PORTLAND — In a twist from the traditional green and red, the bandstand at Fort Allen Park was bedecked Sunday in red, white and blue to honor the troops for the holidays.
About a half-dozen volunteers hung garlands, wreaths and more than 1,000 lights on the bandstand that overlooks the water on the edge of the Eastern Promenade.
A Christmas tree, decorated in blue, stands at the center of the bandstand as a new addition this year.
“We decided to celebrate for the troops this year and we’re decorating in red, white and blue for the first time as a way of doing something for them since they’re not here,” said Crandall Toothaker, a volunteer with Friends of the Eastern Promenade, which sponsored the third annual event.
“A lot of people drive down here and will see this and be reminded to be thankful,” Toothaker said.
The bandstand, built in 1891, will stay illuminated from dusk to dawn throughout the holiday season.
Fort Allen Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Historic Landscape by the city of Portland.
The 9-acre park contains the original berm from Fort Allen, built in 1814 — two years into the War of 1812 — to protect the entrance to Portland’s harbor.
Friends of the Eastern Promenade thought that honoring the troops was an appropriate choice for the park, which is home to memorials for the Civil War, World War II, the Vietnam War and the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Fort Allen Park is the densest part of the Promenade for memorials. We want to continue to mark that and honor that tradition and show the real spirit of the holidays,” said Diane Davison, president of Friends of the Eastern Promenade.
Friends of the Eastern Promenade is a nonprofit community group founded in 2006 to help preserve the park’s historic public landscape and encourage its recreational use.
In addition to bearing the decorations, the bandstand will be the starting point for caroling in the park on Dec. 15.
Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: