The inaugural Merry & Bright holiday celebration will be held in the village of Waldoboro Sunday, Dec. 16.

Businesses in the village will be open late, and will offer snacks and beverages. The celebration also features a lighting contest, which allows both residences and businesses to win cash prizes.

The day kicks off at 3 p.m. with the Icy Elf 5K, a festive race through the village. An actual elf will greet runners at the finish line with hot chocolate. Prizes will be handed out for a variety of reasons, from best-dressed elf to last-place finisher.

Last year, more than 30 hardy souls braved the cold to race through town in support of the Waldoboro Business Association's efforts to revitalize the downtown. Registration numbers have already exceeded last year, so be sure to get there early to sign up either in person at Long Winter Soap Co. on Friendship Street in Waldoboro or at runsignup.com/Race/ME/Waldoboro/IcyElf5K.

The cost is $20 in advance. Registration for the kids’ race is free.

Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ will host its Holiday Shopping for Smalls event from 2 to 4 p.m. This kids-only shopping event allows children to shop for gifts on a budget designed to meet them where they are, with quarters and dollars saved from chores and tooth fairy visits.

Visitors can find crafts and cocoa at the Medomak Arts Project from 4 to 5 p.m. and can enjoy a holiday pop-up at Long Winter Soap Co. until 7 p.m.

Beginning at 5 p.m., all are welcome to join the caroling tour around the village. Participants are asked to gather at 13 Friendship St. for the hour-long caroling extravaganza.

Finally, at 5:30 p.m., the winners of the Merry & Bright lights contest will be announced. Five businesses and five individuals are participating in the inaugural event. To complete your driving tour of the displays, pick up a contestant map at First National Bank, the Waldoboro Town Office, the Waldoboro Public Library, Community Pharmacy, or Long Winter Soap Co. A map is also available on the Merry * Bright Facebook page.

To learn more, visit facebook.com/merryandbrightwaldoboro/