Santa to help Bath begin a month of celebration

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BATH — Maine’s first snowstorm of the season arrived last week, and St. Nick is soon to follow.

The City of Ships will ring in the holiday season Saturday, Nov. 24, by decorating the Christmas tree inside Library Park gazebo, 33 Summer St., from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. People can make ornaments during that time or bring their own, and story time will be held in the library’s Children’s Room.

With the tree ready to shine, Santa and Mrs. Claus descend upon the gazebo to light it. The couple then leads a “Jingle Bell Walk” over to City Hall (55 Front St.) for caroling, cookies and refreshments, allowing children time to regale Kris Kringle with their holiday wish lists.

A full list of events is posted at visitbath.com/events/an-old-fashioned-christmas-in-bath.

Trolley caroling continues throughout the month, with crooners encouraged to grab free tickets at the trolley stop by City Hall to reserve space for the 4-8 p.m. program. Caroling takes place the following Fridays and Saturdays: Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15, and Dec. 21-22.

Even though Santa will have returned to the North Pole after Nov. 24, “Magic Letter Boxes,” red and house-shaped, will be located downtown to allow notes to be sent to his headquarters. Return addresses must be listed on envelopes to receive a reply.

Cards and letters to the area’s senior citizens can also be placed in the boxes.

Meanwhile, children and adults alike are asked to fill “Santa’s bags” around the city with non-perishable foods, particularly those that can be included in a holiday meal. Bags can be found at the City Hall lobby, Bath Natural Market (36 Centre St.), Brackett’s Market (185 Front. St.), Renys Department Store (86 Front St.), Bath Savings Institution (105 Front St.), First Federal Savings (125 Front St.), and Five County Credit Union (765 Washington St.).

The items will be distributed at the Bath Area Food Bank, 807 Middle St., in time for Christmas.

December may bring the darkest days of the year, but the city offsets that with “Bright Night Bath” from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Luminaries and window displays will line the streets, and lights will flash on trees and light poles.

Downtown shops remain open late to accommodate shoppers, offering music, refreshments, and unique gifts. Marshmallows can be roasted by an ice sculpture.

The five-week celebration concludes at 11:45 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31, with the 16th annual Paul Revere bell ringing outside City Hall. Participants gather at the corner of Front and Centre streets to sing, blast noisemakers, bid farewell to 2018 and welcome 2019.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bath celebrates the holiday season beginning Saturday, Nov. 24, with its annual “Old Fashioned Christmas” series of events.

Brunswick welcomes Christmas season with tree lighting

BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick Downtown Association kicks off the holidays with a tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 24.

The annual event, held at the Town Mall on Maine Street, will include free rides in horse-drawn carriages, coffee, hot cocoa and cookies from 2-5 p.m. Santa Claus arrives on a fire truck alongside Frosty the Snowman at 3 p.m. and will visit with children at the mall gazebo.

The Brunswick High School Chorus will perform carols from 4-5 p.m., when Santa will light the tree.

Log onto brunswickdowntown.org for a full schedule.

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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.