After some finishing touches, the town is officially decked-out for the holiday season. The Christmas tree downtown is now fully illuminated after Fox Island Electric workers fixed the top half of the lights that had blown out after a storm, and the Lida Romer Beacon of Hope trap tree was recently completed with a lighthouse placed as the star on top. With the newly renovated manger scene, the nearby banner of snowflake lights and more LED snowflakes adorning the telephone poles through Main Street, there are many colorful and festive displays around the island for joy riders to admire.
There are also several opportunities to enjoy local talent and holiday music this weekend. Students in grades K-5 will have their last assembly of the year on Friday, Dec. 13, at 9 a.m. in the auditorium, where they will showcase what they have been working on in their classes. The first grade has been preparing holiday readers theater, which has helped the students practice reading fluently, with expression, and out loud with a partner. First-grade teacher Samantha Thompson hopes the short two-act plays will be ready in time to perform at the assembly.
Partners in Island Education is having a Community Christmas Show on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall. A cappella groups, the school band, a steel drum band and more are scheduled to perform. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for kids 5 and under. The Vinalhaven Community Chorus will also hold a Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Union Church, featuring traditional carols and holiday songs.
Flying Santa touched down at the school soccer field on Dec. 7. Arriving via helicopter, he circled the skies several times, waiting for a clear landing and building anticipation for the crowd of excited children, parents and onlookers. After handing out bags of candy and asking everyone what they wanted for Christmas, Santa posed for a big group photo in front of his “sleigh.”
This was the first of several island visits for Saint Nick this month. Children in pre-K through first grade can also meet Santa at the annual Lions Club Christmas party after school on Friday, Dec. 20, and everyone is invited to see him at the Fire Station Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. That Saturday also happens to be Community Night, with extended shopping hours, restaurant specials and the annual Parade of Lights; look for more information in next week’s column.
Members of the local American Legion Auxiliary chapter were busy filling and delivering Christmas stockings to veterans in town last week. The 25 recipients included vets from World War II to the Vietnam era. The stockings were filled with homemade cookies, fruit, pocket calendars donated from J. Edward Knight Insurance and a pair of wool socks. The Auxiliary delivers different gifts to local veterans every year around Christmastime as a small token to thank them for their service.
Maine Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud will visit the island on Saturday, Dec. 14. The public is invited to meet Maine’s 2nd District Representative for a Q&A session at the school at 3 p.m., hosted by the Maine Lobstering Union, IMLU Local 207. Michaud, a gubernatorial candidate, will discuss his stance on local fisheries, coastal communities and how to promote and capitalize on the lobstering industry.
The high school basketball season opened last week, with the Vinalhaven boys’ and girls’ teams traveling to Jackman on Dec. 6 and 7 to take on the Forest Hills Tigers. The Vikings suffered some tough losses and are hoping to improve their records this weekend at home versus the Valley Cavaliers of Bingham. The girls are scheduled to play at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 and 9 a.m. the next day, with the boys to follow. A pep rally on Friday morning at 10:45 in the school gym will help players and fans get fired up for the upcoming season.
If you have any news to include in this column, please contact Claire at email@example.com.