Holiday celebrations ahead in Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Buckle up the sleighs and fasten the bells – the holidays are coming in a big way over the next two weekends.

The annual round of holiday events begins Saturday at 3 p.m. when the Cape Elizabeth Business Association hosts its second Christmas on the Cape event.

Sixteen businesses are participating in the event centered around the Pond Cove Shopping Center and the intersection of Ocean House and Shore roads. Activities include card making at Shore Things, ornament making at the Local Buzz and a bonfire at Mojo.

Santa Claus will visit Coastal Wellness Family Chiropractic, where staff from Alewives Brook and Jordan’s farms will be serving treats.

The event precedes the tree lighting at 6:15 p.m. in front of the Police Department on Ocean House Road. Cookies and hot chocolate will be on sale, with proceeds benefiting the annual Cape Elizabeth sixth-grade outing to the Chewonki Foundation.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, the first of two events in Scarborough begins with the annual tree lighting outside Town Hall. Sponsored by the Scarborough Lions Club, the event includes caroling before the tree is lit at 4:30 p.m. At 4:45 p.m., Santa Claus arrives, traditionally on a Scarborough fire truck.

At 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, HolidayFest 2012 kicks off in Mill Creek in South Portland. The festival covers from City Hall on Cottage Road to the gazebo at Mill Creek Park and culminates with the tree lighting in the park at 6 p.m.

Santa will be in City Hall Council Chambers to greet visitors from 5-6:30 p.m., horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered from 4:30-7 p.m. on Hinckley Drive, and hot dogs, popcorn and hot chocolate will be sold by the Waterfront Business Association in front of the Noyes, Allen & Hall insurance agency between Thomas Street and Hinckley Drive.

Preceding the tree lighting, students from the South Portland high and middle schools will lead carols at 5:45 p.m. at the Mill Creek Park gazebo, with Jennifer Rooks of the Maine Public Broadcast Network returning as emcee.

Hinckley Drive will be closed to traffic from 4-8 p.m. between Ocean Street and Cottage Road.

Santa will arrive at Memorial Park in Scarborough at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8 in an event organized by Scarborough Community Services. The free event occurs behind Town Hall off Route 1. Scarborough Fire Chief Michael Thurlow said a fire truck will bring Santa Claus to the park.

Visitors are invited to have pictures taken with Santa Claus while singing carols and enjoying coffee, hot chocolate and treats served by members of the Scarborough Rotary Club.

Parking for the free event is at Scarborough High School and visitors are invited to enjoy tractor rides to the park.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Sidebar Elements

Holiday festivals at a glance

Saturday, Dec. 1: Christmas on the Cape, 3-6 p.m., Pond Cove Shopping Center and Ocean House Road. Tree lighting at 6:15 p.m. in front of Police Department.

Sunday, Dec. 2: Scarborough tree lighting, Town Hall on Route 1. Caroling begins at 4 p.m.; tree lighting at 4:30 p.m., Santa arrives at 4:45 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8: South Portland HolidayFest, 4:30-7 p.m. Carriage rides on Hinckley Drive; Santa Claus at City Hall 5-6:30 p.m.; carols in Mill Creek Park, 5:45-6:15 p.m., tree lighting 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 9: Santa comes to Scarborough, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Memorial Park behind Town Hall, parking at Scarborough High School, tractor rides to park.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.