The annual Festival of Lights celebration in downtown Rockland will take place Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 25 through 27.

By the time Santa arrives via U.S. Coast Guard vessel at noon Friday, Nov. 25t the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree will be up, and storefronts along Main Street will be decorated.

Upon his arrival at the Middle Pier, Santa will be escorted by his biggest fans to the corner of Park and Main streets, where he will officially declare Downtown Rockland “Open for The Holidays,” with a ribbon-cutting. He’ll then retire to his workshop in Mildred Merrill Park, where he will greet children during the afternoon. Free horse-drawn wagon rides will also be available.

The lighting of the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree, hyperbolically measured by some as the largest of its kind in the world, will occur Friday evening. Santa will be assisted by the mayor and others in flipping the switch at 6 p.m.

Music for Santa’s arrival and for the tree-lighting will be provided by the Midcoast Music Academy.

Saturday, Nov. 26, Santa will return to his workshop from noon to 3 p.m. Free horse-drawn wagon rides will be available, and downtown businesses will be open with special promotions for Small Business Saturday.

Saturday night features the annual Parade of Lights, beginning at 6 p.m. Floats sponsored by participating businesses, neighborhoods and organizations will gather at the public landing beforehand. The parade route this year has changed. The parade will begin at the Public Landing, head north on Main Street, turn around in the Ferry Terminal parking lot, then return to Main Street heading south.

Parade-goers are encouraged to “vote” for their favorite float with non-perishable food and new, unwrapped gifts that will be donated to the Salvation Army. Hot chocolate will be available at strategic locations along Main Street.

On Sunday, Nov. 27, families will have an opportunity to have breakfast With Santa at Eclipse Restaurant, 2 Park Drive, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Breakfast is $2 for children and $5 for adults.

For more information, or to get an application to participate in the parade, email