CAMDEN — A much-loved holiday tradition is forging ahead to bring good tidings to the Camden area during the first weekend in December, as the Camden Area Business Group presents Christmas By the Sea.

The 36th annual Christmas By the Sea weekend, scheduled for Dec. 1-4 will include many of the time-honored events that are made more special by the presence of Santa Claus and Elf Ellen, who have participated in Christmas By the Sea weekend since the very beginning.

The weekend kicks off with the holiday parade in downtown Camden Friday at 6 p.m., followed by the lighting of a Christmas tree in Harbor Park, with Santa presiding over both events. Those wishing to participate in the Christmas By the Sea parade should contact Holly Anderson at handerson@camdensnowbowl.com to receive a participation form.

On Saturday at 9 a.m., Santa will arrive by boat at the Camden Public Landing, where he’ll have time to greet children before he heads to the Camden Snow Bowl for another official entrance and his traditional reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” at 10 a.m. Photos with Santa and Elf Ellen will take place directly following story time, between 10:30 a.m. and noon.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., Santa will make an appearance at the Lincolnville Beach bonfire before retiring for the evening.

Throughout the weekend, area merchants will be open for holiday shopping, and a variety of festive events will be offered by individual businesses and organizations in Camden, Lincolnville, and Rockport. Some of these events include horse and carriage rides, cookie decorating for all ages, the CBTS Storefront Treasure Hunt, a traditional Christmas Market, holiday craft fairs, Beltie Holiday, a Walk Through Bethlehem, several musical performances – including The Nutcracker, and more.

For all the details, check out the Christmas By the Sea events brochure, which is available at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce office (2 Public Landing) and also on the Christmas By the Sea Facebook page: facebook.com/christmas.by.the.sea.camden.maine.

Wooden Alchemy of Camden is once again creating an ornament, featuring Curtis Island Lighthouse, to commemorate this year’s event. Ornaments will be for sale at the Chamber of Commerce office, the Camden Public Library (55 Main Street, Camden), and at Wooden Alchemy (19 Elm St., Camden). The ornaments are $10 each. Ornament proceeds will benefit the Area Interfaith Outreach Fuel Assistance Program.

The Camden Area Business Group would like to thank the valued sponsors and supporters of Christmas By the Sea, including Camden Parks and Recreation/Camden Snow Bowl; Camden Police Department; Camden Coast Real Estate; Camden National Bank; Camden Public Library; Camden Real Estate; The Elms of Camden; the fire departments of Camden, Lincolnville, and Rockport; First National Bank; Lane Gower Photography; Lord Camden Inn; Lyman Morse; Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce; 16 Bay View; Treeworks Landscape and Arboriculture; Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe; The Waterfront; Whale’s Tooth Pub; and Whitehall.