Portland Downtown announces ‘end of an era’ for Old Port Festival
PORTLAND, Maine – All good things must come to an end. Portland Downtown is announcing that the 2019 Old Port Festival — to be held Sunday, June 9, 2019 — will mark a fond farewell to one of Maine’s largest summer events.
For 45 years, the Old Port Festival has been a beloved celebration of music, art, and community in downtown Portland’s historic Old Port. The event began as a grassroots art & music festival designed to generate vitality in a downtown that’s very different from the downtown of today. Over the years, the Old Port Festival grew and evolved along with the city itself, faithfully serving its mission of celebrating and showcasing local art, music, and culture. The event has had a spectacular run, to be sure, and its organizers want the festival to conclude on a celebratory note.
“We know this news will come as a disappointment to many,” said Casey Gilbert, executive director of Portland Downtown. “The Old Port Festival has created joyous memories for thousands of people – and our organization has been a proud steward of the event for the past 20 years. We plan to give the festival the send-off it deserves, and we can’t wait to celebrate on June 9th.”
The Old Port Festival will round out an array of family-friendly events scheduled for Summer Kickoff Weekend. Square Hop, returning for a third year, will bring music & special performances to four downtown parks on the evening of Friday, June 7. The festivities will continue on Saturday, June 8 with two beloved community events: Walk the Working Waterfront and Shop For A Cause Day. Sunday’s Old Port Festival will wrap up the weekend in magnificent fashion – offering traditional favorites such as the Shoestring Theatre Parade, the Children’s Area in Post Office Park, hundreds of vendor booths, and music on multiple stages. Entertainment line-ups will be available soon at portlandmaine.com.
Gilbert added, “While our hearts our heavy as we bid farewell to an incredible event, we’re also excited about the opportunity to enhance our other outstanding programs and events, including Pandora’s Winter Lights, the Summer Cadet Program in partnership with the Portland Police Department, Downtown Worker Appreciation Day, our Peer Outreach Worker Program in partnership with Amistad, and the Tree Lighting in Monument Square. We’ll continue to celebrate and activate our beautiful and unique downtown and all that it has to offer.”
Portland Downtown wishes to thank the many organizations that have ensured a safe Old Port Festival throughout the years including the City of Portland, the Portland Fire Department, and the Portland Police Department. We also wish to thank our hundreds of participating festival vendors, downtown businesses, community partners, and of course the festival-goers themselves.
About Portland Downtown
Portland Downtown is a nonprofit Downtown Improvement District dedicated to creating a cleaner, safer, more vibrant downtown. The organization is funded through a supplemental tax paid by property owners within the downtown district. For more information about Portland Downtown’s programs, services, and events, visit portlandmaine.com.