Cumberland expands Christmas tree-lighting festivities

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CUMBERLAND — The town’s 36th annual tree lighting ceremony this year offers an expanded program of events and help from a variety of organizations.

The Sunday, Nov. 29, event starts with a 4 p.m. concert by the Cumberland Community Band in the sanctuary of the Congregational Church, 282 Main St. The Low Commotion brass quartet will join that group, according to Mike Perfetti, director and conductor of the Community Band.

The festivities then proceed at 5:15 p.m. to the church’s front steps, where Greely High School’s Madrigals singers will get community members to sing along for a string of Christmas carols.

“There’s a lot more music this year for the tree-lighting event,” said Dave Carlson, a Cumberland/North Yarmouth Lions Club member who helped organize the night’s festivities.

“Last year was a huge success, but what I see (happening) this year,” he said, is “more people attending, because the word is getting out there.”

At 5:30 p.m. the main event will happen as Santa’s sleigh descends into town via fire engine, and Kris Kringle himself lights the Cumberland Christmas tree at the corner of Main Street and Tuttle Road. The Cumberland Brass Choir will perform after the ceremony.

The evening winds down at the church’s parish hall for a meet and greet with St. Nick and a bevy of refreshments. Families can also try their hand at an arts and craft table.

“There are really four teams that work collaboratively together to get this set up,” Carlson said. Besides the Lions Club, volunteers with the Cumberland Fire Department, Cumberland/North Yarmouth Community Recreation Department and the Congregational Church all pitch in.

“Hopefully it’s going to a beautiful night,” said Carlson, who looks forward to seeing Santa “stand up in a fire engine and wave his hand to turn the lights on.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.