I am a 72-year-old senior citizen. My wife and I spent about six hours at the Old Port Festival on June 9, and it was exciting.

Why was it exciting? There were thousands of young adults, in the 20- to 35-year-old range, who were having a good time and – at least prior to 5 p.m., when the festival ended – generally well behaved. Sure, there were crowds on the decks at the Thirsty Pig and the Porthole, but we didn’t observe any unruly behavior and almost no obvious police presence.

I saw more young adults on Sunday than in a month. Those young adults are the future of Maine. Each year we get older as a state. The most important issue facing Maine is how we can make Maine an attractive place for young people to live, work, start businesses and create.

As we evaluate activities and programs, we need to include the question: Does it make Maine more attractive for young people? In some cases, things will be messy or noisy, but that is a small price to pay for our future.

We need to look at the big picture – our future is at stake.

Mark Eyerman


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