mainers, or contorting his face into hilarious characters, Johnny Ater has left audiences laughing throughout New England and beyond since 2003. Ater offers up hilarious and honest stories about life, family, relationships, work, and his colorful local friends, which he brings to life on stage for all to meet. He is vulnerable and embraces his uncool persona, which makes you embrace your own at the same time. He’s your goofy brother, your dorky dad, your silly grandpa, but after a show with him, he’ll just feel like “Johnny, your funny best friend.” He’s performed at the Punchline in San Francisco, headlined the Maine Comedy Festival, and recently provided voice-over work for an Agren Appliance television campaign.

Originally a sketch writer and Improv performer, Bryan Valencia is no stranger to the stage. Hailing from Albuquerque, N.M., he was the head writer at Comedy Well Done and Jokes4Miles, where he held the honor of sketch writing alongside comedy pioneer Ritch Shydner. He is the current host of The World Series of Comedy, and over the past two years has performed in clubs, colleges and bars in 34 states and multiple international comedy festivals, all while raising money for pediatric cancer research. From collegiate degrees in Creative Writing, Journalism and Dance Studies to dedicated years of martial arts, music, culinary arts and athletic practice, Valencia has combined his talents over the past few years into a one-of-a-kind, Vaudevillian style that teeters on the cusp of humor, sentiment and absurdity. Simply put – he is a weirdo.

Mark Turcotte is a married father of two and lifelong New Englander. Most of his material is mined from his tumultuous upbringing, marrying out of his league, and his impending demise. Beyond that, he’s a treat to be around. He’s the founder of Maine Event Comedy and has performed at some of the best clubs in the country, including Gotham Comedy Club in New York City and Comix at Mohegan Sun. Turcotte was a recent selection for the Boston, Cleveland, and North Carolina comedy festivals and was a semi-finalist at the World Series of Comedy in Sarasota, Fla. He also facilitated a marriage proposal during a show in Biddeford.

Julie Poulin is an improv and stand-up comic from Monmouth. After doing improv for many years, she’s now making waves in her young stand-up career. She recently bested a field of 20 comedians throughout New England by winning the Maine Event Comedy’s Tightest Five contest. A few months later, she won the Central Maine Comedy Invitational at Lewiston’s Franco Center.

The Mallett Brothers Band

The Mallett Brothers Band returns on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. The Mallett Brothers Band is an independent rock and roll / Americana / country band from Maine. Their busy tour schedule since forming in 2009 has helped them to build a dedicated fanbase across the United States and beyond, while still calling the state of Maine home. With a style that ranges from alt-country to Americana, country, jam and roots rock, theirs is a musical melting pot that's influenced equally by the singer/songwriter tradition as by harder rock, classic country and psychedelic sounds.

Texas Hill Country Explore Magazine calls them “New England’s wildly eclectic crew of genre rebels.” Bill Copeland Music News says, “Combining their authentic roots rock sound with a reflective lyrical style that perceives stories on the level of epic myth, it’s like William Faulkner has been resurrected with an electric guitar in hand.."

The Mallett Brothers Band has performed at some of the country’s top venues and festivals, and provided direct support for numerous bands and musicians. Learn more at mallettbrothersband.com.

The Mallett Brothers Band is sponsored by Lincolnville General Store and media sponsor Maine's New Country Leader, 97.1 The Bear.

Calling all ‘Dead Heads’

The annual Wild Maine Blueberry Festival Day concert is "Grateful Dead Night" on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m., featuring special guest drummer Jon "Fish" Fishman of the musical group Phish.

Last year, folks joined this group for an epic night of Grateful Dead jams. They will be featuring some of Maine's best veteran Dead jammers. Former and current members of Lazy Lightning, BBD, Working Dead, Dead Sessions and Pardon Me Doug will be on stage with Fishman, playing two long sets of sweet Jerry and Bobby songs.

This is a don't miss show, and is part of the all-inclusive admission.

There are also a variety of daytime performances at a several locations, such as the Grandstand, where Whiskey Throttle plays prior to the demolition derbies; Sherman Park, which has a small gazebo-like stage; and the Entertainment Center, which also boasts the Talent Show preliminaries on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 12:30 p.m., and the finale on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m.

The Wine and Beer Garden at the Entertainment Center opens at 6 p.m. for all three main shows. Seating is limited, so please consider bringing your own chair. For more information or to see a complete schedule, please visit unionfair.org.

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