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Buy Local members ready for first South Portland festival

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Buy Local members ready for first South Portland festival

SOUTH PORTLAND — A day in the park Saturday will afford Bug Light visitors a chance to sample wares from a variety of local businesses.

The first South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Buy Local Summer Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with at least 30 businesses expected to set up at the waterfront locale.

"We are excited for it, this is perfect. It is a great group," Buy Local President April Cohen-Tracy said Tuesday. "The goal is to bring back the feel of the Spring Point Festival."

Food will be available from, among others, Taco Trio, JP Thornton's and Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott; there will be doggy IQ tests from Whole Dog Market; and family portraits available from Maine Photo Girls.

The festival is the culmination of at least three years of planning for what former President Dani Nisbet envisioned as Buy Local's signature event.

Nisbet, owner of Belissimo Salon on Ocean Street, will be part of the festival fundraising for the South Portland Food Cupboard: she and employees of Flair for Hair, Ocean Waves, Creations and the South Portland Clipper Co. will be cutting and styling hair.

Those not in need of grooming can help stuff a city bus with nonperishable food items for the pantry (cash and check donations will also be accepted).

Tracy said Bug Light Park was her desired venue because of the open field and scenery. Bug Light and the South Portland Historical Society will also be open for tours.

Festival planning experienced one hitch when city councilors declined to revise an ordinance that bans beer sales, but Tracy said Sea Dog Brewing Co. remains a festival sponsor and will serve food.

Visitors should be aware Madison street will be closed at Breakwater Drive, but businesses in the area, including Allagash International, have invited the public to park in their lots.

Bicyclists can enjoy valet parking by volunteers from the Maine Bike Coalition, who will check in bikes and park them at racks.

Tracy said the festival will provide Buy Local, and its nearly 200 members, added visibility.

The rain date for the festival is Sunday, Aug. 18.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.