Kickoff to weekend of activities and events...

Crowds pack downtown Camden for annual Christmas by the Sea parade

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 1:15pm

    CAMDEN — One by one they made their through downtown Camden Friday night during the annual Christmas by the Sea parade. Some played music, others made music, all were decorated with twinkling lights and made those packed layers deep along the parade route wave and smile. You just could not help yourself but smile, and at times marvel, at the creativity and festive feeling each float or decorated vehicle emanated.

    While finishing touches on downtown decorations were being made and parade entries were being decorated off-site, Christmas by the Sea weekend activities got underway earlier in the day Friday with holiday music and a student holiday fair downtown.

    But the big event Friday night was the parade, which delivered the guest of honor, Santa Claus, to Harbor Park to join in carols and the lighting of the community Christmas tree overlooking Camden Harbor. Those in need of a little warmth could find it on Atlantic Avenue, which was closed to traffic and filled with holiday revelers sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies and other baked goods, courtesy of local students raising funds for their school organizations and events. Meanwhile, restaurants downtown filled to capacity, with 45-60 minute waits, in some cases, for a table to sit down, warm up and enjoy a hot meal.

    Christmas by the Sea weekend continues today, with lots of holiday, craft and artisan fairs to check out and the Beltie Holiday event at Aldermere Farm in Rockport. The Conway House in Rockport is open for tours and treats today, and this afternoon the choices include The Nutcracker at the Camden Opera House, the Ringing in the Season handbell Christmas concert at First Congregational Church, and a bonfire lighting and carols on the beach at Lincolnville ahead of Santa’s arrival via fire engine.

    Into the night Saturday, there’s an art show at High Mountain Hall and A Walk Through Bethlehem at Chestnut Street Baptist Church.

    There’s a full day of events Sunday too, including the Wreaths Across America convoy, which will make a stop at Lincolnville Beach early in the afternoon. For more details on the Christmas by the Sea schedule, check out our Holiday Resource Guide for all the information and links you need.