Joy and merriment will fill Monument Square Friday, Nov. 25 as thousands gather for the 2016 Tree Lighting. The spectacular celebration features free, fun-filled activities for the whole family from 5-6:30 p.m., including live music, horse & wagon rides, a visit from Santa and, new this year, an interactive, life-sized snow globe and free samples of Hood eggnog. All of the festivities lead up to the big moment when a majestic tree will be illuminated by thousands of lights — wowing the “monumental” crowd and officially ushering in the holidays in beautiful downtown Portland.
Event highlights include:
· Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band: Maine singer-songwriter Rick Charette and his band will keep the crowd rockin’ with a spirited blend of traditional holiday music and kid classics like “Alligator in the Elevator.” A very special guest will join Rick for a good old-fashioned sing-along with the crowd.
· Life-Sized Snow Globe: Revelers can step inside, strike a pose and snap a holiday pic to share.
· Horse & Wagon Rides: From 4-8 p.m., guests can enjoy free, half-hour rides in a traditional horse-drawn wagon.
“The Tree Lighting in Monument Square is a beloved annual community event,” said Casey Gilbert, executive director of Portland Downtown. “We hope that everyone will stay to view Pandora’s Winter Lights, check out the holiday window decorating contest, and enjoy an evening stroll downtown.”
For a full list of Portland Downtown’s holiday events — including Shop for a Cause Day, Elfternoon Lunchtime Shopping and Merry Madness — visit portlandmaine.com.
The Congregational Church in Cumberland will host its 50th Annual Village Christmas Fair 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. A gently used jewelry and accessories boutique will include purses and scarves. Shoppers can peruse baked goods, a cookie walk, and frozen foods. Hand crafts will include wood, knits, baskets and ornaments, along with books, fresh wreaths, eco-friendly gifts, a raffle, and a white elephant room. Explore the treasures in the new Christmas room and a enjoy a lunch that will feature homemade lobster stew, lobster rolls, chili, and pies. The church is located at 282 Main St.
Christmas Fair, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Brunswick United Methodist Church, 320 Church Road. Crafts, baked goods, decorations, plants, handmade items, Grannie’s Attic, books, and chowder lunch with sandwiches, www.umcbrunswick.org.
Holly Days Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Falmouth Congregational Church, 267 Falmouth Road. Traditional Christmas church fair featuring lobster stew, fresh Maine wreaths, silent auction, white elephant, handcrafts, baked goods, vintage treasurers, jewelry, falmouthcongregationalchurch.org.
Knit Wits Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Old Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, Route 24. Coffee & muffins, crafts, baked goods, jewelry, handmade items, white elephant. Chowder & pulled pork sandwich luncheon available 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Santa’s Workshop Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., North Yarmouth Congregational Church, 3 Gray Road. Chicken pie luncheon, silent auction, gift basket raffle, country crafts, hand-knit items, vintage and antique items, cookie walk, greens, jewelry and plants.
11th Annual Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Casco Bay High School, 196 Allen Ave., Portland. Three floors of items by local artisans, silent auction, lunch, live entertainment and Portland’s longest cookie walk.
“Once Upon a Holiday” Christmas fair, 8 a.m.–2 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 132 Auburn Street, Portland. Live music by Mel Tukey and the Clam Flat Five, food, handcrafted Thanksgiving and Christmas items. All proceeds go to an emergency heating fund to help friends and neighbors with their heating needs this winter.
Holly Daze Bazaar, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., First Congregational Church of South Portland, 301 Cottage Road. Wreaths, gifts, baked goods, grandma’s attic. Haddock chowder, lobster, crab, and chicken salad rolls and apple crisp served 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Snowflake Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Thornton Heights United Methodist Church, 100 Westbrook St., South Portland. Two floors of gifts, art, jewelry, holiday decor, grandma’s attic, vendors; lunch served 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Christmas Fair and Lunch, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., West Cumberland United Methodist Church, 5 Upper Methodist Road. Crafts, preserves, gifts, white elephant, cookie walk, silent auction and chicken fricassee lunch.
Christmas Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., West Falmouth Baptist Church, 18 Mountain Road, Falmouth. Lunch, cookie walk, crafts, candies, jewelry, baked goods, attic treasures, silent auction, holiday greens.
Collections & Donations
Toys for Tots, new unwrapped items may be dropped off at Edward Jones, 149 Maine St., Tontine Mall, Brunswick, until Dec. 16 during regular business hours.
Salvation Army kicks off Kettle Campaign
The Salvation Army kicked off its annual Christmas Kettle Effort Nov. 9, in a brief ceremony at the Statehouse in Augusta. The charitable organization expects to have more than 130 of the signature red kettles throughout the state on street corners and shopping areas through Dec. 24. Donations can also be made through www.redkettlereason.org.
Bell-ringers provide much more than atmosphere and nostalgia during the Christmas season. Last year, funds donated at the kettles enabled The Salvation Army to provide services and programs to 41,680 men, women and children statewide during the holidays and throughout the year. The Salvation Army provided food, clothing, utilities and emergency disaster aid. Also, children were provided the opportunity to attend The Salvation Army’s Camp Sebago.
There are nine Salvation Army Corps in Maine that offer services and programs for children, adults and seniors, including those in Bath, Old Orchard Beach and Portland. The Salvation Army also serves those in need in 91 other communities through its service units manned by volunteers.