The number of events attended by locals provides a place for tourists to experience the true heart of Portland, Maine and maybe even open the doors to make some new friends along the way.
Funky Monday Nights
One of my favorite spots to find locals is at the Portland House of Music and Events, known by everyone in town as H.O.M.E. Mondays can sometimes be quiet downtown but if you want to turn up the volume and dance to start your week, check out DAMN Gina and the Red Eye Flight Crew who put on the kind of show you can’t help but move to. There’s only a $5 cover!
Out on a Tuesday?
These three events listed are held all over town, and can be found on any given weeknight. However, coincidentally each of my favorites are all held on Tuesday. Bull Feeney’s is my favorite open mic spot in town. It is hosted by Jacob McCurdy, a guitarist and vocalist for a local music group called The Dapper Gents (another must see). It’s a great place to support talented individuals while having a drink, or better yet, sign up and perform yourself. Tuesday night is also Pub Quiz night at RíRa on Commercial Street. Form a team and win prizes. And finally, if you are feeling in the need for a good laugh, head to Brian Boru and listen to open stand-up comedy.
Wednesday or Saturday at the Farmers Market
Every Wednesday morning in Monument Square and Saturday morning in Deering Park local farmers come to sell their goods and locals arrive to do their weekly/bi-weekly produce shopping. Fruits, vegetables, honey, flowers, bread, eggs, cheese, and local art are some of the many purchases that can be made. It’s also a great spot to just wander, bring your family, listen to street music and educate yourself on Maine agriculture.
The First Friday Art Walk is a place to score art from local artists at an affordable price and support galleries and other shops who incorporate the arts into a wide variety of events. Hop from gallery to gallery, see street performers, try free samples, make your own art, and talk with people from town. Held the first Friday of every month from 5pm-8pm.
Any local in town will tell you about Reggae Sunday, as it is a summer tradition in Portland, and be advised that it’s the place if you want a party. Every Sunday from 11am to 5pm throughout the summer locals flock to Peaks Island via ferry to listen to live reggae music, dance, and drink from their infamous rum buckets.
Blind Pig Barber Company (Any Day of the Week)
For decades the local barbershop has been a place of community. The Blind Pig is no different. Come get a haircut or service in the Old Port while chatting with locals and regulars. You can call to make an appointment or feel free to walk right in and make yourself at home.