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Bangor, USA: Maine's Queen City
Even though the city of Bangor, Maine only has a population of about 33,000 people, and a metro population of just over 150,000, it has the attractions that one would expect to find in a much larger centre. This city has long acted as an escape from the larger New England cities to the south due to its quiet atmosphere and the abundance of beautiful scenery that is present.
Nicknamed the Queen City of the East, Bangor is full of cultural elements and artists that are the envy of much larger cities, and despite its inland location, it can be accessed from the Atlantic Ocean via the Penobscot River. This, along with the natural environment that surrounds it, make Bangor a destination that is well worth checking out.
There are annual events aplenty in the city, starting with the Bangor State Fair, which runs every year starting on the last weekend in July. This fair is quite large and features events like concerts, demolition derbies, tractor pulls, and comedy shows. There are also midway rides, a petting zoo, eating contests, and countless other events that occur during this week long festival. Since this event attracts visitors from all over Maine and beyond, hotels can be difficult to come by during this week.
Bangor is home to the Senior League World Series, a baseball tournament that is reserved for children between the ages of 13 and 16. This tournament is similar to the Little League World Series, except for the kids are a little older in this event. The American Folk Festival takes place in late August every year and features some major local, national, and international acts. This is a free, outdoor festival that takes place right on the city's waterfront, which adds to its popularity.
Art and Monuments
Public art is at the forefront throughout Maine, as the city is very rich culturally for having such a small population. In 1898, a warship called the USS Maine was sunk off the coast of Havana, Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Today, the bow-plate of that ship sits in Davenport Park on a memorial plaque and serves as a reminder of that conflict.
The city is also home to a large statue that depicts Paul Bunyan, a mythical tree-cutter from America's past. This statue was built in 1959 and has been a popular attraction ever since. Other monuments found throughout Bangor include the Luther H. Peirce Memorial, the Hannibal Hamlin statue, and the Lady Victory. These bronze statues were designed by Charles Eugene Tefft and represent important figures or events in the city's history.
There are a number of buildings in Bangor, Maine that are on the National Register of Historic Places. These buildings include Adams-Pickering Block, All Souls Congregational Church, Bangor House, Blake House, the Broadway Historic District, the Colonial Apartments, St. John's Catholic Church, and Gen. John Williams House. Overall, 38 different location around the city appear on this list of historic places, many of which are a short walk from the city's hotels.
Another popular attraction in the city is Stephen King's house. This house, which was built between 1858 and 1870, is a famous landmark in the city because it is where the famous American author Stephen King lives whilst in the city. In addition, the house is a beautiful old building that is worth checking out because of the architecture of both it and the other homes in the neighbourhood.
Theatre and Culture
Penobscot Theatre Company operates out of the Bangor Opera House and is well-known throughout Maine and the north-eastern United States. The company operates all year and puts on both plays and musicals. Visitors to the city can check the company's schedule to see if anything appealing is being put on during their time in the city. Hotel staff can sometimes help guests to secure tickets to one of these shows.
The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is the oldest community orchestra in the entire country, as it was founded in 1896 and has been operating ever since. The Collins Center for the Arts is a concert hall that is located at the University of Maine. Not only does this building host both local and national events, but it is home to the Hudson Museum, which displays a collection of Native American and South American artefacts.
One of the largest parks in the area is called the Bangor City Forest, a 2.6-square kilometre park that also features nearly 16 kilometres of hiking and skiing trails and sits just outside of the downtown core. The trails are well-maintained, making this an excellent place to escape the city for a few hours without venturing too far into the wilderness.
The Bangor Raceway is a popular outdoor venue that people visit to watch harness racing. The venue is open from May until the end of July and also has an indoor auditorium and civic centre. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and a casino sit right across the street from the raceway, as well.
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