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Festival of Lights to illuminate Thanksgiving weekend

Nov 25, 2019
Source: Gordon Page The parade will feature glowing decorations to celebrate the holiday spirit.

Rockland — The annual Festival of Lights celebration in downtown Rockland is on schedule to kick off the holiday season from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. This year’s major sponsor for Festival of Lights is the Island Institute.

By the time Santa arrives via U.S. Coast Guard vessel at noon, Friday, Nov. 29, 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 will occur Friday evening. Santa will be assisted by the mayor and others in the flipping of 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. 30, 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.

According to Gordon Page, executive director of Rockland Main Street, Inc., shopping in a downtown district is far more appealing than any shopping mall. He noted that ' main streets’ in every town and city of all sizes offer unique advantages, and added that, “during the holidays and all year long, Downtown Rockland offers a vibrant community connection with city residents, friends from neighboring towns and merchants that are known by their first names”.

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 will begin there and 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 food pantry. Hot cocoa provided by non-profit organizations will be available at strategic locations along Main Street.

On Sunday, of Dec. 1, families will have an opportunity to have breakfast with Santa at Eclipse Restaurant at 2 Park Drive from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Breakfast is $2 for children and $5 for adults.

Rockland Main Street, Inc., is a downtown advocacy organization that focuses on historic preservation of, and economic development in the downtown district. Rockland Main Street, Inc., produces the “Festival Of Lights” weekend events and the annual Summer Solstice Celebration Street Party and Dock Party.


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