ROCKLAND — The holiday season is kicking into high gear as the annual holiday Lobster Trap Tree in Rockland is being erected.

The tree was being built Friday, Nov. 18, at Mildred Merrill Park, which overlooks Harbor Park and Rockland Harbor. The U.S. Coast Guard and local volunteers helped build the tree.

The Lobster Trap Tree has been a tradition in Rockland since 2005. The tree stands 40-feet tall with about 200 traps, donated by Brooks Trap Mill. The tree is adorned with 2,500 lights, 600 feet of natural green garland and more than 100 lobster buoys. A large lobster from the Trade Winds inn sits atop the tree.

Rockland Main Street, Inc. organizes the tree project and the other downtown holiday activities.

The tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25. Santa will be assisted by Virginia Oliver, Maine’s oldest licensed lobster harvester, in the flipping of the switch.

Santa arrives via U.S. Coast Guard vessel at noon on Friday, Nov. 25. 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 will then retire to his workshop in Mildred Merrill Park, where he will greet children during the afternoon.

On Saturday, Nov. 26, Santa will return to his workshop from 12 to 3 p.m. Free horse-drawn wagon rides will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. provided by First National Bank, and downtown businesses will be open with special promotions for Small Business Saturday.

Saturday night, Nov. 26, features the annual Parade of Lights beginning at 6 p.m.

Floats sponsored by participating businesses, neighborhoods and organizations will gather at the ferry terminal parking lot. The parade will begin at the ferry terminal and head south (the wrong way on Main Street), ending at the Lobster Trap Tree.

Additional horse-drawn carriage rides will be held either Friday or Sunday of that weekend with the information to be announced soon.

The lead sponsor for the lighting of the Lobster Trap Tree is Camden National Bank, with hot drinking chocolate provided by Bixby & Co. Journey’s End Marina used its mechanical lift to place the lobster ornament on the top of the tree.

Other major sponsors include First National Bank, Loyal Biscuit Company and Cates Real Estate.

Santa’s Workshop is provided by Shed City, and sponsored by Cates Real Estate.

The lead sponsor for the Festival of Lights parade is First National Bank. On Sunday, Nov. 27, families will have an opportunity to have breakfast with Santa at the Elks Lodge located at 210 Rankin St. from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Breakfast is $2 for children and $5 for adults. The breakfast is sponsored by B.O.G. Balanced Bookkeeping. Free horse-drawn wagon rides will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. provided by Shepard Auto Group.

On the weekend of Dec. 2, help Santa find his missing elves on Main Street. As a reward for your help, one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate for their favorite downtown business.

Rockland’s second annual Eat Sip Shop event will be held on Dec. 8  from 4 to 8 p.m. Shops and restaurants will have specials, sales and giveaways. The event is designed to be a fun night out with extended shopping hours during the busy holiday season.

Rockland Main Street, Inc., is a downtown advocacy organization that focuses on historic preservation of, and economic development in the downtown district.

Captain Tyler Waterson helps in the interior construction of the tree. Photo by Stephen Betts

A view of the tree from the inside. Photo by Stephen Betts

Journey’s End Marina volunteered to put the lobster topping on the tree. Photo by Stephen Betts

The holiday lobster trap tree is under construction in Rockland. Photo by Stephen Betts

Lobster buoys will decorate the tree. Photo by Stephen Betts