Bates Night in Town to celebrate campus, community ties

Students and local residents enjoy a concluding a cappella performance during the debut College Night in Town (now known as Bates Night in Town). (Michael Pasek '12/Bates College)

Students and local residents enjoy a concluding a cappella performance during 2012’s debut College Night in Town (now known as Bates Night in Town). (Michael Pasek ’12/Bates College)

For the fourth time, students at Bates College and downtown businesses are eagerly anticipating Bates Night in Town, a celebration of the relationship between town and gown.

Starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, eateries and other businesses will welcome Bates students, staff and faculty (carrying a college ID) with discounts and other special offers. Meanwhile, Bates students will perform and show artwork at downtown venues in Lewiston and Auburn.

“It’s a chance for Bates students and the community to embrace each other in a positive and constructive way,” said organizer Caroline O’Sullivan, a Bates senior from Andover, Mass. “It’s a great opportunity for Bates students to break out of the campus bubble and see the amazing things that this community has to offer.

“And it’s a chance for community members to see Bates students’ artwork and performances, and just get a sense of what Bates students are like.”

Co-sponsoring the entire event is the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce. The Bates Arts Collaborative and the Bates a cappella group the Deansmen are co-sponsoring the a cappella and dance performance that concludes the event.

For more information, please contact or visit the BNIT Facebook page.

Student musicians and other performers will strut their stuff at venues including Gritty McDuff’s in Auburn. Also in Auburn, dessert will be a focus for the first time in the event’s history, as Top It Frozen Yogurt Bar and Maine Gourmet Chocolates, at 168 and 170 Main St. respectively, take part in Bates Night in Town.

To conclude the event, at 7 p.m. all five of Bates’ a cappella groups and the Bates Dance Club will perform at Festival Plaza on Main Street in Auburn. For O’Sullivan, that final session is the high point of Bates Night in Town.

“It’s really the place where the community and the students can come together in the open air and just enjoy some music and dance.”

The dance club will open with a demonstration of works in progress, followed by two or three songs apiece from Bates’ a cappella ensembles — the Deansmen, the Merimanders, the Manic Optimists, the Crosstones and TakeNote.

“It’s just so fun to be with your friends off campus and just step off for a moment,” says O’Sullivan.

Gritty McDuff’s, 68 Main St., hosts Bates musicians Eagle Stick, Maddie McLean and Kelsey Berry, and the Jazz Cats.

Across the Androscoggin at 115 Middle St., Lewiston, She Doesn’t Like Guthries will welcome back the Strange Bedfellows, an improv comedy troupe.

Also in Lewiston, at 134 Main St., Pedro O’Hara’s presents musicians Bootie & The Beat, and Meredith Colleary and Taylor Saucier.

At the L/A Arts office at 221 Lisbon St., Lewiston, musician Tuan Nguyen performs and student artwork will be shown.

A variety of Lewiston gathering places are offering discounts: Baxter Brewing, 130 Mill St.; DaVinci’s Eatery, 150 Mill St.; Fish Bones American Grill, 70 Lincoln St.; Chopsticks, 37 Park St.; Fuel, 49 Lisbon St.; Mother India, 114 Lisbon St.; Forage Market, 180 Lisbon St.; and Sea40, 40 East Ave. #2.

In Auburn, discounts are offered at Narals, 34 Court St.; 84 Court St. (the name is the address); and Fire House Grille, 47 Broad St.

Bates Night in Town made its debut in May 2012, returning in October 2012 and May 2013.

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