A fireworks show has been added to the scheduled entertainment for Portland’s upcoming winter festival.

Organizers of Carnaval ME on the Eastern Promenade announced Thursday that the festival will feature a fireworks show on Friday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. Maine-based band The Ghost of Paul Revere will also perform at the festival that night.

Carnaval ME is scheduled for Feb. 17-26 and will feature food, craft beers, ice sculpting, skiing and snowboarding demonstrations, train rides and entertainment. Portland city councilors unanimously approved an order setting the festival dates and reserving the city-owned site last October.

This will be the second Carnaval ME and will be a considerable expansion over the two-day event held on the Eastern Promenade the last weekend of January 2020. The event will be held mostly outdoors and is expected to draw 25,000 people during its run, according to Shamrock Sports and Entertainment, the event organizer.

The fireworks will be held in the same area the city uses for Fourth of July displays, so it will be visible to people beyond the festival grounds. Admission to the festival grounds off Cutter Street is $15. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test is required at the festival entrance, according to the Carnaval ME website.

The fireworks show will be put on by Central Maine Pyrotechnics, the company that has handled Portland’s July Fourth fireworks in recent years. Unlike on July 4th, no through streets in the Munjoy Hill neighborhood will be shut down for the show, said Jessica Grondin, spokesperson for the city of Portland. Cutter Street, which runs from the Eastern Promenade down to the water, will be closed throughout the festival. Grondin said the city will continue to work with Shamrock Sports and Entertainment on details of the fireworks show.

Country singer Scotty McCreery will perform at the festival on Feb. 26. Other local and regional performers scheduled to play during the festival include Motor Booty Affair, rePercussion, Time Pilots, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Pete Kilpatrick Band, Hello Newman, Jason Spooner Band, VIVA and the Reinforcements, Maine Academy of Modern Music, Maddy’s Theatre and Firefly of Penobscot Nation.

One very visible and prominent feature of the festival grounds will be a large inflatable igloo structure for food and beer events – called Bites and Brews – set up in a parking lot on Cutter Street.

There are two days during the festival’s scheduled run, Feb. 22-23, when no events will be held and the festival will be closed. For more information on Carnaval ME, including tickets and a schedule, go to carnavalme.com. 

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