A new downtown event for families to enjoy begins Dec. 4, with a Finding the Twelve Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt, during a time when the traditional Christmas By the Sea parade is cancelled, due to the pandemic.

Santa's elves in Camden created the downtown storefront treasure hunt for families to enjoy on their own. The treasure hunt will run through Dec. 13, and prizes will be awarded.

Entry forms for the treasure hunt will be available for download starting Dec. 4 on the Christmas By the Sea Facebook page.

Printed copies will also be available at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on the Camden Public Landing.

Other Christmas By the Sea traditions will continue, in a new form.

This year, Santa Claus will visit live via the internet from his home in the North Pole.

Everyone is encouraged to view the special 2020 tree lighting via livestream Friday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m., on the Christmas By the Sea Facebook page.

The tradition of listening to Santa Claus read the holiday classic, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" will happen via Zoom, Saturday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m.

Afterward, Santa and Ellen Elf will answer interesting questions they have been asked over the years. Santa Claus has also set up his own chat line, where parents can arrange some one-on-one conversation time for their children with Santa and Ellen Elf. Visit chat-with-Santa.com for more information.

Autographed photos of Santa Claus will be available in a variety of downtown Camden locations all week and a free canvas shopping tote bag will be available at the Penobscot Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Two Public Landing in Camden, while supplies last.

The Community Hat and Mitten Tree will be on display in the Camden Public Library windows throughout the holiday event. Items for the tree may be dropped off at the library Monday through Saturday, from 1 to 6 p.m. through Dec. 14. Donated hats, mittens, scarves and socks will be gifted to the SOS Room at the First Congregational Church of Camden.

Building on the Maine CDC recommendation that families stay home and celebrate the holidays in ways that avoid even modest group gatherings, the Christmas by the Sea committee is asking families to "go all out" and decorate their homes for the holidays.

"The idea to decorate our homes is to show that our communities refuse to give up on the holidays," said committee member Holly Anderson. "Let’s light up our neighborhoods with good cheer while demonstrating our collective resolve to stay safe.”