So you’re planning to catch the fireworks and concert by the Portland Symphony Orchestra on the Eastern Promenade Wednesday night. For many of you, this ain’t your first rodeo, so you’ve got a parking plan all worked out over years of trials and errors.
But if not, or if you do something different every year, here are some tidbits of information worth writing down:
- 50,000 people are expected to descend on Portland for this, so the earlier you get here, the easier you’ll have it.
- Only 2,000 tickets are being distributed for the inaugural Great American Ice Cream Fest, which is being added to the festivities this year and benefits the Share Our Strength and Mercy Hospital’s Best Shot for Youth programs. The ice cream extravaganza will be held on Cutter Street and runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., but, because there’s a limit on the tickets and tens of the thousands expected in the city, don’t wait to buy ducats. Samples from some of New England’s top ice cream makers will be handed out, and voting for Maine’s Favorite Ice Cream will be held. Tickets for The Great American Ice Cream Fest are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and may be purchased in person prior to the event through the marketing department at Mercy Hospital located at 148 State Street in Portland, the Maine Red Claws offices located at 413 Congress Street in Portland, at Quirk Chevrolet located at 1000 Brighton Avenue or Portland Recreation at the Cummings Center 134 Congress Street in Portland.
- The PSO concert, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and featuring patriotic tunes, will begin at 7:40 p.m. and continue throughout the fireworks, which will be fired from a barge starting around 9:20 p.m.
- There’s a rain date set up for the following night, and if you’re wondering whether the weather is bad enough to postpone, call the city’s information hotline at 756-8130.
- This note for bicyclists copied directly from a City Hall announcement: To accommodate spectators that want to ride their bikes to Munjoy Hill, valet bicycle parking will be available near the cannon at Fort Allen Park, allowing cyclists to park their bicycle for free. Sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Portland Bicycle Community Meetup, people will be able to leave their bike in a staffed parking area, no lock required. Bicycle lights will be available for sale from Gorham Bike & Ski, to ensure that spectators can ride home legally after dark. valet bike parking will be available from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
- Leave your pets at home, and throw away all of your trash and recyclables.
- Don’t use the area playgrounds or tennis and basketball courts for fireworks viewing — some people may actually still want to play on them.
- The East End boat launch, Cutter Street and all Cutter Street parking areas are closed starting Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. and lasting until Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m.
- Starting at 11 a.m. on the day of the fireworks, the following streets leading to the Eastern Prom will be closed to traffic (and parking will be restricted along many of these roads even earlier): Eastern Promenade from Morning Street to Walnut Street, Wilson Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade, Moody Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade, Congress Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade, Turner Street from Morning Street to the Eastern Promenade, Quebec Street from Emerson Street to the Eastern Promenade, Melbourne Street from Emerson Street to the Eastern Promenade, Montreal Street from Willis Street to the Eastern Promenade, Walnut Street from Willis Street to the Eastern Promenade.
- By 4 p.m. on the day of the fireworks, the entirety of Munjoy Hill will be closed to traffic.
- For suggested viewing spots and more details on the parking restrictions, among other things, click here.