By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,498)
“We decided to begin Merry Madness at the Portland House of Music this year. It’s a different venue from a hotel,” said Casey Gilbert, Executive Director of Portland Downtown. It’s the annual mix of fun and shopping in the Old Port that brings people from all over the area together. Gilbert said she was expecting between 1,000 and 1,500 people at the House of Music. The warm December weather and the proximity of the music venue were added incentives for shoppers to come and enjoy the spirit of the holidays with family and friends. It was a short walk into the shopping area of Exchange Street. .
Attendees received a Merry Madness glass or mug which they took with them for refills along Exchange Street shopping route.
Last year the event began at the Westin Hotel on Congress Street in downtown Portland. The weather was poor and the walk from the Westin much longer. For some businesses in the Old Port the event wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped.
But this year was very different! Rob Sevegny, owner of The Paper Patch said: “This is the best Merry Madness ever. It was very successful for me.” He along with a few others on Exchange Street served wine to anyone part of Merry Madness asking. And they were asking!