I feel, recently, as though the Facebook feed for this site has just turned into a place where we do nothing but plug craft fairs. Which is fine, because I love craft fairs and love, in particular, how they give small local artisans the chance to have a storefront for the day, leading you to discover new artists and creative types that make stuff to enrich your life.
However, I don’t want the abundance of craft fairs this season to make folks overlook all the other cool stuff that long-established local businesses have to offer.
Anyhow, that’s a long way of saying that this weekend, and particularly tonight (Friday night) will be a perfect storm of things to do in Portland, and I personally think the evening may serve as a real celebration of this great city and all it has to offer. Maybe that sounds sappy, but I truly believe it and and I strongly, strongly urge you to get out and walk around the peninsula on Friday, December 7th. From Longfellow Square to the East End and Munjoy Hill, there will be a million wonderful things to see and do.
It’s the first Friday of the month, which means the First Friday Art Walk will be running full force. Click the link for the complete list, but some highlights include:
6:30 pm: A performance by the Portland Ballet taking place in the big glass windows at the front of the Portland Public Library. The performance is designed to be viewed from Monument Square and includes excerpts from Victorian Nutcracker in full costume; a flirty number entitled “Si Je T’aime”; a moving modern piece entitled “Wash Over Me”; a sweeping contemporary piece for two dancers; and a Rockettes-inspired number to “Let it Snow.”(Portland Ballet will serve hot chocolate to audience members to help keep them warm.)
4 – 9 pm: Portland Christmas Record Party at the Flea for All (125 Kennebec St). A celebration of the classic LP plus oh so much more. DJ. Crafts. Egg nog.
5 – 8 pm: Five Dollar First Friday at Victoria Mansion. The Mansion is all dressed up for the holidays, and $5 is a deal (the normal ‘Christmas at Victoria Mansion’ fee is $15 for adults). It will also be the only chance to see the mansion’s holiday decorations after dark all season.
5 – 8 pm: Goodwill’s annual ‘Art for Everyone’ fundraiser. All through they year they hold back interesting and significant donated art, and this is your chance to purchase it! Works are presented in a gallery setting, and are priced from $5 to $100, with most pieces in the $20 to $50 range.
5 – 9 pm: Maine College of Art Holiday Sale. Held in the MECA building on Congress St, this is much more than a student art show. It’s a celebration of the work created by students in every medium you can imagine. (Last year my favorite item was actually the student written and designed cookbook.) Sale continues Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.
…. and don’t forget to check out the Longfellow Garden Lights while you’re walking by. The Longfellow garden is tucked away in a true secret corner of Portland, and is one of the most beautiful hidden spaces I k now of. There will also be horse drawn wagon rides all evening long, sponsored by Portland Downtown District.
Saturday the downtown festivity continues with the Downtown District’s “Holidays in the Heart of Portland” event. Food, more wagon rides, crafts for kids, and you can visit Santa at the Children’s Museum from 10 am to 1 pm (no need to go to the Mall to see the Jolly Man himself!)
Saturday also brings the Designing Women craft show, being held at the Ocean Avenue Elementary school from 9 am to 4 pm. Some door proceeds benefit the school PTO (which happens to be my son’s school) so be sure to stop by.
Saturday night take a break from the hustle and bustle and attend the concert A Baroque Christmas at The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke on State Street. Timothy Burris, a lute player, along with Music’s Quill and soprano, Sarah Bailey in this annual Christmas concert combining seasonal music of the Renaissance and Baroque with period readings. Starts at 7 pm.
Sunday, of course, is the annual Picnic Holiday Sale, held at The Portland Company on Fore St from 11 am to 6 pm. Please go say ‘Hi’ to the Yeti for me. (Here’s my post about Picnic from last year, one of the first things I ever wrote for this site. It’s a little like an archeological artifact, actually.)
Sunday afternoon at 3 pm you can also enjoy a refreshingly different sort of holiday concert with Hanukkah Rocks, a concert featuring The LeeVee’s (a code name for Adam Gardner of Guster and Dave Schneider of The Zambonis with special guest Jennifer Elowitch of the Boston Pops). Held at Congregation Bet Ha’am, 81 Westbrook St., Portland. Tickets are sold out on-line but may still be available at the door.
This, by the way, doesn’t even scratch the surface. If for some reason you’re looking for even more things to do, here’s some resources to check:
Enjoy your weekend!