The Christmas season arrives in the Camden Hills region during the first weekend in December, when Santa chugs into the harbor by boat, a parade makes its way down the street and unique local traditions hit their stride.

Trish Moroz – known locally as the “gingerbread lady” — will transport nearly 130 elaborate gingerbread houses that she has been crafting in her Rockport kitchen since last February from her basement to the holiday fair.

Retired firefighter Bob Oxton will make his trek up Mt. Battie to light the holiday star that can be seen for miles, as he has for four decades.

Carolers and horse-drawn wagons will wind through historic downtown Camden, where the mountains meet the sea and local shops will offer special items.

Christmas by the Sea takes place between Dec. 3-5, offering family friendly activities — tree lighting festivities in Camden and Rockport, bonfire, a chance to pet the “Oreo cookie” calves at Aldemere Farm, free horse-drawn wagon rides and a day of free admission to the Owls Head Transportation Museum and its holiday activities.

Moroz, who is retired, sees some of the same people from Connecticut, Boston and New York in addition to a healthy local clientele each year when they come to buy the gingerbread pieces she has been working to craft from dawn to dusk. They will be for sale at the Rockport Garden Club Holly Berry Fair on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Rockport Opera House. In addition, there will be a separate gingerbread display downtown in the windows of the Camden Opera House.

“I make barns, Cape Cods, New England-style farm houses, all kinds of gingerbread structures,” she said in a press release. “This year, the display at the Opera House will feature a Santa’s Workshop with elves, a gingerbread factory, and a sleigh barn with a variety of sleighs. The figures in the display will be made entirely from sugar and candies. People love to see the gingerbread houses because it reminds them of simpler times.” The display will be illuminated for evening viewing.

The schedule includes:

Friday, Dec. 3

6 p.m.: Christmas by the Sea parade begins on Union Street

6:45 p.m.: Santa presides at the community tree-lighting ceremony in Harbor Park

Saturday, Dec. 4

8 a.m.: 2nd Annual Thomas F. Chester Frozen 5K Road Race

9 a.m.-12 noon:- Beltie holiday at Aldermere Farm

9:30 a.m.: Santa arrives by boat at Rockport Harbor

Noon: Santa arrives by tug boat in Camden Harbor

4 p.m.: Tree lighting, bonfire and sing along at Lincolnville Beach. Santa arrives by fire engine around 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 5

10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Owls Head Transportation Museum; free admission, holiday activities

11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Free horse and wagon rides