Rounding out a full decade of Santacon, hundreds of Christmas characters hit the town Dec. 2. Santas, elves, and all other manner of merriness packed Port City Music Hall, where they played reindeer games like limbo and jumping strings of lights. Besides generating a lot of laughs and some strange looks in the Old Port, the annual bar crawl raises money for Family Crisis Services.
For many, it's the first major event of the holiday season: The Victoria Mansion Christmas Gala on Nov. 29 showcased holiday decor by more than a dozen local design volunteers. The gala is in the books for 2017, but Christmas at Victoria Mansion continues through Jan. 7, 2018 (other than Christmas and New Year's Day). For more info: www.victoriamansion.org
For the Southern Maine runners, the Portland Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler is just as much a part of their Thanksgiving tradition as a turkey dinner. This 36th annual run around downtown will benefit the University of Southrn Maine women's track team, the Rafiki Foundation, Portland Trails, Partners for World Health and the St. Patrick's Secondary School in Iten, Kenya.
Portland’s Beer Week kicked off at Bayside Bowl with the release of The Weekender, a collaboration beer brought to you by Foundation Brewing & MaineToday. Everyone bowled for prizes and all proceeds went to benefit Portland Trails.
This year marks the 35th annual Halloween Parade in Portland’s West End neighborhood. Robots, rainbows, the Grim Reaper, Gumby and more roamed the streets in celebration, led by life-sized puppets and macabre musicians.
Zombies took over Portland's Congress Square Park at dusk on Oct. 26 in a flash mob-style Thriller Throwdown. Now in its fifth year, the event organized by Avant Dance Studio in Westbrook is far from a secret. After a couple weeks of Monday-night practices, dancers congregated at the park to re-create Michael Jackson's iconic video. Hundreds of people were there to watch--and join in on the dance party in the rain after a Thriller performance. Props to producer Kristin Sutton and Michael Jackson impersonator Ramon Martinez. #thrillerthrowdown
Harvest on the Harbor, Portland's annual food and drink festival, includes 10 events in 2017, including Marketing on the Harbor on Oct. 21. There, foodies enjoyed a one-stop taste and sipping experience to explore the varied food and drink in Maine, from Maine black bear tacos to Browne Trading Co. caviar to torched treats from The Marshmallow Cart. Dean Ford & the Keepsakes set the tone and 50 food and drink vendors served up their specialties at The Portland Company Complex.
More than a little bit country, a Harvest Moon Dance organized by the Greater Portland Board of Realtors (GPBR) raised $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity. About 140 people attended the barbecue dinner dance and cornhole tournament at The Event Barn at Flaherty's Family Farm in Scarborough on Oct. 4. The fun in this fundraiser included live music by country band Whiskey Grimace, BBQ by Moe's, a cash bar by Dogfish Cafe, raffles and line dancing lessons.