Who’s ready to start Summer 2013? This weekend Portland kicks off the (unofficial) launch of Maine’s best months with the annual Old Port Festival, celebrating its 40th year of bringing food, music, and entertainment to downtown Portland. Local businesses will have their doors open and vendors selling jewelry, crafts, and street food will line the streets. Get ready for the festival by checking out our roundup of Sunday’s events celebrating the Old Port!
The festival officially starts Sunday but head over to City Hall on Saturday night at 8:30pm to see the designs of Paint Scaping, a 3D projection company. They’ll be using lights, images, and sounds to transform the walls of City Hall into a colorful lighting design celebrating the 40 years of the Old Port Festival.
On Sunday at 11am you can help officially start the festival with a kickoff parade down Exchange St. led by the Shoestring Theater. Bring your family and join musicians, dancers, and mascots to the top of Exchange St. to help launch the festivities.More entertainment includes a 25-ft rock-climbing wall hosted by the Maine Rock Gym on Upper Market St., featuring a Bungee Trampoline for adventurists of all ages!
Portland is a food city to the core and the Old Port Festival brings out the best of local restaurants and vendors for delicious dishes and carnival food. But remember that street food can quickly add up, so save your money for foods you can only get at the festival. Bring your own water bottle so you don’t have to buy $5.00 waters for the whole family and be on the lookout for free samples. We hear that our friends over at b.good, who’ll be opening up their burger joint in July, are handing out free shakes at their storefront on 15 Exchange St.! The b.good food truck, which goes by the name Harvey, will be around to shake things up plus they’ll have a spin wheel where you can win prizes.
The Old Port Festival is perfect for kids of all ages and the city is providing some great kid’s entertainment throughout the day. Amusement rides will be spread throughout the city for kids to enjoy a fun house, train and pirate ship rides, and balloon darts. Be sure to swing by the Post Office Park for afternoon puppet shows, sidewalk chalk drawing, and storytelling. Below is a schedule of kid’s entertainment at the park, plus face painters are usually spread along the city’s sidewalks to provide colorful creations.
Kid’s Events- Post Office Park
12pm: Mad Science of Maine: Up, Up, and Away!
1pm: Rob Duquette World Music
2pm: Hip Hop, Breakdancing, and Jazz Performances- Studio for the Living Arts
3pm: Centre of Movement School of Performing Arts-Dance performances
4pm: Storytelling Through Music- Nevaeh Dance Company
Walk the streets throughout the day for live music from stations like Coast 93.1, WPOR 101.9, and WCLZ 98.9, and other stages hosted by Dispatch Magazine and Maine Academy of Modern Music. Bull Feeny’s Irish Music Stage presented by Smithwick’s Irish Ale will also be providing some good ole’ Irish tunes during the festival. Here’s the time and location of each stage so you can catch your favorite acts live!
The Coast 93.1 – Middle & Pearl St.
12pm: Hello Newman
1pm: Amy Allen
2pm Sara Skinner
3pm Matt Hires
4pm Vicci Martinez
WPOR 101.9 – Temple & Middle St.
12pm: North of Nashville
1:15pm: Morgan Frazier
2:30pm: Chris Stapleton
3:45pm: Eric Paslay
WCLZ 98.9- Fore & Silver St.
12pm: Maine Marimba Ensemble
1pm: Sha Sha Sha
2pm: The Pete Kilpatrick Band
3pm: Charlie Mars
4pm: Enter the Haggis
Dispatch Magazine – Federal & Exchange St.
12pm: Acoustic- Trey Ewald
12:20pm: Northern Lands
1:15pm: Fancy Reagan
2:10pm: Acoustic- Trey Ewald
2:30pm: Sparks the Rescue
3:25pm: Amy Allen
4:15: Evers Webb Band
Maine Academy of Modern Music – Dana St.
12pm: Mark It Zero, Rupture The Fish, Beware of Pedestrians
1:30pm: Illegal Eagle, Emergency Sirens (Kids Rock)
2:00pm: Metal Sideburns, Yard Sail (Girls Rock)
2:30pm: Guilty Bystander, Battle Taxi, Jake Marcus Stryker (Teen Rock)
4:00pm: Local Jane, The Practice
Bull Feeny’s Irish Music Stage (presented by Smithwick’s Irish Ale) – Moulton St.
12pm: Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps
12:30pm: The Milliners
1:30pm: Rum Riot
2:30pm: The Squid Jiggers
3:30pm: The Pubcrawlers
Fingers crossed for good weather but the Old Port Festival will happen rain or shine. Try to walk downtown if you can since the streets will be busy and some will be blockaded. The official zone of the festival extends between Commercial to Congress streets and Union to Pearl streets so plan accordingly as this area will be blocked off to cars. Have a great weekend Portland!