Flash! In the Pans!

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IMG_1163A steel pan band is not what you’d expect to fine in Down East Maine, never mind in sedate and serene (at least on the surface) Blue Hill. But the Flash! In the Pans! community steel-drum band is one of the largest such bands in the country.

Thirty or so members, ranging from grooving young dudes to gray hairs, usually perform somewhere on the Blue Hill/Deer Isle Peninsula on Monday nights, 7:30–9 p.m., but occasionally the band makes a foray to more distant points, such as Bangor, Belfast, Southwest Harbor, or Hancock. See schedule here.

IMG_1171Not only is the band is excellent, but also the people-watching is superb. These aren’t sit-down concerts, they’re street dances and community events that attract all ages from all walks of life. Families picnic, folks dance, toddlers boogie, teen-agers flirt, old salts swap fish tales.

Performances usually benefit a local nonprofit organization, and admission is by donation. There’s always a suggested amount, but it’s truly give what you can, be it 50¢, $5, $50; I’ve never seen anyone turned away. If you get the opportunity (or can make it happen), go!