Maine Holiday Festivals in December
MAINE - After decorating with lights, wreaths, garland and snow, Maine's city downtowns and village centers are ready to celebrate the Christmas season. Holiday festivals last a weekend, week or more, and provide activities and entertainment for all ages.
|Winter in Kennebunkport, Photo Credit: Maine Office of Tourism|
Kennebunkport was named the #2 Christmas Town in America by HGTV, and Christmas Prelude, happening Dec. 2-12, is the town's rousing holiday celebration. The fun spills into neighboring Kennebunk and Cape Porpoise, with shopping specials, public suppers, caroling and live music, arts and crafts fairs, a historic walking tour, tree lightings, and the arrival of Santa Claus by lobster boat.
The village of Bethel draws out its biggest holiday event for nearly a month. This year Country Christmas in Bethel takes place Nov. 26 – Dec. 24. There's a craft and wares fair, free wagon rides through the village, menu samples from area chefs at the Taste of Bethel, a theme wreath auction, historic open houses, shopping specials, and a living nativity.
Santa Claus also arrives by boat during Camden's Christmas by the Sea celebration happening Dec. 3-5. The weekend event features live music and entertainers, a parade, tree-lighting ceremony, Holiday House Inn Tour, and retail and dining specials.
The magic of model railroads and decorated Maine balsam trees come together during the McLaughlin Garden's annual Trees & Trains event happening Dec. 3-5 and 10-12 in South Paris. See multiple model railroad displays including a Christmas village layout, and another featuring scale-model replicas of historic railroad stations in Oxford County. Intricately adorned trees are displayed around the layouts, filling the garden's 1840s barn with the fragrant scent of balsam.
Christmas Tree Farms
After picking apples in the fall, Mainers and visitors seek out a different type of tree for a different kind of picking in December. Visiting a Christmas tree farm to cut the family tree is a fun tradition. More than 50 family tree farms offer choose-and-cut balsam, fraser or Douglas-fir trees, along with pre-cut trees and handmade wreaths, garland, kissing balls or center pieces. Take a wagon ride to the field of trees, and enjoy free hot apple cider or hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes. Most farms charge one price for a tree of any size, from five to 15 feet. Search for tree farms throughout the state on the website of the Maine Christmas Tree Association, or call 207-793-4658.
For more information about Maine’s winter events go to www.visitmaine.com .
Lobsters with Hops
Maine's newest pro sports team - the Maine Red Claws - kicks off its second season in the NBA Development League in mid-November. The Red Claws sold out every home game at the Portland Expo last year, where team mascot Crusher the lobster pumps up the crowd, and fans of all ages can take part in fun contests and promotions. The Red Claws are the official minor league affiliate for the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Hornets.
Biathlon World Cup Series Returns to Maine
The International Biathlon Union World Cup tour will make two stops in Maine in 2011. Presque Isle's Nordic Heritage Center will host the event Feb. 4-6, while Fort Kent's 10th Mountain Center welcomes the tour Feb. 10-13. The world's top men and women in the Olympic sport that combines cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship will compete in sprint, pursuit, mixed relay and mass start competitions. Both Maine venues have spectator viewing areas at the rifle range, and heated lodges serving food and beverages.