Portland celebrates Independence Day

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PORTLAND — The annual Fourth of July festival comes to Munjoy Hill and the Eastern Promenade from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 4.

The festival is capped by the annual fireworks display, beginning around 9:20 p.m. and expected to last for 25 minutes.

After nearly a decade of sponsorship from private business, the festival is now being funded by the city, and will not feature the annual concert by the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

July 4th Portland, the nonprofit established to organize what was called the Stars and Stripes Spectacular, said in an April 13 press release there was “a loss of major sponsorship revenue that hasn’t been replaced.”

City manager Jon Jennings, who helped organize the Stars and Stripes Spectacular after the city eliminated fireworks from its budget in 2010, said the city is now owed about $80,000 by the nonprofit.

The city has budgeted $35,000 for the fireworks and other festival expenses, Jennings said.

“This was always intended to be a private/public partnership,” he added.

The festival also requires extensive parking restrictions and street closures throughout the neighborhood on July 4, or on July 5 if the festival is postponed due to bad weather.

From 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the East End Trail will be closed from Cutter Street to the Portland Water District treatment plant. Cutter Street itself and the public boat launch will be closed for 24 hours beginning at 10 p.m. July 3. 

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin suggested boaters use the Falmouth Town Landing on Route 88 launch ($10 for nonresidents, 781-7317), the Bug Light boat launch in South Portland ($5 for residents, $6 for nonresidents) or Portland Yacht Services.

Street closures from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.:

• Eastern Promenade from Morning Street to Walnut Street.

• Wilson Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade.

• Moody Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade.

• Congress Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade

Street closures from 3-10 p.m.:

• Turner Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade.

• Quebec Street from Emerson Street to the Eastern Promenade.

• Melbourne Street from Emerson Street to the Eastern Promenade.

• Montreal Street from Willis Street to the Eastern Promenade.

• Walnut Street from Willis Street to the Eastern Promenade.

At 4 p.m., the entire neighborhood will be closed to traffic from Washington Avenue and Mountfort Street.

Parking restrictions from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 4 include:

• Eastern Promenade (both sides) from Morning Street to Washington Avenue.

• Fort Allen Park (both sides).

• Walnut Street from Eastern Promenade to Washington Avenue.

• Mountfort Street from Congress to Fore streets (both sides).

Grondin said there will be some handicapped parking spaces available on Cutter Street and at Fort Allen Park on a first-come, first-served basis. Clearly marked handicapped vehicles will be allowed access by using Fore Street until 8 p.m.

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

The annual July 4 festival on Portland’s Eastern Promenade will feature a fireworks display that will start around 9:20 p.m.

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