Camden's 29th annual Christmas by the Sea celebration kicks off Thursday, Dec. 3 and will run through Sunday, Dec. 6 with events taking place in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville.

For Courier Publications' special schedule of events booklet, pick up a copy of this week's The Camden Herald, The Courier-Gazette or The Republican Journal or click here.

Thursday, Dec. 3

4 p.m. — 4th annual Community Celebration – New England Real Estate, 98 Elm St., Camden.

All are invited to NERE’s 4th anniversary celebration. Donations to benefit PAWS Animal Adoption Center Forever Home Capital Campaign will be collected. Stop by on your way to the auction!

5 to 8 p.m. — PAWS Auction for Animals – Samoset Resort.

Silent and live auction and party at the Samoset Resort to benefit PAWS Animal Adoption Center. $20 entrance fee, tickets available at pawsadoption.org.

Friday, Dec. 4

All day until 9 p.m. — Holiday Shopping Extravaganza. Featured sales throughout downtown Camden stores.

Noon — Lunchtime Piano and Flute Interlude – First Congregational Church, 33 Elm St., Camden. Presented by Steve Weston and Amy Maier for the holiday season. Free. Donations gratefully accepted in support of Friends of Music concert series. FMI: 236-4821.

4:30 to 6 p.m. — Christmas by the Sea Opening Ceremonies – Camden Public Library

Holiday selections performed by Camden Hills Regional High School vocal groups and instrumental ensembles. Bring new or like new hats, mittens, gloves and scarves to decorate the Hat and Mitten Tree.

4:30 to 8 p.m. — Student Holiday Fair – Downtown Camden

Visit the energy and excitement on Main Street and Atlantic Avenue in Camden where teens promote their bake sales, raffles and other holiday goodies at tables placed throughout the downtown. Proceeds support local student organizations and activities.

6 p.m. — Christmas by the Sea Parade – Downtown Camden.

Parade route Main Street Camden, downtown, to Harbor Park.

6 to 8 p.m. — Holiday Open House – Camden National Bank.

Warm up inside with cookies and hot cocoa and holiday music.

6 to 9 p.m. — A Walk Through Bethlehem – Chestnut Street Baptist Church

Experience the first Christmas. Walk the streets of Bethlehem, listen to the characters’ stories, and visit the stable where Christ was born.

6:30 p.m. — Community Tree Lighting Ceremony – Harbor Park

6:30 to 8 p.m. — Horse & Carriage Rides – Downtown Camden

St. George Carriage Company rides provided by Camden National Bank. Rides through town begin on Tannery Lane near the Riverhouse.

7:30 p.m. — The Nutcracker – Camden Opera House

Atlantic Ballet Company’s full length version of this magical holiday production. Tickets $18 adults, $14 children 12 and under and seniors. Tickets available at HAV II, Camden, Opera House Video, Belfast, Grasshopper Shop, Rockland and Town Line Video ,Waldoboro. Day of show at Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St., Camden. FMI: 236-7963.

Saturday, Dec. 5

8 a.m. to noon — Holly Berry Fair – Rockport Opera House

Rockport Garden Club’s Sparkle and Glitz; several raffles; baked goods; costume and vintage jewelry; crafted items and hand painted furniture; hostess gifts; cook’s corner kitchen treasures; quick, ready-to-defrost soups and appetizers; and treasures from granny’s attic.

9 a.m. — Frozen 5k – Point Lookout

Come run the toughest 5k in Maine! Benefits Augie’s Quest for the Treatment and Cure of ALS. Registration at 9 a.m., race begins at 10 a.m.

9 a.m. to noon — Beltie Holiday – Aldermere Farm

Join this unique holiday celebration at Aldermere Farm, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s historic saltwater farm preserve, and enjoy delicious treats, craft memorable gifts for your loved ones, and get your photo taken with a Belted Galloway calf.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — St. Thomas Episcopal Church Holiday Fair

Shop for holiday crafts from our St. Thomas artisans. Warm up with our luncheon of seasonal soup, rolls and gingerbread. Enjoy Polly’s Pantry filled with homemade cookies, cakes, candies, jams and jellies. Find that one-of-a-kind gift at Vintage Treasures, and our jewelry table. Visit our raffle table and see our Maine Made basket brimming with local items. 33 Chestnut Street, Camden. Handicap accessible around the corner on Wood Street.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Local Artisan Fair – First Congregational Church, 33 Elm St., Camden

Fabric arts, handmade jewelry, delicious jams and jellies, browse through a glittering array of locally made crafts! A great opportunity to find that one-of-a-kind gift, or maybe something for yourself?

9:30 a.m. — Santa Arrives – Rockport Harbor

Greet Santa as he arrives by boat in Rockport Harbor, followed by free photos with Santa at Rockport Marine, taken by photographer Mark Haskell.

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Holiday Cookie Decorating – YMCA, 116 Union St., Rockport

New this year, children (accompanied by parents) can decorate holiday cookies provided by Red Barn Baking Company with candy decorations provided by Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe.

Noon — Santa Arrives by Boat – Camden Harbor

Story hour with Santa at the Camden Public Library.

1 p.m. — Free Photos with Santa at Camden Public Library

Photos taken by photographer Mark Haskell.

1 to 4 p.m. — Camden-Rockport Historical Society

The Historical Society (just south of Hannaford Supermarket) will be open for tours of the historic 1780s Conway Homestead which will be decorated for the holidays.

3 p.m. The Nutcracker – Camden Opera House

Atlantic Ballet Company’s full-length version of this magical holiday production. Tickets $18 adults, $14 Children 12 and under and seniors. Tickets will be available at HAV II, Camden, Opera House Video, Belfast, Grasshopper Shop, Rockland and Town Line Video, Waldoboro. Day of show at Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St., Camden. FMI: 236-7963.

3:30 p.m. — ‘Ringing in the Season’ Christmas Concert – First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St., Camden

Features ‘Choral Bells’, ‘Joyful Bells’, ‘Penobscot Bay Ringers’, ‘Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers’, and handbell soloist, Debra Hall, with Steve Weston on piano. A ‘Massed Ring’ will conclude the program. Doors open 3 p.m. Pre-show music with ‘Midcoast Harps and Friends’ starts at 3:30. A free-will offering will benefit the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry.

3:30 p.m. — Bonfire Lighting – Lincolnville Beach

Come enjoy the sights as the bonfire is lit.

4 p.m. — Tree Lighting and Sing Along – Lincolnville Beach

4:30 p.m. — Santa Arrives – Lincolnville Beach

Santa arrives by fire engine.

5 to 9 p.m. — 8th Annual Art Show – High Mountain Hall, 5 Mountain St., Camden

Reception with wine and light hors d’oeuvres. Wayfinder Schools Benefit Raffle featuring 18K gold earrings with diamonds by Patty Bolz.. Works by Patty Bolz, Monica Kelly, Antonia Munroe, Margaret Rizzio, Anneli Skaar and Lucinda Zeising will be featured.

6 to 8:30 p.m. — A Walk Through Bethlehem – Chestnut Street Baptist Church

Experience the first Christmas. Walk the streets of Bethlehem, listen to the characters’ stories, and visit the stable where Christ was born

Sunday, Dec. 6

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — 8th Annual Art Show, – High Mountain Hall, 5 Mountain St., Camden

Works by Patty Bolz, Monica Kelly, Antonia Munroe, Margaret Rizzio, Anneli Skaar and Lucinda Zeising will be featured.

2 p.m. Wreaths Across America

Watch the Patriot Escort truck parade pass through Camden as they transport wreaths from Harrington, Maine, down the east coast to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed on veterans’ graves.

2 to 4 p.m. — Ho Ho Holiday Children’s Book Fair, – Camden Public Library

The Camden Public Library and Sherman’s Books present a meet and greet with authors and illustrators along with book signing. This is a fabulous opportunity for some special gift giving ideas! Authors to include Chris Van Dusen… and more.

3 p.m. — The Nutcracker – Camden Opera House

Atlantic Ballet Company’s full-length version of this magical holiday production. Tickets $18 adults, $14 children 12 and seniors. Tickets will be available at HAV II, Camden, Opera House Video, Belfast, Grasshopper Shop, Rockland and Town Line Video, Waldoboro. Day of show at Camden Opera House, 29 Elm Street, Camden. FMI: 236 -7963

7 p.m. — Anne Dodson & Friends 28th Annual Winter Program – First Congregational Church, Camden

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets available at the Owl & Turtle in Camden and Rock City Café in Rockland. Adults: $13 in advance, $15 suggested donation at the door. Children (6-12): $6 in advance, $7 suggested donation at the door. Free under 6 years. Refreshments. Information and reservations call (207) 236-9576.