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ABOUT THE EVENT

AUTHENTICALLY PORTLAND

Save the date for Saturday June 4th 11:00-3:00pm and stay tuned for updates about this year’s event!
 
Walk the Working Waterfront is an interactive event in downtown Portland, Maine. Come celebrate our rich maritime culture and history, explore one of our several working wharfs, learn a thing or two at one of the many education stations, and enjoy some of the freshest seafood New England has to offer.

After having to put the Walk the Working Waterfront event on the proverbial COVID-19 shelf in 2021, we are back and more energized than ever for 2022. As always, Walk the Working Waterfront is a free-to-attend, self-guided walking tour celebrating Portland’s Ocean economy and the people, business, and infrastructure that make up the foundation of our city.  

 

The event is rain or shine! Whether it be exploring one of the many businesses Commercial Street has to offer, joining a walking tour of the working waterfront, boarding one of the Coast Guard vessels, or participating in one of the education stations on one of Portland's historical wharfs, you will not be disappointed.

 

For the past seven years, Walk the Working Waterfront has been made possible by sponsors and volunteers donating their time and energy. The goal in mind is to bring to life to, and encourage visitors to experience first-hand what life on historic Commercial Street waterfront is all about, and how we can all help to protect our working waterfront for generations to come!

FAQS

Do I have to buy tickets for this event?

No. The walking portion of the event is free to attend and enjoy. However, there are scheduled elements that will require purchase of tickets or pre-registration.  These will be advertised prior to the event through social media and the Walk the Working Waterfront website. Make sure to go online and check the Walk the Working Waterfront for more information!

ARE THERE RESTROOMS?

Many businesses on Commercial Street have bathroom available to paying customers. City restrooms are available at Casco Bay Lines and on Cotton Street. Please see the full city listing here.

Will there be a rain date in the case of inclement weather?
No. Walk the Working Waterfront is a rain or shine event. Make sure to check the forecast and bring an umbrella in case there is a chance of rain! 
How can I be a respectful and safe walker?

 

Please remember, the waterfront is a busy place SO RESPECT WORKERS AND BUSINESSES. Be observant of any commercial operations, and if you are stopping to take pictures, do so in a safe manner, away from the edges of the pier and out of the way of vehicles. Use common sense and courtesy.

HOW DO I know WHAt BUSINESSES Are PARTICIPATING? 
What will they be offering?
All participating businesses and descriptions of what they are doing can be found on the printed event maps, and online. What each business offers will vary, so we encourage you to read your map, or stop in and ask. Some businesses will require you to show the printed map to receive their offer, so please keep it on your person.  These guides will be available from volunteers via the information station behind Gulf of Maine Research Institute and at the head of Union and Maine Wharves.
Will every participating business be giving things away for free?
No. Businesses are not required to give things away, though many will have things like specials, happy hours, special sales, raffles, and some may have samples. Please read the event map in print or online for further information.
Will all businesses on commercial street be participating?
No, not ALL businesses along Commercial Street are participating in the same capacity.  Refer to your program guide or ask a volunteer to find out what businesses are featuring.

Where can I sit and rest?

Those who would like to get off their feet can stop at one of the many benches in public spaces, or at safe points along each pier/wharf. Businesses such as restaurants also offer a great opportunity to relax, hydrate, and grab something to eat.

Are there any covid-19 restrictions?

No, people may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COIVD-19 should wear a mask. Masks are recommended in indoor public transportation settings and may be required in other placed by local or state authorities. Please be sure to check out the CDC website prior to the event for updates regarding COIVD-19. 

GENERAL Considerations
  • There is no bag or pet restriction for this event outside of the city and business’ individual policies. Click here for Portland’s guidelines on dog owner responsibilities:
     

  • While this event is focused on the waterfront-side of Commercial Street, crosswalks will allow attendees to access both sides of Commercial Street.  Crosswalks and traffic signals should be highly regarded for the safety of pedestrians and drivers on this busy day.

where can i Park?

Here is a comprehensive list of parking locations in Portland.

Dining

The event program will include a guide to the great restaurants conveniently located right on the waterfront! Ask a volunteer for a recommendation. Other dining options found in Old Port are generally a quick walk from Commercial Street.  See Portland Downtown’s restaurant guide here:

 

Smoking

Smoking is allowed on public sidewalks in Portland with the consideration that there will be many people and businesses will have their own policies. More info here

 

Transportation

The city of Portland has a public metro system that can be accessed through the following sites and apps:

https://www.portlandmaine.com/getting-around-portland/transportation/

https://gpmetro.org/35/Maps-Schedules

Aside from the metro, we encourage walking during the event due to its containment on the waterfront (a 2 mile loop).

 

Driving directions
  • From the North:

    • Merge onto I-95 South

    • Follow signs for I-295 South

    • Follow signs for  Downtown Portland

    • Take exit 7 towards Franklin Street

    • Stay on Franklin Street for 1 mile

    • Turn right onto Commercial Street.

  • From the South:

      • This route has tolls

    • Merge onto I-95 North

    • Follow signs for I-295 North

    • Follow signs for South Portland/Downtown Portland

    • Take exit 7 towards Franklin Street

    • Take a right to continue onto Franklin Street

    • Stay on Franklin Street for 1 mile

    • Turn right onto Commercial Street.

 

Further questions and concerns about Walk the Working Waterfront, please use the contact info in the footer.