Celebrate the beginning of summer in beautiful downtown Portland with multiple music stages, Maine-made arts and crafts, and food from local businesses, kid’s activities, and more! The festival begins with a foot powered parade down Exchange Street.
Every summer, the myriad of local businesses in Portland’s Old Port open their doors and line up racks of clothing, accessories, shoes and crafts (all for sale) on the sidewalk. The streets are carless, and the sun is (most likely) shining. This is Portland’s Old Port Festival, a celebration that has been occurring for more than thirty years. Not only does the weekend-long occasion welcome visitors to peruse and snag some wonderful sale items, it invites festival-goers to dance to the music of popular bands on the cobblestone streets, sip homemade lemonade and chow down on their favorite carnival foods.
Local restaurants also participate in this event, cooking up popular menu items for a buffet that stretches from one end of Exchange Street to the next. Try the delicious curries from Indian restaurants and the various ethnic appetizers that line the streets. The lemonade, fresh squeezed from lemons, is a favorite among the locals and comes in a large cup with plenty of ice, a perfect thirst quencher on a hot Maine afternoon.
Children will also enjoy this event, as it offers various kid-friendly activities. Local toy stores open their doors to visitors, and face-painters have, in the past, set up shop on the sidewalk. This is a fun activity for both adults and children; it’s the washable (and also harmless) version of a tattoo!
If you miss the first day of this festival, have no fear – it lasts for a full weekend! Visitors can really get a sense of the array of local businesses located in Portland and how inviting this town still is to the small, creative businesses that stand apart from mainstream chains. The designs and crafts of these businesses represent the creative freedom that is par for the course in this unique city.
First weekend in June.
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