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    Heroes and Villains Masquerade

    Tina "Machina" Lewis, who happens to organize the Super Hero Lady Arm Wrestlers of Portland, decided that what Portland needs in January is a night to dress up and get down. And so the Heroes and Villains Masquerade at Portland House of Music and Events (PHOME), hosted by Portland Masquerade (aka Tina Lewis), was born. She means to make it a monthly thing. Why should October get all the masquerade fun?

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    What a Joke Portland

    Portland was one of 23 cities participating in the What a Joke National Comedy Fest during inauguration weekend as a fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lincolns, which hosts a Laugh Shack comedy night every Thursday (8:30 p.m., $5 cover) was filled to capacity for a liberal dose of political humor from stand-up comedians from Portland, Boston... and Westbrook. Local performers included Jordan Handren-Seavey, who has a comedy album "I Should Have Done More By Now," as well as Aharon Williams, Jed Bloom, Connor McGrath and Micaela Tepler. There's a similar night planned for 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22 at Bunker Brewing, 17 Westfield St., Portland ($10 suggested donated).

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    Spire and Ice in Gorham

    Downtown Gorham was a hot (and cold) spot for Spire and Ice on Friday and Saturday nights. The ice bar/dance party with DJ Chris Bouchard (and the Patriots game on, of course, on Saturday night) raised money for Helping Paws Rescue. No one's mouth froze to the ice luge.

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    Lobster Dip for Special Olympics Maine

    Three hundred people took the plunge at 2017 Lobster Dip at The Brunswick on Old Orchard Beach, raising more than $121,200 for Special Olympics Maine. At an unusually warm air temperature of 40 degrees and at high tide (making for a shorter run from sea to shelter), double dipping was the thing to do. #lobsterdip2017

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    The Polar Express

    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…

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    Portland Brewers’ Holiday Dash 5K

    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.

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    Merry Madness 2016

    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.

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    Repeal Day Ball

    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.