Don’t Rest, You Merry Gentlemen (and Gentlewomen)

Photograph by Benjamin Williamson

From parades to pageants, Christmas carols to A Christmas Carol, there’s hardly a day this month when some Maine town isn’t decking the halls.

Festivals and Parades

Always call and/or check the web to confirm details.

Seventy marching bands, floats, dancing troupes, and performing groups march in the Festival of Lights Parade. Dec. 2. 4:30–6:30 p.m. 207-947-0307.

Bar Harbor
Carolers (and cocoa) provide the warm-up to the Village Holidays and Midnight Madness Sale, a night of craft making, activities, and bargain shopping. Dec. 1. 4:30 p.m.–midnight. 207-288-5103.

Local merchants offer discounts during the annual Early Bird Sale, followed by the Christmas Tree Lighting and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Dec. 2. Sale 6 a.m.–5 p.m.; 4:30–7 p.m. 207-218-1158.

Christmas at the Mason House finds Bethel Hill’s oldest surviving home decked in old-fashioned style. Holiday music and refreshments too. Dec. 2. 3:30–6 p.m. 207-824-2908.

Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor
The Boothbay Festival of Lights includes Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and a huge display of gingerbread houses, castles, and lighthouses. Nov. 17–Dec. 31. 207-633-2353.

Camden, Lincolnville, Rockport
Highlights of Christmas by the Sea include Santa’s arrival by boat (twice!), a bonfire on Lincolnville Beach, a community tree lighting in Camden, and holiday sales. Dec. 1–3. 207-236-3438.

Damariscotta, Newcastle
Let the twin villages Spark Your Spirit with caroling, street food, movies for the kids, and ornament making. Nov. 25. 207-563-8340.

Ellsworth’s annual Christmas Parade is the prelude to a full day of events, activities, and performances. Dec. 3. 11 a.m.–noon. 207-667-5584.

Chester Greenwood Day, honoring the native son who invented earmuffs, begins with an earmuff parade and continues with a gingerbread house contest, a polar dip into Clearwater Pond, and a chance to sample goodies at local restaurants with a Taste of Farmington passport. Dec. 2. 207-778-4215.

Fort Kent
Fort Kent’s 37th annual Arts & Crafts Fair boasts 120 vendor booths selling jewelry, candles, mittens, paintings, pottery, and more at the UMaine Fort Kent Sport Center. Later in the day, Santa will be on hand for the Fort Kent Christmas Tree Lighting. Nov. 25–26. 207-834-5354.

Highlights from the annual Sparkle Celebration include horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa (and reindeer) in the L.L.Bean barn, and (oddly enough) a tuba concert at the Freeport Performing Arts Center. Dec. 1–3. 207-865-1212.

The Moosehead Lakes Region’s Deck the Halls is a full day of activities, including street festival, petting zoo, live music, sidewalk sales, a lighted parade, and restaurant specials. Nov. 25, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. 207-695-2421. 

Christmas in Harrison means community breakfasts and suppers, a parade, crafts fairs, gingerbread baking, horse-drawn wagon rides through the village, and a kids’ night with Fred Garbo’s Inflatable Theater. Nov. 30–Dec. 2.

Meet your friends at Market Square and warm up by the bonfire before the Holiday Light Parade. Then, back to the square for the lighting of the Christmas tree. Nov. 25. 5–9 p.m. 207-532-4216.

The 36th Annual Christmas Prelude has no fewer than four tree lightings, an ice bar, a pooch parade, fireworks, and more. Nov. 30–Dec. 10. 207-967-0857.

The Twin Cities Festival of Art and Lights is a day of craft fairs, caroling, and other activities, culminating in a parade from Lewiston to Auburn Nov. 25. Noon–7 p.m. 207-513-3000. 

The 31st Annual Christmas by the Sea includes parades, tree lightings, craft shows, ornament making, storytelling, and, of course, visits with Santa. Dec. 8–10. 207-646-2939. 

Old Orchard Beach
Bring your Christmas tree to feed the giant bonfire at Last Blast, OOB’s spirited farewell to 2017. Dec. 31. 5 p.m.–midnight. 207-590-4201.

Children’s singer/songwriter Rick Charette sets the tone for the Monument Square Tree Lighting. Nov. 24. 5–6:30 p.m. Head down to Ocean Gateway Pier for the Scandinavian Northern Lights Christmas Party. Dec. 11. 6–8:30 p.m. 207-772-6828.

Presque Isle
Folks from all over the County gather on Main Street for the Holiday Light Parade. Dec. 2. 4:30 p.m. 207-764-6561.

The town’s Little Miss and Mister Wood Chip do the honors at the Lighting of the Giving Tree. Nov. 25. 6 p.m. Get an audience with the Big Man during Breakfast with Santa at the Wilhelm Reich Museum. Dec. 2. 8–11 a.m. Mountain Holly Days brightens the shopping season with discounts, treats, wagon rides, and more. Dec. 7–10. 207-864-5571.

Highlights of the Festival of Lights include Santa’s arrival by sea (in a Coast Guard boat) and the lighting of the lobster trap tree. Nov. 24–26. 207-593-6093.

“A Christmas Wish” is the theme for this year’s 32nd Annual Christmas Parade. Santa will be on a float, so you can tell him yours. Dec. 10. 2 p.m. 207-646-2451.

Marching bands, floats, antique cars, clowns, and a lot of lights: the Festival of Lights Parade has it all. Dec. 2. 4:30 p.m. 207-363-1040.


Ticket prices are for adults. Check websites for youth, student, and senior discounts.

Scrooge! This 1992 version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is adapted from the 1970 film starring Albert Finney. Dec. 16–17. $12. Chocolate Church, 804 Washington St. 207-442-8455.

Winter Wonderland Cold Comfort Theater’s annual musical celebration features new and old holiday songs and dance. Dec. 22–23. $10. First Baptist Church, 95 High St. 207-930-7244.

A Charlie Brown Christmas From City Theater Associates, an adaptation of the beloved 1965 animated television special. Dec. 1–17. $20. City Theater, 205 Main St. 207-282-0849.

A Christmas Carol Actors from the Theater Project’s youth groups, professional company, and senior players come together to present the Dickens classic. Dec. 8–10. $8–$20. 14 School St. 207-729-8584. 

A Christmas Carol A large cast (with more than 125 costumes) recounts Scrooge’s Christmas Eve conversion. Dec. 5–22. $18. Footlights Theatre, 190 Rte. 1. 207-747-5434. 

Home for the Holidays Some 50 local performers present a sing-along–friendly program of holiday tunes. Dec. 14–22. $27. Star Theater, 120 Rogers Rd. 603-294-9103.

A Christmas Carol The Public Theatre stages the season’s most popular show with just six actors (and a fiddler). Dec. 8–10. $20. 31 Maple St. 207-782-3200.

The Santaland Diaries Humorist David Sedaris launched his career with sardonic radio tales of a sour department store elf, here adapted for the stage. Nov. 23–Dec. 3. $25. Theater at Monmouth, 796 Main St. 207-933-9999. 

The Nutcracker Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Area Children’s Choir, and Robinson Ballet reunite for their annual holiday performance. Dec. 16–17. $22–$39. Collins Center for the Arts, 2 Flagstaff Rd. 207-581-1755.

A Christmas Carol Good Theater presents Broadway vet Will Rhys portraying every character, Scrooge to Tiny Tim. Dec. 6–10. $20. St. Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress St. 207-835-0895.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
The tale of admirable George Bailey, an angel named Clarence, and Christmas striking a blow against capitalism is presented as a 1940s radio broadcast. Nov. 24–Dec. 24. $42–$65. Portland Stage, 25A Forest Ave. 207-774-0465. 

Magic of Christmas
Outgoing Portland Symphony Orchestra maestro Robert Moody directs, with appearances by sopranos Susie Pepper and Suzanne Nance, acrobatic performances, sing-alongs, and a visit from Santa. Dec. 8–17. $32–$82. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St. 207-842-0800. 

Nutcracker Burlesque
Hurry — tickets to Vivid Motion’s saucy retelling of Clara’s magical Christmas Eve sell out fast. Dec. 15–23. $18. St. Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress St. 207-835-0895.

The Nutcracker
More than 200 student dancers join Maine State Ballet’s pro dancers in Northern New England’s largest Nutcracker. Nov. 24–Dec. 3. $21–$66. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St. 207-842-0800.

Victorian Nutcracker
Portland Ballet sets the classic ballet in the Victorian era, with sets and costumes inspired by Portland’s Victoria Mansion. Dec. 16–17. $39–$45. Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 417 Stroudwater St., Westbrook. Dec. 22–23. $28–$58. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland. 207-772-9671.

Walk to Bethlehem Annual Pageant Dressed as nativity figures, community members lead a procession through the village, stopping at churches for carols, dancing, and dramatic performances. Dec. 10. 207-864-5000.

South Portland
A Christmas Carol A musical rendition of the ubiquitous Dickens play. Nov. 17–Dec. 3. $23. Lyric Music Theater, 176 Sawyer St. 207-799-1421. 

A Christmas Story: The Musical
The Portland Players present a stage adaptation of one boy’s quest for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. Dec. 1–17. $20. 420 Cottage Rd. 207-799-7337.

The Nutcracker Students from the Bossov Ballet Theatre, based at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, recreate the magical world of toy soldiers and dancing mice. Dec. 15­­–­17. $22. Waterville Opera House, 1 Common St. 207-873-7000.

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  • November 24, 2017

    Nessie Chandler

    I’m sorry if I missed it, but which town is pictured in this article? It’ beautiful!