The annual FreeportUSA Sparkle Celebration will take place Dec. 1-3, beginning with the 6 p.m. Parade of Lights down Main Street on Friday night to wake up the Talking Christmas Tree. Free events and activities will be offered all weekend, including visits with Santa and his reindeer, carriage rides, a forest of Maine Christmas trees, voting in the holiday decorating contest and a tuba Christmas concert. For a complete schedule and list of events, see http://sparklecelebration.com/schedule/.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Pejepscot Historical Society will open the doors to the Skolfield-Whittier House and the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum for special holiday programming.
Santa Day takes place in the morning from 9 a.m.-noon at PHS’s 159/161 Park Row properties. A “Holiday Cheer and Entertaining in the 19th Century” talk and tea begins at 2 p.m. at the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum at 226 Maine St.
A tradition for more than a decade, Santa Day offers families the chance to visit and take photos with Santa in the recently restored grand drawing room of the Victorian-era Skolfield-Whittier House. Miscellania, Bowdoin’s women’s a capella group, will perform.
During the event, the PHS Museum and Research Center is open to all for holiday shopping, exhibits, and refreshments. On exhibit in the main gallery is “Home in the Time of the Great War: 1917-1918,” which closes Dec. 22, and the society’s recently conserved, extremely rare Wabanaki birch bark canoe.
“Holiday Cheer and Entertaining in 19th Century Maine,” created by Chamberlain Museum docent Marie Pangborn, shares stories of festive holiday traditions nationally and locally during the time the Chamberlain family lived in the house.
Attendees will be treated to tea, scones, and other treats upon arriving, listen to Pangborn’s talk in the parlor and then tour the downstairs rooms of the house, decorated in 19th-century holiday fashion. Some very early 20th-century holiday decorations will be on display as well.
The program is limited to 20 attendees. Tickets are $10 for PHS members or $15 general admission and can be reserved with a credit card by calling PHS at 729-6606. For more information, visit www.pejepscothistorical.org.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. in the David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park at the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Poet Laureate Gibson Fay-LeBlanc will share meditative poems leading to the lighting of the 100-year-old copper beech tree at 6 p.m. The event has become a Portland winter tradition that is not to be missed, with streetside s’mores by The Marshmallow Cart. Revelers should gather at the museum entrance on High Street. Following the lighting, warm up in the museum with gallery talks and hands-on art projects.
Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle – The Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon is coming soon. Runners won’t want to miss this magical race on Sunday, Dec. 3, which begins and ends at the Maine Mall in South Portland. The Santa Hustle creates an exciting environment for participants and spectators of all ages, while embracing the reason for the season. This year’s 5K and half marathon participants will receive a Santa hat, beard and shirt to wear while running, a finisher medal, and new for 2017 – candy cane socks. Kids’ Dash participants will receive a Santa hat and beard, a race bib and a ribbon.
Matt’s Cookies and candy stations, along with holiday music and cheer, will abound along the course. Immediately following the race will be an epic after party. Santa Hustle also makes a difference in the lives of others: a portion of the profits will be donated to Easter Seals. The event also is an official drop-off spot for unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots program.
Portland Public Library, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, is hosting a warming hut Friday, Nov. 24 from 4-6:30 p.m. during the Monument Square Holiday Tree Lighting. People are welcome to come in and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa in the cozy atrium and warm up a bit before heading back out to the festivities. Buttons, stickers and temporary tattoos will be given to participants to honor the library’s 150th anniversary. Children and adults alike are invited to participate in an interactive window display created by artist Taylor Mirabito.
Toys for Tots Drive, bring a new, unwrapped toy to Freeport Edward Jones Office, 5 Depot St., during regular business hours through Dec. 11.
Project GRACE in Scarborough needs people to stock the food pantry, sponsor a giving tree or toy drive, knit mittens & hats, keep a neighbor’s home warm this winter, or fulfill a child’s holiday wish, apply at http://conta.cc/2iioYe7.
Toy to the World concert & toy drive, Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland. MAMM student bands will be rocking and rolling all afternoon for a cause. Admission $5 with a toy to donate to Toys For Tots.
Mill Run Holiday Market, Frontier, 14 Maine St., Brunswick, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 1; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2 & 3, local artists & crafters, live music, cash bar, free. admission.
Holiday Art Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Elks Club, Park Row, (across from the gazebo), Brunswick. Featuring members of Merry-Meeting Art Association and other local artists with a variety of mediums from acrylic to woodburning.
Christmas Fair, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Brunswick United Methodist Church, 320 Church Rd. Wreaths, crafts, baked goods, handmade gifts, jewelry, books, gifts for pets & kids, Ed’s famous haddock chowder.
Holiday Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, corner of Pleasant and Middle streets. Crafts, art, greens, treasures and children’s tables, lunch.
Christmas Craft Fair & Luncheon, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Cundy’s Harbor Community Hall, Harpswell. Crafts, baked goods, lunch includes lobster stew, lobster rolls, chili and hotdogs, with a visit from Santa from 10 a.m.-noon.
Ye Olde-Fashioned Christmas Fair, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 580 Forest Ave., Portland. Greens, ornaments, antiques, children’s room, baked goods, jewelry, Santa Cafe.
A Vintage Christmas, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., First Congregational Church of Scarborough, 167 Black Point Road. Handmade items with a Maine theme, greens, vintage & collectibles, books, quilts, jewelry, toys, takeout chicken potpie meal.
Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Blue Point Church Congregational, 236 Pine Point Rd., Scarborough. Local crafters, wreaths & centerpieces, baked goods, grandma’s attic, raffles; haddock chowder lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Holiday Craft Fair, Poinsettia, & Wreath Sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Morrison Center, 60 Chamberlain Rd., Scarborough. 35+ local crafters, Santa, raffles, bake sale, homemade lunch.
Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., First Parish Church, 116 Main St., Yarmouth. Baked goods, handcrafted items, kids’ shopping room, attic treasures, silent auction, cookie walk, Kris Kringle’s lunch.
Evergreen Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., First Universalist Church, 97 Main St., Yarmouth. Crafts, pantry, silent auction; soup luncheon starts at 11 a.m.
Super Soulful Santa presents Pat Colwell & The Soul Sensations, holiday favorites with a Motown flavor, 7:30 p.m., Chocolate Church, 804 Main St., Bath. Tickets $17 at 442-8455 and www.chocolatechurcharts.org or $20/door.
Christmas is Magic, 2 & 7 p.m., Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington Street, Bath, tickets $12/advance, $15/door, 442-8455, www.chocolatechurcharts.org.
Christmas Songs and Stories at the Library, 10:30-11 a.m., special holiday-themed story time for toddlers and preschoolers at Freeport Community Library, 10 Library Dr.
Tree Lighting with Santa, 2-5 p.m., Brunswick Town Mall, Maine Street. Free carriage rides and refreshments; Santa and Frosty the Snowman will arrive at 3 p.m., choral performance 4-5 p.m., followed by tree lighting.
Mill Creek HolidayFest Tree Lighting, 4:30-7 p.m., Mill Creek Park, South Portland. Wagon rides, concessions, chorus, photos with Santa in City Hall; tree lighting at 6 p.m.
Christmas Tree Lighting Walk, 4:30 p.m., Cundy’s Harbor, Holbrook’s Wharf to the Hall for a potluck supper. Dress warmly and bring flashlights.
“Holiday Cheer and Entertaining in 19th Century Maine” at the Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick at 2 p.m. Dec. 2 will include stories of holiday traditions during the time the Chamberlain family lived in the house. Attendees will be treated to tea and scones, as well as a tour. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling 729-6606.