Hometown Holidays across the region
Piscataquis County sets aside a day or two in early December to celebrate the wonder of Christmas and the magic of the holiday season. This year Dover-Foxcroft, Greenville (on Saturday, Nov. 30) Guilford, Milo, Monson, Sebec and Dexter are participating.
Greenville’s Deck the Halls event is scheduled for Nov. 30. All-day activities run until 9 p.m. There will be a book sale and silent auction at the fire station from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Union Church Thrift Shop is holding a Christmas sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a raffle and ornament sale benefiting the Greenville Jct. Depot Friends at Kamp Kamp from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a silent auction at the Center for Moosehead History from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting at 11 a.m. and running all day, local participating restaurants will hold Home for the Holidays lunch and dinner specials.
At 11 a.m. children can enjoy a pre-Christmas visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the American Legion, and at 1 p.m. families can bring their beloved pets for a by-donation photo with Santa at the fire station — proceeds to benefit the Wilderness Sled Dog Race. Those participating in the parade should be present for the line-up at 3 p.m. at the Junction Industrial Park. The parade officially begins at 3:30 p.m. and will conclude at the Katahdin parking lot.
The Lights of Life tree lighting ceremony with caroling and cocoa will take place at the Christmas tree by the gazebo at 4 p.m. There will be a Holy Family Church mass at 5 p.m. The day will come to a close with two exciting alumni basketball games at the high school, running from 6-9 p.m. More information can be found at www.destinationmooseheadlake.com.
Guilford will hold all Hometown Holidays events on Friday, Dec. 6. Events begin at 5 p.m. at the Guilford Historical Society Museum with free hot cocoa and sweets. Santa’s helpers will be there, and children can help to make reindeer food. There will be Guilford memorabilia for sale.
At 6 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck to help the children light up the town Christmas tree. All are invited to join in at the annual Christmas bonfire for more caroling. Families are also encouraged to stop at Davis Brother’s Furniture, winner of the 2015 and 2016 Hometown Holidays Traveling Trophy for the breathtaking displays.
For more information on Guilford events, contact the Guilford Historical Society at 217-0963.
Dec 6 from 7-9 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 2-4 p.m., the Guilford Bed & Breakfast will hold Holiday Tea and Carols with acapella trio Born to Praise. Tickets are $5 each if purchased before Dec 5 and $10 thereafter, available at guilfordbnb.com/events or by calling 876-3477.
Saturday, Dec. 7 the Guilford Bed & Breakfast is opening its doors for the Spirit of St. Nick event from 5-7 p.m., where folks can come in from the cold to treat themselves to cheery, holiday elegance. People are invited to stop by and enjoy a fine cup of traditional, Victorian Wassail while enjoying Christmas music in front of a warm, crackling fire. Ask for a private tour and your host will be happy to oblige. Look out for the mistletoe, though, as the kissing tradition is strongly encouraged at this event. Come and share your best holiday memories and pass along “goodwill to all” as Dickens would say. For ages 12-plus.
Dexter Parks & Rec is planning the town tree lighting and Christmas party on Friday, Dec 6. Santa is scheduled to arrive at 5:45 p.m. with the lighting immediately following after which the Christmas party will take place at the town hall. Families can expect kids’ activities, holiday crafts and lots of fun.
Dover-Foxcroft has a jam-packed schedule beginning Friday night, Dec. 6 and ending late Saturday evening when Santa packs up and heads back to the North Pole.
Friday at 6 p.m. the Thompson Free Library is hosting a free Disney Christmas movie for families to enjoy. That same evening at 7 p.m. the Center Theatre is hosting a Members’ Jingle & Mingle, a holiday party members with an exclusive sneak peak of “Little Women.”
The festivities begin bright and early on Dec. 7 at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church with the annual Kris Kringle Coffee from 9-11 a.m. A $4 donation is requested.
The Thompson Free Library will host the Dover Cove Farmers Market and offer ornament making for children from 9 a.m. to noon.
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Head to Tails Pet Store is hosting Hometown Holidays Animal Fun, with an in-store animal coloring contest. There is also a pet photo contest leading up to the event, with the winners of both contests announced on Sunday. Children who attend the event can enjoy a meet and greet with “Jasper” the red-foot tortoise, a baby bearded dragon and baby ball python. Find details on the store Facebook event page.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Penquis is sponsoring a gingerbread playland event on the second floor balcony of The Commons at Central Hall. Children can expect to find holiday games and crafts for their enjoyment.
Dover-Foxcroft’s new consignment shop, Repeat After Me, will hold a Holiday Blizzard Blast Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 25 percent off store-wide.
Community members are excited to have the Miracle Tree Event returning to Dover-Foxcroft, held on the second floor main event space at The Commons from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, with the final drawings at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Stop in to buy a raffle ticket for a fully decorated tree (there will be many to choose from) and the presents resting underneath. All proceeds go to benefit local charities and those less fortunate this Christmas. Families can also enjoy a bake sale and face painting during the event.
Bob’s Sugarhouse will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a Christmas open house and owner Bob Moore’s birthday celebration, offering discounts, door prizes, refreshments, sweets, Christmas music, birthday cake and so much more.
Dave’s World will hold a Holiday Customer Appreciation Event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with holiday treats, sales and giveaways.
From noon to 2:30 p.m. the PRYMCA will be inside the multipurpose room at the Union Square Mall running reindeer games for kids of all ages.
From noon to 3 p.m. Pat’s Pizza will host a sugar cone Christmas tree craft in the banquet room.
Also starting at noon A Grinch Christmas Interactive Word Scrabble Game returns after becoming a favorite last year. Start your journey at Dover True Value where you will be directed to local shops in the downtown area to find presents the Grinch left around town and help him discover the true meaning of Christmas. The game ends at 4 p.m.
Another community favorite, letter writing to Santa, will be at the Center Theatre from 12:30-1:30 p.m. with Center Coffee House providing free cookies and hot chocolate for children who attend. Several of Santa’s helpers from the North Pole will be there to help. Did you know that Santa answers every letter?
New this year from 1-3 p.m. the Freedom House will host a Firepit Smores ‘n More, where children can make their own smores, enjoy cocoa and cookies and rock out to some festive Christmas music.
From 2-2:30 p.m. at Center Theatre, there will be a special telling of “The Grinch” followed by a free viewing of “The Polar Express” at 3 and 7 p.m.
Dover-Foxcroft’s newest restaurant, Peace, Love, & Waffles, is hosting a free Holiday Kids’ Waffle Bar from 3-4 p.m.
From 3-5 p.m. horse-drawn carriage rides by Nostalgic Limo Horse & Carriage Service, generously sponsored by Foxcroft Veterinary Services, will be stationed on Lincoln Street and Modern Image Salon will offer holiday treats to those waiting for their ride. Residents should be aware that Lincoln Street will be closed to through-traffic from 2:30-5:15 p.m. while carriage rides are happening.
Line-up for the Festival of Lights Parade will begin at Foxcroft Academy at 4:30 p.m. Businesses interested should contact the Hometown Holidays committee ASAP at 564-7533. The parade begins at 5 p.m. Homeowners on West Main Street are asked to turn on their Christmas Lights as Santa goes by. Elizabeth Grant will be serenading the downtown with some caroling and guitar to usher in Santa and Mrs. Claus when they arrive at the fire station, at which time the crowd will count down to the tree lighting (with a twitch of Santa’s nose).
Children may visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus inside the fire station, where families can also expect to find crafts and activities, photo opportunities and snacks and beverages for sale. The committee is holding its second annual mitten drive. After meeting with Santa, children can choose one pair of mittens from the tree. Those who wish to donate to the mitten drive can do so at mitten drop box locations including the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce, Rowell’s Garage and Will’s Shop ‘n Save by Dec 4.
The committee would like to sincerely thank premier sponsor Gordon Contracting for making this year’s festivities magical; Foxcroft Veterinary Services, the annual horse and buggy sponsor; and Camden National Bank and French Construction. Special thanks to the town of Dover-Foxcroft, the fire department and all the downtown businesses who willingly alter how they operate for one weekend in December to make it memorable and enjoyable for families. Finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers who make this event happen, including the Foxcroft Academy Key Club.
Milo kicks off the festivities Dec. 7 with Breakfast with Santa at 8 a.m. in the Penquis Valley School cafeteria, running until 10 a.m. with an admission fee of $4. The Park Street United Methodist Church will hold a Christmas fair from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. with a corn chowder luncheon at 11 a.m.
Three Rivers Kiwanis is sponsoring a Christmas bingo, hosted by Elaine’s Bakery & Café from 1-3 p.m.
The Milo Town Hall dining room will offer crafts and snacks from 3-8 p.m. and from 4-7 p.m. the Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club will host “Elves on the Air” inviting area children to talk with Santa’s elves over the radio.
The parade line-up will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the American Legion, those interested do not need to pre-register just show up decorated. Start time is 5 p.m. and will run from Riverside Street to JSI and back to the Christmas Tree at the town hall. The tree lighting will take place at 5:15 p.m. where community members will join in caroling with Stephanie Gillis’ singers. Hot cocoa will be served.
Santa will be waiting inside the town hall second floor lobby to visit and take pictures with children at 5:30 p.m. There will also be hayrides at the town hall from 5:45-8 p.m.
Monson will hold the annual Kris Kringle’s Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market offers a variety of homemade crafts for sale, such as aprons, furniture, fabric items, jewelry, wreaths and more. There will also be homemade food for sale. The day will offer live music, gingerbread house decorating, a visit from Santa (at 1 p.m.), door prizes and a 50/50 raffle in a small town holiday atmosphere. All proceeds from the event are used to purchase Christmas gifts for local, needy children. For space and additional information, call Annalee Libby at 997-3268 or 827-4857.
On Saturday, Dec. 14 the Sebec Reading Room, 665 Sebec Village Drive, is the site of the annual Soup & Stew with Santa from 4:30-6 p.m.
For more information about Hometown Holidays, contact the Chamber at 564-7533 or visit piscataquischamber.com.