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Southern Aroostook communities gearing up for holiday festivities

HOULTON, Maine — With the holiday season fast approaching, many local communities in southern Aroostook County are gearing up for special celebrations to make things more festive.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is often filled with light parades, holiday craft fairs and tree lighting ceremonies. Last year, most of those celebrations were either canceled or greatly altered because of COVID-19.

This year, things appear to be heading toward a more traditional celebration with a number of communities returning to their normal slate of events.

The Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring its popular Holiday Light Parade, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. The event was scaled back last year because of the pandemic, but this year should be a return to normal.

“I have heard from a lot of our regulars who did not participate last year that they are coming back, but I never truly know how many entries there will be until that night,” explained Jane Torres, executive director of the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce. “I am expecting a great turnout.”

The parade begins at the Houlton Shopping Plaza on the North Road and makes a stop in Market Square, where Santa Claus will officially illuminate the town’s Christmas tree. From there, Santa and Mrs. Claus will walk to Serendipitous Dragonfly where a station will be set up in the store for kids to have a chance to speak with Santa.

The theme for this year’s parade is “Christmas in Toyland,” and participants are encouraged to work that theme into their displays. To pre-register for the parade, call the Chamber at 207-532-4216. 

The Houlton Recreation Department is also hosting its annual Holiday Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26 and 27, at the Gentle Memorial Building.

“We missed it dearly last year, and I think the community did as well,” Houlton Recreation Director Marie Carmichael said. “We are excited to have more than 50 different crafters coming this year.”

Carmichael added many of the regular crafters are coming back, but a few opted not to out of concerns about COVID-19. To help protect attendees and crafters alike, face coverings will be required for every person inside the Gentle Memorial Building. 

“We will spread people out a bit more to give as much social distancing as we can,” she added. “We have had a lot of calls from people asking if we were going to do it this year, and we are excited to say that we are.”

For information, contact the Rec Center at 207-532-1310.

On Sunday, Nov. 28, the Molunkus Valley Sno-Drifters snowmobile club will host its 17th annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting, with Christmas carols at 3 p.m. The parade starts at the Sherman Town office and ends at the snowmobile club on North Street.

Santa will make an appearance. There will be snacks and children are encouraged to bring their letters. A coloring contest is also planned. For information, contact Deb Long 207-267-1200.

The Danforth community will hold its light parade at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, in its downtown. There is no theme for this parade and no cost to enter. Winners will be announced at the Danforth Town Hall at the conclusion of the event.

For information or to enter the parade, contact Gerald Allen at 207-694-0903.

Additionally, the town is holding a festival of trees event, as well as a gingerbread house contest and Christmas carols.

 

 

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