Posted: March 21, 2017
Signs of spring (when it still feels like winter)
Written by: Leslie Bridgers
Up Next: MAMM SLAM 2017: Mikayla Gallows
You may not have had time to pick your head up from the snow pile you were shoveling to realize that spring started Monday. But despite the white stuff and sub-freezing nights, there are signs all around us that the time of year is changing. One of the first harbingers of spring was the opening of Red’s Dairy Freeze in South Portland at the beginning of the month, though it may have been premature, considering the purveyors of sought-after soft-serve had to shut down for a day thanks to a snowstorm. Over the next few weeks, keep a lookout for these indications that warmer weather’s coming – even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Photo courtesy of Two Lights Lobster Shack
THE LOBSTER SHACK AT TWO LIGHTS
Opening March 30, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, 225 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth. lobstershacktwolights.com
Although the true Two Lights experience involves getting sprayed with sea water as you crack open your lobster claws on a picnic bench outside, it also involves waiting in a long line just to put in your order. So take advantage of the early season, when you can take a quick stroll along the rocks while waiting for your food to be cooked, then enjoy it – and the views – in a timely manner from the comfort of the dining room.
Tennis players at Payson Park in spring. Staff photo by Doug Jones
PUBLIC TENNIS IN PORTLAND Anytime now, various locations.
Mid-March is when city crews are scheduled to put up the tennis nets at the 24 courts around Portland. This year, that coincided with a major winter storm. But as soon as the snow clears, the nets will go up on the Eastern Prom, at Deering Oaks, in Payson Park and elsewhere. But remember to bring your own water; the fountains don’t get turned on until May.
Fans bundle up for Sea Dogs opening day. Staff photo by Gabe Souza
SEA DOGS OPENING DAY
Game starts at 6 p.m. April 4, Hadlock Field, 271 Park Ave., Portland. seadogs.com
Although it’s not unheard of for this game to get postponed, as of now, the Portland Sea Dogs plan to open their season at home against the Reading Fightin Phils. Even if it feels more like hockey weather, sitting at Hadlock Field with a baseball glove on our hand and a Gore-Tex glove on the other, you can’t help but feel that spring is (almost) in the air.
Staff photo by Gregory Rec
Arcade opens April 11, hours vary, 1 Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach. palaceplayland.com
Southern Maine's favorite arcade holds limited hours for a couple days just before school vacation week in April, when it opens daily starting at noon, before returning to a weekend-only schedule until June. Before the Pier starts rocking and the amusement rides get going, Old Orchard Beach is a bit of a ghost town, but it's a good time to have the run of the beach community without contending with tourists.
The Wednesday farmers market in Monument Square. Staff photo by Gabe Souza
PORTLAND FARMERS MARKET
Late April, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays in Monument Square and Saturdays in Deering Oaks Park, Portland. portlandmainefarmersmarket.org
There are a couple hardy farmers at the Monument Square market who never go home for the winter, but the majority of the 30-some vendors take the harshest months off before returning to sell their goods in the city square on Wednesday and at the park on Saturdays. Watching the Wednesday crowd dwindle in winter and start to swell in spring is one of the best ways to judge what’s to come.