North Yarmouth holiday celebration endures, minus Wescustogo

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Despite the destruction by fire last summer of the town’s usual gathering place, annual holiday celebrations will go on, albeit with some changes.

Much as North Yarmouth Fun Day went on in September, next to the cleared site of Wescustogo Hall on Walnut Hill Road, so will the town’s annual Christmas tree-lighting party and visit from Santa Claus on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Because of the Aug. 29 loss of the town’s landmark former Grange hall – the home of elections, Town Meetings, and many other community events, including the rain-day location for Fun Day – North Yarmouth will not hold its potluck supper this year.

“We have to let go of just one activity for hopefully just this year,” Katie Murphy, a member of the North Yarmouth Events Committee, said last week. “But we’re continuing forward.”

But townspeople will still gather at the Village Green at 6 p.m. After carols are sung around the Christmas tree, participants can gather in the nearby fire station for refreshments and treats provided by the Walnut Hill Garden Club. Plus Santa will be in town to hear kids’ wish lists.

The town still feels the absense of Wescustogo Hall, “but the great thing about our community is there are people are still there for the community, and want to participate in the community,” Murphy said.

As a result, Fun Day drew “a great attendance,” she said, predicting a similar turnout at the tree-lighting.

“I think people want to pull together,” Murphy explained. “They recognize that traditions like this, you cannot find them in every town. And we’ve got them, and we are lucky to have them. And we are lucky to have the people in this town that make it all possible.”

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.