FALMOUTH — The first snow of the season fell just before Thanksgiving, signaling the holidays are around the corner.
And to kick off the holiday season, the town and the Falmouth/Cumberland Community Chamber are putting on a series of events called a Very Merry Falmouth.
Formerly known as Shop Falmouth, Very Merry Falmouth begins Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. with the 30th annual tree lighting at Village Park near Family Ice Center. In addition to the annual appearance from Santa, there will also be crafts and cookie decorating.
Also on Thursday, Dec. 1, a scavenger hunt will begin at local shops and retailers. Entry forms are available at participating businesses or through the Very Merry Falmouth website beginning Nov. 28. The hunt runs from Dec. 1 through Dec. 24.
Shoppers can collect signatures from participating businesses; the more signatures collected, the better the chance of winning. Each business will contribute a $25 gift card to go towards the grand prize. Cards must be returned to the chamber by Dec. 31
On Friday, Dec. 2 from 5-9 p.m., parents can drop their children off at CenterPoint Martial Arts on Middle Road for a free Parents’ Night Out. During that time, there will be a Very Merry tent available at the Shaw’s Plaza on U.S. Route 1 for the first “Holiday Happy Hour.” The event is 21-plus, and will feature local food, vendors and music. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door; IDs will be required.
Another new addition will be the first Ugly Sweater Merry Mile run. The run will begin on Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. at Maine Medical Partners on Bucknam Road. Register online at racewire.com/register.php?id=7029. Registration is $20, with proceeds benefiting the Falmouth Food Pantry. The first 200 registrants will get a free T-shirt and a bag with items from local businesses.
At 10 a.m., following the run, free holiday movies will be playing at Flagship Premium Cinemas on U.S. Route 1. Also beginning at 10 a.m., a “Segway Santa” and elf will be roaming U.S. Route 1 to meet with shoppers and give away gifts. WHOM radio will again host a live remote broadcast from 10 a.m.-noon. From 1:30-3:30 p.m., some of the town’s rescue vehicles will be at Flagship for children to see up close and explore.
From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 3 there will be free horse-drawn carriage rides along Route 1. And, from noon-4 p.m., weather permitting, there will be free ice skating at Twombley Pond outside the Family Ice Center.
During the final event from 1:30-3:30 p.m., local chefs will compete in the second annual Chili, Chowder and Stew Cook-off that will take place in the Very Merry event tent in the Shaw’s Plaza. Tickets for the tasting are $10 a person, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to the Falmouth Food Pantry. Children under 12 eat free. Participating businesses include Falmouth House of Pizza, Bernie’s Foreside, the Foreside Tavern, Milley’s Skillet, and OceanView, which won the People’s Choice Award in 2015.
Very Merry Falmouth, formerly Shop Falmouth, includes events up and down Route 1 from Dec. 1-Dec. 3.