You don’t have to be a big city to have big city lights, and a few Kennebec River towns made that clear this holiday season, telling the pandemic it can go to hell because it’s not going to spoil the good feeling.
Even though it gets dark early and the weather’s no good, I still like driving around to see what’s going on. It’s a big part of being a Maine writer — I want to stay in touch with those little things that make Maine so special.
One thing I’ve always liked are municipal holiday lights displays and how they vary.
Here are some snaps I took a couple days before Christmas in my area.
My town, Belgrade Lakes, believes just one tree isn’t enough. So, we have the original town tree, the big one in the back. We also have a new starter tree — the one with blue lights — presumably for when the town tree, which is decades and decades old, retires. And, since our Village Green was recently refurbished into a park with a gazebo, we also have the gazebo tree. Kind of a “we three trees” thing going on.
In Augusta, my hometown and just south of my adopted town, it’s lights lights and more lights. The federal building downtown (I refuse to call it the Olde Post Office, which apparently is now its official name), gets lit up and, across the street in Market Square, the city tree and a variety of lit decorations compete. But wait, there’s more! Both of the city’s crazy traffic rotaries also are lit up, as if they aren’t distracting enough. I like this view of Memorial Circle with the State House keeping an eye over it.
Right down the river (and State Street) from Augusta, is Hallowell, which has a classic message for those driving on Water Street.
And south of Hallowell, Gardiner has lit up two downtown pocket parks — both on sites where buildings once burned down — with some nice extravagent displays.
There’ll be plenty of time for me to share stuff about writing next month and throughout 2021. But for now, just enjoy the lights, relax and fill up that egg nog mug.
Happy holidays and here’s to a great 2021!