Happy Holidays! Children and families boarded the Polar Express for a magical ride to the North Pole. Hot cocoa, cookies, silver bells, and storytelling were a part of the journey, as were visits from the conductors, hobo joe, and Santa Claus himself. Proceeds from the event directly support the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad museum’s mission…
About 450 merry runners did the Portland Brewers' Holiday Dash 5K on Dec. 11, a brisk run followed by beer and brunch at RiRa's. Four local breweries--Shipyard, Maine Beer Company, Allagash, and Rising Tide--donated brews for the post-race party. The Holiday Dash is a fundraiser for Portland Trails.
Portland House of Music and Events (HOME) hosted this year's more-merry-and-less-madness Merry Madness wine-and-shopping kickoff party. After chilling out with live music, wine in complementary event glasses, and bags of snacks to go, Merry Madness shoppers explored Portland Downtown with maps of 60 shopping locations within walking distance. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales are going to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund.
The 83rd anniversary of the end of Prohibition is plenty enough excuse for the Maine Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild to throw a Prohibition-era fundraising party at Mechanics Hall in Portland. Neal Dow, the Portland mayor who was known as the Napoleon of Temperance, must be rolling in his grave.
The merriest pub crawl of them all, Santacon brought hundreds of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, elves, reindeer, snowmen, leg lamps, Christmas trees and even one fireplace and mantle to the Old Port on Saturday night. From 4 p.m. until last call, Santas were on the move, descending on Pat's Pizza, Lincoln's, Monument Square for group photos, Port City Dance Hall, Oasis, Bonfire, Dusk, Drink Exchange, Gritty's, Bull Feeney's and Thirsty Pig, Grace, Brian Boru and 51 Wharf. Organizers urged Santas to be good for goodness' sake and to put some cash in the collection buckets for Family Crisis Services, a domestic violence support and prevention agency in Portland.
Realtors found yet another way to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland with a first-time Hops for Habitat fundraiser at Oxbow Blending & Bottling on Washington Avenue in Portland. It was a low-key party in the tasting room with brews, snacks, auction items and a drawing for a stand-up paddleboard. The event was hosted by Portside Real Estate Group and attended 130 people, primarily folks in the home and lending industries, raising $5,000 for Habitat for Humanity homes.
Runners have the right idea, fitting in a festive community workout before the turkey feast. Portland's 35th annual Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler raised money for the St. Patrick’s Secondary School in Kenya, the USM Women's Track team, the Rafiki Foundation, Portland Trails, and Partners for World Health.
The Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) knows how to market classical concerts to the young adult crowd: Seat them together and have their tickets include a happy hour after the show. The program, Symphony and Spirits, is for adults ages 21-39. The Nov. 12 symphony included Sibelius's Fifth, featuring guest violinist Benjamin Beilman, who at 26 would fit right in with the Symphony and Spirits crowd. The next meetup is Friday, Dec. 9 for the PSO's "Magic of Christmas," featuring Cirque de la Symphonie, after an ugly sweater contest and drinks at Bull Feeny's. #symphonyandspirits