Rogue hive storms Congress Street

It's not every day that you see a giant swarm of BEES in downtown Portland – but that's precisely what happened last Thursday!

To the surprise of pedestrians along Congress Street, thousands of bees were seen (and heard!) swarming in and around a METRO bus shelter. While some onlookers fled in terror, others watched in awe as the "bee tornado" swirled above the sidewalk.

As luck would have it, our very own downtown police cadet, Katie Bertin , was patrolling the area on foot. Upon assessing this most unusual situation, Cadet Bertin exhibited quick thinking by calling in reinforcements: namely, the Maine State Beekeepers Association . Within minutes, beekeepers Peter Doria and Phil Gaven of The Honey Exchange arrived at the scene and began safely collecting the bees. Crisis averted. Bees rescued. Zero stings!

Our hats off to the "Swarm Team" for saving the day – and to Cadet Bertin, who keeps our downtown safe in ways she never would have imagined! #unBEElievable

Click here to learn more about Portland Downtown's award-winning Cadet Program – a partnership with the Portland Police Department .
Shopping for the greater good

When small businesses team up to create positive change in our community, it's a beautiful thing. Earlier this month, Portland Downtown and Bangor Savings Bank were delighted to present LearningWorks with proceeds from our most recent Shop For A Cause Day . The event – held Saturday, June 8th – brought together 20 downtown merchants for a common goal: to raise money and awareness for LearningWorks' incredible array of educational programs for children, adults, and families.

Did you know: In the past 4 years alone, Shop For A Cause has raised over $50,000 (wow!) for local nonprofits including including Preble Street , Milestone Recovery , Amistad , Portland Trails , The Locker Project , Frannie Peabody Center , and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine . It's all thanks to our amazing small business community – and of course to residents & visitors who love shopping downtown!
Meet Adam MacDonald
A Q & A with our Marketing Director

How long have you worked for Portland Downtown?

September will mark four years!

What makes the Portland Downtown mission meaningful to you?

Keeping our downtown "clean, safe, and vibrant" truly takes a village, and I love the way our organization collaborates in creative ways with so many community partners. Most recently, I was happy to see our summer beautification projects add color & life to city streets. Looking ahead, I'm excited about a multimodal transportation marketing campaign that we'll be rolling out in the fall. At the core of all we do is a sincere and passionate drive to make downtown a better place for everyone – and I'm proud to be a part of it.

What makes your job fun?

I've always said that I have the best job because I get to help people love downtown even more than they already do! Whether it's through feel-good events like Downtown Worker Appreciation Day or fun photos on our Instagram (not to mention enewsletters like this one!) I get to "surprise and delight" our friends & fans with all things Portland Downtown. I also have the best colleagues in the world! When we're not hard at work, we keep things extra fun with staff potlucks, hallway pow-wows, and epic rounds of Scrabble with this office-friendly magnetic board.

What are some of your favorite hotspots downtown?

With so many amazing options, my favorite places seem to change weekly! As far as Food + Drink goes, I'm having a love affair with anything served on "Dutch Crunch" bread at Dutch's ; the fun-to-share vegetarian sampler at Asmara ; and pretty much any of the creative and beautifully presented cocktails at The Jewel Box. I'm also currently obsessed with the "Celebrated Cheeseburger" at Floods . Suffice it say: it's a gamechanger.  

On hot summer days during the work week, I like to find quiet, shaded spots to have a pop-up picnic lunch. The green spaces around Portland Museum of Art , First Parish Church , and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House are like mini oases right in the middle of downtown – perfect for cooling off and re-energizing.

Lastly, it wouldn't be summer in Portland without plenty of patio time.  My favorite decks can be found at Novare Res , Thirsty Pig , TIQA , and Bayside Bowl .