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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Maine Tree Lighting Ceremonies, Parades, Santa Visits for November




Nubble Lighthouse in York. Photo Credit: Maine Office of Tourism
The thought of Christmas holiday tree lighting ceremonies in New England seems so distant, given that it's fall foliage season now and we were swimming in lakes and oceans until very recently. But as we know in New England, it has been known to snow in October and summer and fall memories seem like a distant memory.

We just received word from our good neighbors at The Maine Office of Tourism about Maine tree lighting ceremonies happening just after Thanksgiving.   Here is an introduction from VisitMaine.com on those special Maine holiday places, followed by the specifics of the events (and some music events, too)...

Prominent evergreen trees in Maine's city and town centers get dressed with lights and holiday decorations annually during the days after Thanksgiving. The events are often accompanied by parades, visits from Santa Claus and live entertainment. But, some communities have a twist to their "tree" lighting tradition. Check out these lightings around the state...

Aroostook County city Caribou will hold its annual Tree Lighting and Parade on Nov. 27. Santa arrives in his sleigh and heads to the fire department where children share their wish lists with him.

Greenville's tree lighting also happens Nov. 27 during the Deck the Halls Holiday Celebration. There are public meals, activities for children, craft fairs, carols sung by the Greenville Community Choir, and a parade with Christmas-themed floats during the day-long event.

Maine's most unique tree lighting event takes place just before the Lighting of the Nubble at Nubble Lighthouse in York. Everyone watches the water in front of the lighthouse as - ocean conditions permitting - a scuba diving team raises a lighted tree to float on the surface. There's music and free hot chocolate and cookies for all. The festivities happen at Sohier Park on Nov. 27. 

The giant spruce tree in Waterville's Castonguay Square gets its glow on during the Parade of Lights celebration on Nov. 26. Watch the parade down Main Street, then visit Santa at his house in Kringleville. 

The city of Rockland builds a tree from lobster traps and lights it during the annual Festival of Lights Celebration happening Nov. 26-28Santa arrives by Coast Guard boat at the Public Landing, local inns hold open houses, the Festival of Lights Parade rolls down Main Street, there's a family pancake breakfast with Santa, and free horse-drawn carriage rides. 


Warm Up to Maine's Live Music 
Maine's small to medium sized live music venues become extra comfortable during cold weather months as locals and travelers pack them to enjoy the sounds of regional and national touring solo performers and bands.

The Unity Centre for the Performing Arts is a destination for all styles of bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, and traditional sounds from Atlantic CanadaIreland and Scotland 

The Wharf (207-622-9290) in downtown Hallowell is a popular gathering place for rock and blues fans.


Roots and Tendrils in Belfast is an art gallery and retail shop by day and the scene for regional and Maine indie music acts by night.  

Portland's State Theatre has been renovated and the lights go up in mid-October. A sold out My Morning Jacket show leads a schedule heavy with modern, classic and jam rock bands


The Indigo Girls, Richie Havens and Bela Fleck have made the drive up the dirt road to the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield. Performers love playing in the renovated post and beam barn, and audiences get their tickets early for headliners big and small. 

For more information about Maine's winter events, go to www.visitmaine.com.

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