Parade this evening

Christmas by the Sea celebration gets underway in Camden, Lincolnville and Rockport

Posted:  Friday, December 1, 2017 - 8:45am
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CAMDEN, ROCKPORT and LINCOLNVILLE — The Midcoast communities of Camden, Lincolnville and Rockport are festive places the first weekend of December, which is traditionally Christmas by the Sea weekend. On Friday evening, with the shops open late and the streets aglow, horse and wagon rides take visitors around town to see the sights while people gather and line the streets to watch the festive lighted floats parade through town.

On the last float is the guest of honor, Santa Claus, and he presides over the holiday tree lighting in Harbor Park.

During Christmas By the Sea weekend, holidays events are held throughout the community starting Friday afternoon. Special musical performances at the Camden Public Library kick things off. Camden's holiday parade comes through town at 6 p.m., sponsored this year by Key Bank. Santa then presides over the Community Tree Lighting, co-sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and Journey's End Marina.

Following the tree lighting, an open house at Camden National Bank, sponsors of the horse and carriage rides, draws hundreds of visitors as they mill around the sidewalks and stores.

When Saturday morning arrives, Santa comes cruising into Rockport Harbor by boat, courtesy of Rockport Marine. Santa's arrival is followed by photos with Santa, sponsored by Camden Coast Real Estate and Mark Haskell, at Rockport Marine. The next stop for Santa is the Camden Public Landing, where he arrives ashore courtesy of Lyman Morse. Santa's arrivals by boat define this event that truly celebrates Christmas by the Sea.

Story hour with Santa, as well as free photos, are offered at the Library immediately following his arrival in Camden. Cookie decorating for kids will be held in the Camden Town Office vestibule, sponsored by Lincolnville Communications.

Santa makes his way up to see the children in Lincolnville as well, arriving at the beach by fire engine at 4:30 p.m. The traditional bonfire on the beach will be lit at 3 p.m. The event is followed by a sandwich supper and more photos with Santa at Lincolnville's School House Museum.

The full schedule of events can be found at www.camdenmaineexperience.com under the Events tab. Brochures listing the detailed schedule are at the downtown shops and are available at the Chamber of Commerce on the Public Landing as well as the Camden Town Office.

Organizations and churches bring even more events to this community-wide celebration during Christmas by the Sea weekend. Events include the Holly Berry Fair at the Rockport Opera House, a Beltie Holiday celebration at Aldermere Farm, a choral handbell concert at the First Congregational Church, and holiday craft making at Children's House Montessori School. The Nutcracker will be performed by the Atlantic Ballet Company at the Camden Opera House several times throughout the weekend, and Kinetic Energy Alive dancers will perform an original adaption of The Lion King: A Brothers' Tale at Strom Auditorium. The annual Walk Through Bethlehem takes place at the Chestnut Street Baptist Church, and Ann Dodson and Friends' annual holiday concert at the Congregational Church finishes up this fun-filled weekend on Sunday evening.

Those wishing to participate in the Christmas by the Sea parade can still register at www.camdenmaineexperience.com under the Events tab. The meeting place for floats is at the Sierra Peaks Tibbetts parking lot, on Virginia Ave., at 5:30 p.m., and the parade starts down Union Street promptly at 6 p.m.

Valued sponsors of this year's Christmas by the Sea include LCI, Camden National Bank, Key Bank, Bangor Savings Bank, Journey's End Marina, First National Bank, Lord Camden Inn, Camden Coast Real Estate, Farley & Son, Waterfront Restaurant, The Red Barn Baking Company, Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe, French & Brawn Marketplace and Camden Area Business Group. The Town of Camden's event partner is Camden Public Library. This year's tree for Harbor Park has been donated by the John Evrard family, with assistance from Shane Hendrick of Treeworks.

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2017 Christmas by the Sea Schedule of Events

Friday – December 1
All day until 9 p.m. — Holiday Shopping Extravaganza (Downtown Camden)
Featured activities and holiday shopping specials.

Noon-12:45 p.m. — Holiday Music Concert (First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St., Camden)
Matt Mainster and friends will present their traditional noon concert, a fun holiday variety show to brighten your lunch break and ignite the Christmas spirit. Free.

4:30-6 p.m. — Christmas by the Sea Opening Ceremonies (Camden Public Library)
Holiday selections performed by Camden Hills Regional High School choral and instrumental groups. Bring new or like-new hats, mittens, gloves and scarves to decorate the Camden Community Hat and Mitten Tree. Your items will benefit those who need a bit more warmth this winter.

6 p.m. — Christmas by the Sea Parade (Downtown Camden)
A festive parade through Downtown Camden. Floats gather on Union Street Camden and travel down Main Street to the tree lighting with Santa Claus at the Harbor Park. The parade is sponsored by Key Bank.

6-8 p.m. — Holiday Open House (Camden National Bank, downtown Camden branch)
Warm up inside with cookies and hot cocoa and holiday music.

6-8 p.m. — Carriage Rides Through Town (Camden)
See the holiday lights decorating the streets of downtown Camden as you ride aboard a horse-drawn carriage. Carriage rides courtesy of Camden National Bank.

6:30-9 p.m. — A Walk Through Bethlehem (Chestnut Street Baptist Church, Camden)
Experience the First Christmas as you stroll through the city to get a personal view of more than 80 costumed cast members as the recreate the city of Bethlehem as it might have been the night of Jesus' birth.

6:30 p.m. — Community Tree Lighting Ceremony (Camden Harbor Park, Atlantic Avenue)
Experience Christmas as you stroll through town to where Santa Claus presides over the community tree-lighting ceremony at Harbor Park, ushering us officially into the holiday season. With schooner masts lit in the background and the star visible above on Mt. Battie, the full sight can only be witnessed from this vantage point in Camden. Holiday tree co-sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and Journey's End Marina.

7:30 p.m. — The Nutcracker (Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St.)
Atlantic Ballet Company's full length version of this magical holiday production. Tickets are $18/Adults, $16/Children under 12 and Senior Citizens. Tickets can be purchased online or the day of the show at the Camden Opera House.

Saturday – December 2
8 a.m.-Noon — Holly Berry Fair (Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St.)
Rockport Garden Club brings you Sparkle and Glitz, featuring appetizers and baked goods, and tables full of costume and vintage jewelry. A craft boutique offers hand-crafted items and hand-painted furniture, the Cook's Corner filled with kitchen items, as well as baked goods, quick, ready-to-defrost, frozen soups and appetizers. Also treasures from Granny's attic and several raffles.

9 a.m.-Noon — Beltie Holiday (Aldermere Farm, Russell Avenue, Rockport)
Join this unique holiday celebration at Aldermere Farm, Maine Coast Heritage Trust's historic saltwater farm preserve, and enjoy handmade treats, craft memorable gifts for your loved ones, and get your photo taken with a belted Galloway calf.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. — St. Thomas Episcopal Church Holiday Fair (33 Chestnut St., Camden)
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church will be holding its annual Christmas Fair, a tradition in Camden. Crafts, Vintage Treasures rummage sale, homemade baked goods and preserves, a raffle of three "Made In Maine" product baskets and one "For Kids" basket, and a soup and bread luncheon. Handicap entrance around the corner on Wood Street.

9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Local Artisan Fair (First Congregational Church)
Come to shop and be inspired by all of the wonderful creations. There will be an array of jellies, fabric arts, handmade jewelry and local-made crafts.

9:30 a.m. — Santa Claus Arrives by Boat (Rockport Harbor and Rockport Marine)
Greet Santa as he arrives by boat in Rockport Harbor, followed by photos with Santa and his elf at Rockport Marine, taken by photographer Mark Haskell and sponsored by Camden Coast Real Estate.

10 a.m.-Noon — Holiday Craft Making for Children (Children's House Montessori School, Wood Street, Camden) Free children's holiday craft activity.

10:30-11:30 a.m. — Holiday Cookie Decorating (Camden Town Office vestibule, Elm St., Camden)
Children can come decorate holiday cookies provided by the Red barn Baking Company with candy decorations provided by Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe, and frosting provided by French & Brawn Marketplace. Sponsored by LCI.

Noon — Santa Claus Arrives by Boat (Camden Public Landing)
Santa's reindeer get to take a break as Santa's sleigh turns into a boat and traverses Camden Harbor. Santa will come ashore at the town's Public Landing, courtesy Lyman Morse at Wayfarer.

12:15 p.m. — Story Hour with Santa Claus (Camden Public Library)
Gather around Santa inside the library as he reads Twas The Night Before Christmas.

1 p.m. — Free Photos with Santa Claus (Camden Public Library)
Children of all ages will enjoy a treasured photo with Santa and his elf, taken by local photographer Mark Haskell, sponsored by Camden Coast Real Estate.

1-3 p.m. — Book Signing with Local Authors (Owl & Turtle Bookshop Café, Camden)
Appearing will be local children's authors Chris Van Dusen, Melissa Sweet and Liza Gardner Walsh.

3 p.m. —The Nutcracker (Camden Opera House)
Atlantic Ballet Company's full length version of this magical holiday production.

3 p.m. — Bonfire Lighting (Lincolnville Beach, Route 1)
Come enjoy the sights of the beach and Penobscot Bay beyond.

3-5 p.m. — Children's Book Signing (Beyond the Sea, Lincolnville)
Author Kelly Brooks-Bay will be signing her new children's book, Sea Glass and the Lighthouse.

4 & 4:15 p.m. — Tree Lighting and Sing Along (Lincolnville Beach)
This is a special event to mark the holiday season.

4-5 p.m. — Ringing in the Season Handbell Concert (First Congregational Church)
Thirteenth annual holiday concert featuring local handbell choirs. Freewill offering to benefit a local charity.

4:30 p.m. — Santa Claus Arrives by Fire Engine (Lincolnville Beach)
Santa arrives by fire engine to greet children of all ages on the beach at Lincolnville. Visit Santa by the bonfire, sing carols and stay toasty warm.

4:30 p.m. — Sandwiches, Photos (free) with Santa Claus (LIA, Rt. 173, Lincolnville Beach)
Children of all ages will enjoy a treasured photo with Santa and his elf, taken by local photographer Mark Haskell, sponsored by Camden Coast Real Estate.

6-8:30 p.m. — A Walk Through Bethlehem (Chestnut Street Baptist Church)
Experience the First Christmas as you stroll through the city to get a personal view of more than 80 costumed cast members as they recreate the city of Bethlehem as it might have been the night of Jesus' birth.

7 p.m. — The Lion King: A Brothers' Tale (Strom Auditorium, CHRHS, Rockport)

Original dance theatre adaptation, presented by Kinetic Energy Alive Dance Productions.

Sunday – December 3

2 p.m. — The Lion King: A Brothers' Tale (Strom Auditorium, CHRHS, Rockport)

Original dance theatre adaptation, presented by Kinetic Energy Alive Dance Productions.

3 p.m. — The Nutcracker (Camden Opera House)
Atlantic Ballet Company's full length version of this magical holiday production

7 p.m. – Anne Dodson & Friends 30th annual Winter Program (First Congregational Church, Camden)
Seasonal folk music and more.

 

Event Dates: 
Thu, 11/30/2017 - 8:00am
Sat, 12/02/2017 - 8:00am
Sun, 12/03/2017 - 8:00am