Music, games, food and more are in store at SpringFest on May 21 at South Portland’s Mill Creek Park.

The family-friendly event came to be after a snowstorm forced the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club to cancel its annual WinterFest event in January.

“It was tough because we knew we had all these organizations signed up,” said Patty Sprague, chairperson of the WinterFest and SpringFest committee.

However, the Rotary Club still “wanted to do something,”

“We didn’t want to be impeded by the weather again,” said committee member Sari Greene. “So we began tossing around what we can do.”

Many of the local businesses, city departments, nonprofits and community organizations who had signed up for WinterFest answered the call for SpringFest and will provide over a dozen activities and demonstrations for attendees.


The South Portland Dog Owners Group will have multiple tables, including a trainer “genius bar” and a message table to provide information on the group and the recent leash-rule changes at Willard Beach and Hinckley Park. They will also have a “Strut Your Mutt” fashion show and a photo booth.

“We are excited about getting back into the community and having an opportunity to share the SoPo Dog message and get some information out,” said Ellen Clancy, the group’s moderator.

The South Portland Skate Park Committee will host an activity of its own, using the deck of a skateboard as a catapult to shoot items into a hula hoop.

“This was created by our skate park committee chair Jack Gundling and his kids,” Anthony Johnson, the city’s recreational operations manager and skate park committee member, said in an email to The Forecaster. “It’s great exposure for the skatepark project to be involved in SpringFest … It’s also great to be involved in this community event that is bringing together so many local groups that do so much for South Portland.”

The South Portland Land Trust will offer a “Name That Tree Challenge.”

“Participants are provided with the names and descriptions of nine trees in Mill Creek Park that they can search for and mark on a map,” Tex Haeuser, the land trust’s vice president, said in an email. “It’s fun and educational, and there’s a small prize for people who name all of the trees correctly.”


The land trust will also host an electric bike demonstration and offer pedal-bike rentals in partnership with local businesses Lighthouse Bikes and Lincoln & Main.

“The SP Land Trust is very excited to be part of SpringFest and to work with two local South Portland businesses to offer e-bike demos and pedal-bike rentals during the event,” Dana Bettez, the land trust’s membership and engagement manager, said in an email.

Scouts Troop 23 and Pack 22, the South Portland Public Library, and WinterKids are among the other organizations providing activities.

“The cooperation and excitement on behalf of these community organizations is wonderful,” Sprague said.

There will also be four musical performers in the gazebo: Amigas & Company, 43North Trio, Cul-de-Sax and Pine State Pitches. Three food trucks, Cheese Louise, Crepe Elizabeth and Twist gourmet ice cream, will also be onsite.

In future years, some sort of “Fest” will continue to be held, but whether that’s in the winter or spring is to be determined, Sprague said.


“I think what still prevails is the idea of when we come together we’re stronger,” she said.

South Portland SpringFest will be held at Mill Creek Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

“This is a family-friendly event; it is free,” Greene said. “We’re just really looking to have people come out and just enjoy themselves and be able to honor and celebrate each other.”

For more information, visit the South Portland SpringFest Facebook page.

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