Art in the Park, Knightville fest return in South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The 37th annual Art in the Park returns next week, along with a nod to Harry Houdini’s 1908 performance at the former trolley bridge that once connected South Portland and Portland.

The 37th annual juried art show and sale in Mill Creek Park runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, and is expected to draw about 175 artists, sculptors and photographers. The event is free, and will include live music and a variety of food options, including ice cream, hot dogs and lobster rolls served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Kids in the Park, where children can participate in their own art activities and enjoy two magic shows under a dedicated tent, will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Artist awards, including Best in Show and Best Photo, will be announced mid-afternoon at the gazebo, and the top prize in the annual student art exhibition will be a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior. Six South Portland High School students will also receive awards of $30 each.

Art in the Park will be followed by the Knightville Street Festival, from 4-7 p.m., when Ocean Street between C and D streets will be turned into a pedestrian plaza and closed to vehicle traffic.

The family-friendly street festival will include food vendors, face painting, and live music from Seagrass, a five-piece bluegrass band. Local magician Phil Smith will also be walking around and interacting with the crowd during the event, in an homage to Houdini’s performance more than a century ago.

Stores throughout Knightville will be offering “in-store specials,” according to organizer Jeannie Dunnigan of Cia Cafe. There will also be pop-up artists who will sell jewelry, pottery and other pieces. 

The annual event is intended to encourage people who don’t normally visit Knightville to explore the neighborhood.  “It’s a great way to build community,” Dunnigan said. 

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

Art in the Park returns to Mill Creek Park in South Portland on Saturday, Aug. 13.

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.