It’s always a good time to be in Portland! Whether you’re an art fanatic, a food lover or a beer enthusiast, Portland has the perfect event for you. Take a look through Portland Old Port’s list of 16+ events that are taking place in 2023 and start planning your year ahead!
Please keep in mind that event dates may be subject to change. Some event dates have not been announced yet and will be updated when available. Check back for additions as the year progresses!
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Happening during winter when restaurants and bars need a boost in business before the tourist season, Maine Restaurant Week celebrates independently owned restaurants throughout the state. A dine-out extravaganza since 2009, participants can expect specially-priced multi-course menus at participating restaurants, in addition to culinary events such as the Spirit Quest, a self-guided cocktail and paired bites walking tour throughout the Old Port and the Arts Districts. A portion of event ticket sales benefits Preble Street. Event tickets here.
The 3rd annual winter festival is switching it up this year by relocating to the Old Port (previously held on the Eastern Promenade), thanks to their friends at DiMillo’s on the Water. A family-friendly event, Carnaval ME features LIVE music, ice sculptures, bonfires, a bites + brews igloo, face-painting, an arts and crafts station and more. Tickets here.
Welcoming spring’s arrival, every year the Portland Museum of Art presents Art in Bloom, a can’t-miss event for art and floral enthusiasts since its inception on 2018. Featuring floral work by designers, artists, farmers, and florists from across southern Maine, the museum comes alive with fragrant blooms, extravagant displays, and incredible floral installations of all types—each inspired by an artwork from the museum’s collection. Tickets will become available online soon.
Celebrating its 5th year, Seaweed Week is an annual food and drink festival honoring Maine’s kelp harvest. Events at a glance include a kick-off party, cooking classes, seaweed ID walks and workshops, product launches, and more. Across Portland, local restaurants and bars will be featuring special seaweed-based food and cocktails, while brewers, bakers, distillers, chocolatiers, cheesemakers, and other artisans release limited-edition items.
Maine Comic & Toy Con is Maine’s premiere comic book and pop culture event happening at the Cross Insurance Arena. Three days of “pure geek fun”, Maine Comic & Toy Con includes celebrity guests, artists, games, pop culture, guest panels, cosplay, comic books, autographs, photo opportunities and more! Tickets here.
After a brief hiatus, the Bug Light Kite Festival will return in May. Starting at 11 AM, you can head on over to the South Portland park to enjoy kites of all shapes and colors as they take to the sky. Bring your own kite, or purchase a kite while there! Hosted by South Portland Historical Society and Nor’Easters Kite Club and Kites Over New England.
A week of award-winning wine and food, Portland Wine Week is set for early June. Celebrating the local community, award-wining boutique restaurants, and diverse quality wine, Portland Wine Week offers various events such as wine sails, brunches, dinners, seminars and special menus. There are opportunities to meet winemakers, chefs, and sommeliers. Find the 2023 event schedule (in progress) online with respective ticket/reservation links.
Bringing people together, Pride Portland!’s annual parade and festival celebrates and honors the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ movement, raises awareness of the community’s ongoing struggles, and fosters an environment of inclusivity, accessibility, and solidarity.
The parade usually begins at Monument Square, proceeding along Congress Street to Congress Square Park and then down High Street to Park Avenue where it will enter into Deering Oaks Park by Mellen Street. Following the parade, Pride Portland will be hosting a Pride Festival in Deering Oaks Park.
Held in intimate spaces (St. Luke’s Cathedral and Etz Chaim Synagogue) The Bach Virtuosi Festival offers residents and visitors of southern Maine a world-class concert series for lovers of the baroque repertoire. Played with brilliance, love and integrity, the BVF was founded by violinist Lewis Kaplan as a way to bring performances of Bach and his contemporaries to Portland, Maine. Tickets here.
An international festival of adventure, conservation and the arts, each summer thousand of pass holders, filmmakers, panelist, athletes, brands, and onlookers come together for Maine Outdoor Film Festival, a multi-day film festival in vibrant Portland. Serving as an outlet for outdoor adventure and conservation storytelling the event includes outdoor screenings, panel discussions, networking events, and outdoor activities. Tickets to come soon.
Maine’s premier Yoga Festival is a three-day celebration led by amazing Maine and New England yoga talent. Set overlooking Casco Bay in Portland, during MYF you’ll experience a weekend of diverse workshops across a variety of yoga styles and techniques, live music, a vendor village, and a healing village. Cultivating a unique and authentic experience, attendees we feel at home, feel supported, and feel encouraged. Upon leaving, guests will have made real connections with people, and with a wider, like-minded community. Tickets here.
An annual favorite among the Portland community, the Best of Awards Portland Old Port recognizes and applauds the enormous efforts of local businesses in making Portland, Maine the award winning city it is today. Winners are voted by the public from a diverse selection of ‘Best Of’ categories that include Portland’s favorite restaurants, realtors, artists, salons and more in over 130 categories. Winners announced in-person at the Best of Awards ceremony. Find list of 2022 winners here.
A multi-day celebration that brings together 50 exceptional breweries from across the country, Mast Landing’s Wavy Days Beer Festival will relocate for its 2nd year to Thompson’s Point. Attending breweries include Vitamin Sea Brewing, Good Word Brewing & Public House, Foam Brewers, Goodfire Brewing, Allagash Brewing, and more! Tickets available soon.
The Portland Chamber Music Festival brings artists from around the world to the Greater Portland region. Enhancing the cultural life of Southern Maine through a wide range of innovative classical and contemporary chamber music performances, the four day festival will take place at USM’s Hannaford Hall. Tickets available soon.
Now in its 8th year, the Portland Fine Craft Show features approximately 100 juried exhibitors from Maine and the Northeast exhibiting fine craft in the following media categories: baskets, ceramics, fiber-decorative, fiber-wearables, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, printmaking, stone and wood.
Remaining one of the only Maine craft shows open to artists not living in Maine, PFCS is a well-organized and high quality event, met with high attendance.
Maine Marathon is a USATF certified and an official Boston Marathon qualifying running event featuring beautiful views of the water, the Portland skyline and plenty of fall foliage. Starting bright and early at 7:45 AM, the race will start and finish at Baxter Boulevard, between Forest Ave. and Preble St. Spectator-friendly, have your friends and family come cheer you along the course and meet up with you at the finish line. Register here.
A non-profit race, Maine Marathon donates 40% of its gross profits to charitable organizations in the community.
New to the running thing or need a warm-up before the big run? Sign up for The Old Port Half Marathon and 5K run on June 10th.
Harvest on the Harbor is Maine’s highly anticipated food and drink festival celebrating premier Maine distillers, brewers, oyster farmers, and purveyors of outstanding hospitality.
Originating back in 2007, Harvest on the Harbor festival has been raising awareness of Portland’s expanding restaurant and hospitality scene by delivering big-time culinary experiences from Portland’s top independently-owned restaurants, bars, breweries, distillers and more. Tickets and date TBD.
Merry Madness - Early December
A signature holiday event hosted by Portland Downtown, Merry Madness is a one-of-a-kind holiday shopping extravaganza across downtown Portland! Packed with late-night shopping, libations, nibbles, and discounts at participating businesses, the evening usually begins with a Merry Madness Kickoff Party where shoppers will receive their Merry Madness Passport detailing discounts and participating stores.
Portland Parade of Lights - Mid December
An annual holiday delight for both kids and adults, the Portland Parade of Lights happens every December out on Casco Bay and along Portland’s waterfront. Setting sail after sundown, watch from all across the Portland waterfront and Bug Light Park in South Portland as ferry boats, tugboats, lobster boats and more pass by in their festive best.