By Carol McCracken (Post # 302)
Blue skies and a large cruise shop in Portland harbor brought many shoppers and sightseers to town for the day. The Carnival Triumph carrying over 2,700 passengers and over l,000 crew members filled the sidewalks of Commercial Street for most of the day today. Days like these bring a special buzz to the Old Port.
Drawng a respectable audience of their own at the corner of Exchange and Fore Streets was the popular string quartet known as “Tricky Britches.” However, today there were only three of the quartet members playing because one is working overseas currently in Belgium. A few men gathered on the different corners to listen to the foot stomping and infectious music as their wives shopped inside the many stores in the area. One passenger from the Carnival Triumph said that their “blue grass and old time” music really “jazzed” up the area. The trio will be playing at Andy’s Old Port Pub on Saturday, October 24 at 9:00 p.m. They expect to be playing at the same corner “until the snow flies.” Tyler Lienhardt, the fiddler in the group, is a Hill resident.
Meanwhile, the Observatory on the Hill benefited from the visit of the Carnival ship as well. According to Mark Shapp, site manager, 159 people had taken a tour of the historic building today. “That’s a very good day. It might just be the second best day we’ve had this summer,” he said. “Most of those were people from the cruise ship in today.” Meanwhile, volunteer Carol Savage said, “I think Captain Moody was in love with this place. I am as well. I’m privileged to have been able to give tours here this summer. Every tour is different.” Carol agreed with Mark. “Large cruise ships make all the difference in the number of visitors we have up here.”
The Observatory closed late this afternoon for the winter. It’ll reopen next spring. It is managed by Portland Landmarks of which Hillary Bassett is executive director.