While the French will celebrate Bastille Day on July 14, Portland residents on the same day will be able to greet another unusually high tide with the “King Tide BYO Chair Party.”
Artists, actors and residents will mark the late-night, early-morning occasion of the “king tide” -- a high tide rising above the flood marker of 11.6 feet -- with street theatre, street sculpture, outdoor cinema featuring flood-movie trailers, puppetry and general bonhomie at one of Portland’s most vulnerable areas for tidal flooding.
A “king tide” is a predictable, especially high tide, and the one on July 14 will reach its peak very early Monday morning at 12:36 a.m. The King Tide BYO Chair Party will be acknowledged at the corner of Cove Street and Marginal Way, East Bayside, an area known to flood extensively at high tides.
“Trust the tide – it will be there,” said Jan Piribeck, University of Southern Maine professor of digital art and foundations and event organizer. “The tide rises at predictable times. It gives us a glimpse of what the future may look like regarding rising sea levels.”
The king tide event is tied to a project called “Envisioning Change: Sea Level Rise in Casco Bay,” supported in part by a grant from the University of Southern Maine’s Maine Economic Improvement Fund and under the aegis of USM’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Services. The event is being presented in cooperation with the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization, The Resilience Hub, Zero Station, U-Haul and the King Tides Project, an international observation effort.