By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,321)
If you didn’t eat it, drink it, see it, hear it, or buy it, then you probably didn’t need it.
That’s because the 42nd Annual Old Port Festival had it all for believers who swarmed the streets today – soaked up the sunshine, comfortable temperatures and slight breezes.
There were 7-minute pony rides for children from Pony-Xpress Amusements, Waterville. They are Shetland Cross Ponies and carry up to 100 lbs. They can live into their 40s. (See below right photo.) Making its first appearance at the corner of Exchange and Fore Streets at the Old Port Festival was a van displaying Sea Bags in 24 cubes – a copy of the way in which Sea Bags are displayed in their flagship store at 25 Custom House Wharf, Portland, according to Melissa Kenison, marketing associate for the company. Sea Bags are made of 100% recycled sail bags and has used 500 tons of sails. The company has expanded to Massachusetts; one store on Cape Cod and the other in Rockport. .
The Market Street area was dedicated to Maine Arts & Crafts. Among the artists was Alan Claude, a graphic artist, selling 2016 calendars and posters.
For the first time, the annual Festival was a four-day event. Despite an effort by Portland Downtown, the event’s sponsor, to encourage participants to buy from the brick and mortar stores in the Old Port, higher-end retailers said the event did nothing to boost their bottom line. One such retailer said: “They are just here to buy postcards and sodas.”
Some of the vendors looked as they were doing quite well with their sales. One was The Fudge Lady situated on Market Street – she had numerous flavors and varieties of Fudge that kept her on her toes!