Thousands of Santas hustled around the Maine Mall early Sunday morning, dashing into the holiday season with the Santa Hustle New England 5K & Half Marathon. Runners took the Santa hats, beards and running tops and stepped up their game with outrageously festive costuming in this Easter Seals Maine fundraiser. After all, there's nothing like running around a mall in a Santa suit, Christmas music blaring, and elf hugs and chocolate chip cookies at the finish line to kick off the holiday season.
Mainers packed the State Theatre to kick off the snow season with Warren Miller Entertainment's 2015 film, "Chasing Shadows." Maine's snowboard cross legend Seth Wescott is featured in the film snowboarding epic mountains in Nepal just prior to the earthquake. More info about the film tour: http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/2o15Tour
The 6th Annual State Street Holiday Stroll was a wonderful community oriented event. The churches and a few local businesses band together once a year where craters can sell their holiday wares and members of the churches held indoor yard sales and had craft tables. Mr. and Mrs Clause along with the Portland Seadog Mascot, Slugger were among those making an appearance.
Where can you sample brews from 20 regional brewers in one afternoon? Maine Brewers Festival at the Expo Center in Portland. This 22-year tradition brings out beer devotees in droves, including a variety of groups with specially designed t-shirts for this one special day a year. And a pretzel necklace is the finishing touch to any Brewers Fest ensemble.
Maine's sixth annual TEDx Dirigo was met with vivacity and enthusiasm. Drawing entrepreneurs, entertainers and community members from all over to Thompson's Point in Portland. TEDx is a brilliant and innovative offshoot of it's big brother TED. TED takes place globally hosting speakers from around the world. Today's TEDx event hosted speakers who touched on topics such as being Transgender, women's equality (and inequality), sustainable agriculture, stem cells innovation, and more. Entertainment was provided by Circus Maine, performing unparalleled feats of coordination and athleticism. There were songs performed by The Maine Youth Rock Orchestra fronted by Renee Coolbrith, Lady Essence, and Shane Resinger. Setting the stage for the day was an opera performance by Rosemary Crimp. Overall TEDx Dirigo Bounce was another triumph in the community.
Pro-Am brewers got together on election night to showcase their choice brews to a crowd who would elect their favorite Maine Brewed beer. The annual event was hosted by the Maine Brewers Guild at Salvage BBQ in Portland.
The first day of Portland Beer Week 2015 concluded with Supper in the Park--that is, the industrial park in Portland that is home to Allagash Brewing Company, Austin Street, Foundation Brewing and Bissell Brothers. More than 40 people attended the ticketed four-course progressive dinner with local brews paired with tasty offerings from Rosemont Bakery and Market, Mami, Shawarma Arabian BBQ, Locally Sauced, The Highroller Lobster Company, and Piccolo. Proceeds are going to the Locker Project, which gets snacks and groceries to kids in Portland schools. Portland Beer Week continues through Nov. 7. For the full list of events: www.portlandbeerweek.org #207beerweek
Portland was not lacking in weird on Halloween this year. With music and costumes at Empire, SPACE Gallery, Port City Music Hall, Portland House of Music and Bubbas Sulky Lounge. There was no shortage of places to go or sights to behold. Stay weird, Portland.