Old Port Festival returns for 39th time on Sunday

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PORTLAND —The 39th Old Port Festival will take place Sunday, June 10, with a focus on getting people to travel to the event by bicycle, and a performance by a former “American Idol” contestant.

The one-day festival is northern New England’s largest of its kind, organizers said, attracting an average of more then 30,000 people to the city’s downtown waterfront.

“The Old Port Festival has become the unofficial kickoff to summer in Portland,” Will Ethridge, Portland Downtown District events and marketing manager, said in a press release. “People should expect all the great music, food, and vendors that have been an Old Port Festival tradition for the last 39 years.”

Things get started with an 11 a.m. parade from the top of Exchange Street.

The festival features outdoor activities, including rock climbing on upper Market Street, amusement rides on Federal Street, shopping among Maine artists and crafters on Market Street, arts activities and entertainment for children in Post Office Park, and six stages of performances by local and visiting musicians.

An array of rock, rap, country and acoustic acts will play at the intersections of Middle and Temple streets, Fore and Silver streets, Middle and Pearl streets, and Fore and Union Streets. The Maine Academy of Modern Music sponsors a stage on Dana Street, where the sounds will rely mainly on rock; Bull Feeney’s presents an afternoon of Irish-influenced groups on Moulton Street.

Music on all stages begins at noon, except for the Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps, which performs at the Moulton Street stage at 11:30 a.m. Bands and performance times are listed at Portlandmaine.com.

Former “American Idol” contestant Bucky Covington performs at 4 p.m. at the Fore and Union streets stage.

This year, “we encourage people to ride their bicycles to the festival,” Ethridge said. The Maine Bike Coalition will offer bike valet service on Union Street between Middle and Fore streets.

Andrew Cullen can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or acullen@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @ACullenFore.

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