The inaugural Portland Performing Arts Festival begins Thursday, when EepyBird presents a live version of its “Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiment” for the first time in Maine. After touring the world, Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz will kick off the festival at 6 p.m. Thursday in Portland’s Monument Square.

The two have been nominated for two Emmy Awards and won four Webby Awards. They have performed their live show on three continents, from Las Vegas to Istanbul, turning 108 bottles of Coke and more than 600 Mentos candies into a choreographed display of 25-foot geysers of soda.

EepyBird creates viral videos that explore how everyday objects can do extraordinary things, from making ping pong balls float in the air above hairdryers to transforming 250,000 sticky notes into waterfalls of color. This has led to appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Today Show” and many other TV programs. They have appeared in videos for Blue Man Group, Barenaked Ladies and Weezer.

The Portland Performing Arts Festival is a new four-day event, featuring eight performances in classical music, jazz, dance, theater and performance art. In its inaugural season, it presents two world premiere performances: “The Handsomest” by Alison Chase/Performance and “Thumbs Up,” a new play by the artists of the Celebration Barn Ensemble.

In conjunction with the festival, dozens of local arts groups, galleries, nightclubs and theaters are scheduling other events in an effort to create a festive, city-wide atmosphere. The EepyBird performance is free, but most events require a ticket.

Tickets are available through PortTix at Information about the festival is available at