Vicki Doudera here, happy to have successfully completed the challenge of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November! Yay! I know you’re probably sick to death of hearing about this, but this will be the last time I mention it (for a while, anyway…) Feels good to have that under my belt, especially given that this weekend is a big one in my town — our 27th annual Christmas by the Sea Celebration – and I’m ready to relax and get in the holiday spirit.
Now – it would be a crime if you skipped this event, taking place Friday, Saturday,, and Sunday, or if you showed up, but missed the real highlights! So here are some tips on things to do from your girl in the know for a fun, festive weekend. Best of all… many, if not all, of these activities are free.
1. Don’t Miss the Kickoff Parade.
Literally… don’t miss it… because if you are not on Main Street in Camden at 6 pm on Friday, December 6th, you very well could! The brainchild of Camden and Rockport’s Cub Scout Pack 200, the parade has grown from one float (me and lots of cub scouts and a few Dads throwing candy) to a larger, brighter affair. But while the parade has grown tremendously over the past few decades, it’s not quite the size of Macy’s. So if you dip inside a store, be sure to keep an eye on the time.
2. Take the Walk Through Bethlehem.
Unless you really, truly dislike the religious underpinnings of Christmas, be sure to head to the Chestnut Street Baptist Church anytime from 6:30 to 9 on Friday or Saturday to see this amazing live theatre event. You’ll sing carols in the church first and then be led with other members of your “tribe” through the church’s rooms to experience the story of Jesus’ birth. Very moving and an amazing volunteer effort.
3. Moo with the Belties at Aldemere Farm.
From 9 to 12 on Saturday, you can visit Aldemere Farm in Rockport, have a cup of cider, make a craft, and visit with Maine’s cutest cows. Don’t ask my why this is a Christmas-y event but there is something about being around farm animals that brings to mind stables in Bethlehem.
4. Browse a Fair… or Two…
Holiday fairs abound on Saturday, from one at the First Congregational Church of Camden (9 to 2) featuring local artisans and their work, to the Holly Berry Fair in Rockport’s Opera House, hosted by the Rockport Garden Club (8 to 1.) These fairs are fun to browse and are great places to find unusual gifts.
5. See Santa Come into the Harbor by Boat.
The jolly man himself and his cheery Elf Ellen will motor into the harbor at noon on Saturday to hand out candy canes and read a story at the Camden Public Library. Such fun to watch the happy little faces see St. Nick!
6. Hear the Christmas Bells like You Never Have.
At 4 pm on Saturday, various bell ringing groups combine in a Ringing in the Season concert that will put you in the holiday spirit for sure. Held at the First Congregational Church of Camden, this event is free but a goodwill offering for a local nonprofit is taken.
7. Watch Some Fireworks.
Saturday at 6 pm, Camden’s harbor will light up with a pyrotechnic display. Be sure to have reserved space for dinner afterward as the town can be very busy.