As I was talking with a colleague of mine about Maine's rising American Idol star Julia Gagnon, a lightbulb went off.

Lately, Maine has been making major lists on big websites, breeding soon-to-be stars, launching major league sports teams, and the list goes on and on.

As I look at 2023-2024's most recent ventures in this state, three really big events stand out to me the most and make Maine seem like it's on track to become a major market and really put its stamp on the map.

After five years in the making, it was just announced Saturday morning at Thompson's Point in Portland that the state now has its own professional soccer team.

Called the Portland Hearts of Pine, this team almost serves as confirmation that Portland is really, truly, up and coming.

According to newscentermaine, the governor even got involved, declaring April 27 as Maine's official Day of Soccer. The team is an expansion into Portland approved by Portland City Council. Big.

Now let's take a look at Cumberland, Maine's finest, Julia Gagnon. She's become the face of American Idol the second she was granted a platinum ticket in the first round of auditions.

Girlie has been in Hollywood for several weeks now, as she's now made her way into the Top 8. Not only is she proving that Maine generates incredible talent, but in a way, she's also putting Maine on the map and giving us more "street cred", as the kids say.

Here's her last performance that made Katy Perry say, "I thought I was listening to Kelly Clarkson".

Last but certainly not least, if Maine wasn't on a serious rise, would Dave Portnoy ever even consider coming here with his One Bite series last summer?

I mean, come on.

He shook up the internet when he was seen on the waterfront right in the Old Port, reviewing pizza restaurants.

I'll just say this. If Barstool's Dave Portnoy is even jumping on the Maine train, we've got ourselves a theory.

I'll say it now, Maine is becoming the next big thing. In my opinion, here's his funniest review from a lobster boat outside of Flatbread.

Barstool's Dave Portnoy Reviews Maine Pizza Places, Ranked

Barstool's Dave Portnoy visited Maine and visited a number of pizza places. Here is how he rated each one.

2024 Maine Savings Amphitheater Summer Waterfront Concerts Lineup

Here are the performers who will be coming to the Maine Savings Amphitheater on the Bangor Waterfront in the summer of 2024!

Gallery Credit: Jordan Verge

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