This will be my second Fourth of July as a Munjoy Hill resident. I'm bracing for the massive flood of people to pour into my neighborhood to enjoy the Stars & Stripes Spectacular on the Eastern Promenade on Tuesday night.

If you've ever seen the display of lights, heard the magnificent music of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and experienced the exciting atmosphere of the Stars & Stripes Spectacular, you know if the best celebration of our great nation's birthday that this state has to offer. However, if you're not prepared with a strategy to get on and off Munjoy Hill, the event can be very stressful.

Here's what you need to know:

Munjoy Hill is closed to non-resident traffic at 4 p.m. on July 4th.

Even if you get onto Munjoy Hill before 4 p.m., good luck finding a parking spot. Most residents (including myself) park on the street and we will defend our scarce parking spaces to the death. Plus, once you're on the Hill, it'll be a mess driving home when tens of thousands of pedestrians begin pouring off the Prom after the fireworks display. Your best bet? Park and walk. Street parking is free in downtown Portland after 6 p.m. and the festivities don't kick off until 7 p.m. so you'll have more than enough time to find a spot and get your steps in.

Suggestions for Alternative Parking

These parking locations are close to the Eastern Promenade Trail which provides a direct and scenic path to the Stars and Stripes Spectacular. The walk is between 0.5 and 1 mile (which you'll be glad you did once you see all the food trucks!)

  • Street Parking on Thames Street
  • Paid Parking at 216 Fore Street
  • Street Parking on Marginal Way (Pick up Bayside Trail near U-Haul)
  • Street Parking on Middle Street
  • Ocean Gateway Garage at 167 Fore Street