It’s time to kick off the holidays in style and Rockland is the place to be Thanksgiving weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 25-27.
The annual Festival of Lights officially begins Friday, November 25 at noon, when Santa Claus arrives at the Rockland Waterfront via Coast Guard boat. He lands at Middle Pier in Buoy Park, where kids and kids-at-heart will surely be gathered to greet him.
Santa will lead the parade of kids up to his workshop in Mildred Merrill Park, near the Lobster Trap Tree, where he will spend time listening to children’s wishes for Christmas. Santa will be holding court in his workshop until 3 p.m. Friday, returning from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. He might also get out and stretch his legs a little, so be sure and watch for him on Main Street this weekend.
Friday night at 6 p.m. Santa will be delivered to the Lobster Trap Tree for its lighting, and he hopes to share cocoa and cookies with the kids that join in the festivities.
The Friends of the Rockland Public Library will hold their annual Festival of Lights Tree and Wreath Silent Auction and Raffle on Saturday, November 26 at the Rockland Public Library. More than 30 gloriously decorated tabletop trees and wreaths donated by local businesses will be on display. Bidding on the individual trees and wreaths will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 4 p.m. Winning raffle tickets will be drawn at 4 p.m. as well. Everyone is invited to visit the Library, which will be full of holiday decorations, on November 26 to have a warm cup of cider, treats baked by the talented Friends bakers, and to bid on your favorite wreath and/or tree(s)! In addition The Book Stop, home of gently used books, will also be open from 1 to 4 p.m. for holiday shoppers.
On Saturday the festivities continue at The Farnsworth Art Museum’s 17th annual Share the Wonder Celebration. This year’s event will honor the native and enduring industries of Maine through many activities for all ages.
Bundle up and head back downtown after dinner, or enjoy dinner at a downtown restaurant, because the annual Festival of Lights Parade starts at 6 p.m. Word has it that the best viewing of the parade down Main Street will be between Park and Summer streets.
Main Street will be closed to traffic until 8 p.m. Saturday. There will be cocoa stations set up along the parade route to ward off the chills, with proceeds benefiting various local nonprofits. The parade floats will return to Main Street, where voting on favorites will again be conducted by canned good tally. The donated food will go to the Salvation Army.
Sunday will be the final day of the Festival of Lights, and its a chance to have breakfast with Santa at the Rockland Elks Lodge. Cost is $5 for adults and $2 for children, and is from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.