Canada geese in South Portland. Maxen Ryder photo

South Portland is celebrating its 125th anniversary as a city this year.

In 1898, South Portland became a city through a charter. South Portland, at the time, was formally a part of Cape Elizabeth rather than Portland. South Portland separated from Cape Elizabeth in 1895 over a dispute on drinking water. The history of the community goes back even further, with both communities once being part of Falmouth, Massachusetts, which today is Portland.

The South Portland area was colonized around 1630 and began as a residential farming-based village. Going back further, Maine was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki peoples, such as the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Penobscot, Mi’kmaq, Androscoggin, and Kennebec.

South Portland is celebrating its quasquicentennial as a city this year, with events lined up throughout the year. Current plans include:

May 19-20 – SpringFest: A gnome-themed spring festival in Knightville and Mill Creek Park cohosted by the city of South Portland and the South Portland – Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club. For more information, visit

July 4 – 4th of July Celebration at at Bug Light.


June-August – Mill Creek Concert Series (dates to be announced).

June-August – Redbank Concert & Picnic Series (dates to be announced).

July-August – Movies in the Park at Bug Light Park and Redbank (dates to be announced).

Aug. 1 – National Night Out.

Aug. 12 – Art in the Park at Mill Creek Park

Sept. 6 – Bug Light Car Show.


October – Halloween Trunk or Treat (date to be announced).

Dec. 1 – Holiday Tree Lighting at Mill Creek Park.

Feb. 21 – South Portland Business Awards.

More events will be added. For updates, visit

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