Harvest on the Harbor, Portland’s annual fall food-and-drinks festival, has announced its cancellation because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival, founded in 2008, is known for events such as its Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, chef dinners, oyster fests and a weekend marketplace, where attendees sample artisanal, Maine-made products. It began as a way to extend Maine’s tourist season and to spotlight the city’s ever-expanding culinary scene. The festival originally ran for three days, but it has grown to five days, attracting visitors from many other states and crowds in the thousands.

“Fall has always been our favorite season in Maine. The cooler weather is setting in, the leaves are starting to turn, and we’d be in the homestretch of producing our annual food and drink festival, Harvest on the Harbor. But not this year,” the cancellation announcement on Facebook said.

“We decided early on in the pandemic to take a wait and see approach. We were hoping that by the time fall arrived we’d be able to create something (albeit different) together to do good for our struggling restaurants, farmers, and makers. We’ve heard from fans near and far who want to come to experience the up close and personal way we showcase our food scene. It’s simply not safe to do so. And so, 2020 will be the year we use to make our events better than ever for 2021.”

The organizers also announced that next year’s festival will move a few weeks later in the year, specifically November 4-7. In the past, it has been held in mid-October.


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