Top Portland, Maine Events

Portland's Best Festivals

You couldn't pick a better spot than scenic Portland, Maine for your family's next vacation. This rugged coastal region has quaint lighthouses, charming beaches and the lovely Casco Bay. With a temperate climate, you can enjoy this part of Maine throughout the year without planning for extreme temperatures. To select the best time for your arrival, review this list of top Portland, Maine events.

portland maine lobsterHarvest on the Harbor

If a grueling school schedule doesn't restrict your travel plans, be sure you experience this Portland food festival during the fall. In addition to viewing the colorful foliage that is characteristic of this part of the country, you'll spend three days enjoying the best food and wine that this seaside hamlet has to offer.

Harvest on the Harbor is actually a combination of five different events. On Thursday, experience the Ultimate Seafood Bash and the Grand Tasting of the Harbor . Spend Friday watching the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition or dining on the creations of four award-winning chefs at the Perfect Pairing: Presenting Maine's James Beard Award Winners . On Saturday morning, the event finishes up with a more casual affair. The harbor area fills with live musicians, cooking demonstrations and wine tastings to fill the day for foodies and wine connoisseurs.

To make the most of this festival, spend your time in one of the nearby Portland vacation rental homes. This plan will allow you to stretch out and relax between events. If you choose well, you may even be able to find a home within walking distance to eliminate the need to look for a parking place or navigate unfamiliar streets.

Old Port Festival

The list of top Portland, Maine events has featured the Old Port Festival for decades. For 30 years, locals and tourists alike have gathered in the Old Port section of Portland to celebrate a weekend filled with music, bargains, food, and drink. The district closes the streets to motorized vehicles and fills them with sales items, arts, crafts, and street vendors. Whether you heat things up by grabbing a dish of Indian curry or by shaking it up to the tune of the strolling musicians, be sure to enjoy one of the signature items at the Old Port Festival: ice-cold, fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Yarmouth Clam Festival

On the third Friday of July each summer, the humble clam trumps the lobster. During this festival, people line the streets to watch the parade go by and snack on all types of seafood, including those wonderful clams. Of course, there's more to this festival than packing it in! Here are a few more of the attractions you will see at the Yarmouth Clam Festival:
  • Carnival rides, including a giant Ferris wheel
  • Clam-shucking contests
  • Bike and foot races
  • Street dancing
  • The Diaper Derby
  • Over 40 musical acts and entertainers
  • Over 165 artists, crafters and photographers

Sidewalk Art Festival

Although Maine in general and Portland in particular host impromptu art festivals any time of the year, this is the big event. Held in either late August or early September, many consider this the biggest art event in New England. It attracts over 300 artists each year, and each one brings his or her best work to display along the sidewalks. Have a little cash ready in case something catches your fancy; everything is for sale, but few artisans bring credit card machines.

Whether you visit for the beaches, for the food or for the fun, the top Portland, Maine events make this town a perfect choice for any family vacation. How will you spend your time in Portland?

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