The Old Port (sometimes known as the Old Port Exchange) is a district of Portland, Maine, known for its cobblestone streets, 19th century brick buildings and fishing piers. The district is filled with boutiques, restaurants and bars. Because of its reputation for nightlife, the Old Port overflows each weekend with revelers.
The Old Port transformed in the 1970s when real estate developers purchased derelict buildings and refurbished them into apartments, condos, offices and retail space. During that same decade, the Old Port Association formed and helped halt the city's demolition of historic buildings (see: Portland (Maine) Union Station) and lobbied for street scape improvements. The Cumberland County Civic Center was built at the top of the Old Port in 1977. In the early 1980s, Congress passed the Economic Recovery Tax Act, which provided tax incentives for redevelopment projects, and spurred further development in the district. In 2006, construction began on the Ocean Gateway project. The Ocean Gateway serves as the city's cruise ship terminal.
Old Port Festival
The Old Port Festival is a yearly one day festival which takes place in the Old Port. For the first 36 years (1973-2009), it took place on the first Sunday in June. However, noting weather patterns which consistently brought rain storms on that day, organizers moved the Festival to the second Sunday in June 2010, avoiding heavy rain. In 2009, Festival organizers sought to create the world's largest lobster roll as part of the festival. It included 48 pounds of lobster meat and 4 gallons of mayonnaise. It measured 61 feet and 9.5 inches long. Pieces of the roll were sold to benefit a youth association. In 1998, the event included children games, including a petting zoo and miniature golf.