The Star-Herald

Presque Isle to launch holiday season with parade

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — To make your holidays merrier and brighter, the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce will hold its 32nd annual Holiday Light Parade at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. 

Many downtown merchants will be open for families to enjoy extra activities before, during and after the parade, and the community will have the chance to embrace the spirit of giving by donating nonperishable items to Feed the County.

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is hosting the lineup and the parade will conclude at North Street. The judging platform and announcers will be in front of Gary’s Furniture and Appliance. 

This year the parking lot on the corner of Cedar and Main Street along with the old Rec Center lot by Carroll’s Auto Sales will be reserved parking for older persons and/or those with disabilities and their caregivers. This area will be marked with signage and a parking attendant will be available to assist on Saturday.

The following are among the special activities planned.

Fun Run from UMPI to Hub Coffee. Main Street will be closed at 5:30. Cheer for the participating runners, then enjoy a cup of cocoa at Hub during the parade. 

Tis the season to donate. Bring nonperishable food items for Feed the County as Dixie Lee Shaw reprises her role as Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Hardings Law Office will host their annual open house with hot and cold drinks and refreshments. 

At Ignite PI at the Northeastland, beginning Dec. 1, children may bring their letters to Santa and drop them off in his mailbox. Be sure that your name and address are included. On parade day there will be a giving tree. Hang an ornament on the tree, make a wish and receive a treat with cocoa or apple cider starting at 2 p.m. At 7 p.m. the cash bar will open.

Hot chocolate will be served at Merchants on the Corner and Neighborhood Books will have cocoa and sugar cookies from 5 to 8 p.m.

A Grinch and Santa workshop will be held at 10 a.m. and a Beyond Painting workshop of a tree or a wreath at 2 p.m. at Glass with Class.  

There will be a gnome class at 1 p.m. and a centerpiece class at 2 p.m. at Cook Florist.

And at 9 p.m., Wally and the Virginians will play at the Time Out Sports Bar.

 The Chamber’s Annual Holiday Craft Fair will take place Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, in the former Kmart building at the Aroostook Centre Mall. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. 

The St. Apollonia Dental Clinic’s Annual Festival of Trees will be displayed at the mall’s former Sears location from Friday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 5.

Light Up Central Aroostook! will return this year. Twelve prizes are awarded up to $300. Register with the chamber, have your address on the map and qualify to be judged by the panel of judges. Participants will receive a lawn sign. 

Residents may post their decorations on social media using the hashtag #CACCLights so people who are unable to get out can enjoy the festive presentations.

Judging will take place Monday, Dec. 13, in Presque Isle; Tuesday, Dec. 14, in Washburn, Wade, Perham, Caribou, Stockholm and Connor; and Wednesday, Dec. 15, in Fort Fairfield, Easton, Mars Hill, Blaine and Westfield. Any previously unjudged entries will be evaluated Thursday, Dec. 16, and winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 20. 

To register for Light Up Central Aroostook! or for more information, visit www.CentralAroostookChamber.com or call (207) 764-6561.

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