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Fireworks, Christmas lights illuminate the night skies in Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — The holiday season is officially underway in Houlton, following the arrival of Santa Claus for the town’s annual Holiday Light Parade. 

The parade heralds the official start to the holiday season, complete with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree. After illuminating the tree, a large pyrotechnic display filled the night sky as fireworks were launched near the Gateway Crossing Bridge.

Following the dazzling display, Santa met with a long line of children eager to whisper their Christmas wishes at Serendipitous Dragonfly on Main Street.

“The weather was perfect, the crowd was huge and Santa rode into Market Square in style on a float decorated by Serendipitous Dragonfly,” said Jane Torres, executive director for the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce. “Honestly, the businesses and organizations did an outstanding job decorating this year, all very clever floats and vehicles and many used the theme of ‘The Spirit of Giving.’ We actually lost count of the entries as floats were still arriving as we were lining them up for the start.”

Exactly how many floats will be in the parade is always a bit of a mystery. Although Torres asks people to register in advance, several floats usually just show up on the night of the event. Sometimes those who have signed up do not show if the weather is bad. Conversely, like this year, when the weather was mild, more show up on the night of the event.

She estimated there were more than 30 floats in this year’s parade.

As a bonus, Long Road Energy, a member of the Chamber, donated funds for the fireworks display staged from Riverfront Park. As soon as the tree was lit, the first volley of a nearly 20-minute fireworks display was launched.

“Thanks to a clear night, a red, green and white theme and the skilled professionals from Central Maine the display was a total crowd pleaser,” Torres said. “It is heartwarming to be able to bring so much joy to our community and the Chamber is looking forward to more great events in 2023.”

HOULTON, Maine — November 28, 2022 — Lainey Tarr puts the finishing touches on a vehicle Saturday evening for the annual Holiday Light Parade in Houlton.  (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — November 28, 2022 — Santa Claus made his grand arrival to Houlton Saturday evening to officially light the town’s Christmas tree as part of the Holiday Light Parade. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — November 28, 2022 — Downtown Houlton was filled with a bundle of beautifully lit floats for its annual Holiday Light Parade. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — November 28, 2022 — Eden Quint of Hodgdon waves to the crowd on top of float during Saturday night’s Holiday Light Parade in Houlton. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — November 28, 2022 — Cameron Clark rode a three-tiered unicycle for the entirety of Saturday night’s Holiday Light Parade in Houlton.  (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — November 28, 2022 — Fireworks explode into the night sky at the conclusion of Houlton’s Holiday Light Parade Saturday evening. Market Square was filled to near capacity for the official arrival of Santa Claus to the Shiretown. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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