April 07, 2020

Festival of Lights Parade to brighten the holidays

The Bangor Festival of Lights parade is going to be terrific this year, according to Rotary Club parade organizer Deb Farnham and Steve Robbins of Bangor Center Corp.

The parade begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Fleet Center on Exchange Street and proceeds down Central Street and up Main Street.

According to Farnham and Robbins, more than 50 floats are entered and will be lighted.

Farnham said the four bands expected to participate are the Madawaska, Bangor and Brewer high school bands and the governor’s All-Maine Marching Band.

“It’s really going to be great this year,” Robbins said. “For the first time, all the events for the holiday celebration downtown are taking place together. The Rotary Club took on the responsibility of putting on the parade, and they decided to have a nighttime parade, which should make quite a difference.”

Prior to the parade, Bangor Center Corp. and Bangor Hydro will host a ceremony at 4:15 p.m. at the Hannibal Hamlin Statue in Kenduskeag Park in memory and honor of the late Brian Flynn.

“Brian was a member of the BCC board, and he worked with Bangor Hydro to make sure that all the parks downtown would be lighted. This year they are,” Robbins said.

At the end of the parade, Bangor Mayor John Rohman and his nephew will light the community Christmas tree. Brian Nadeau’s band “will be playing in costume, and I’m pretty sure old Scrooge will be there,” Robbins said.

The Bangor Daily News and WABI-TV are cosponsoring the tree lighting, he said, and Channel 5 will have candy canes for the kids.

Robbins also encourages folks to look for decorated storefronts and, especially, to seek out the one where model train enthusiast Bill Soule of Orono has set up a holiday village.

Bangor Rotary and parade corporate sponsor Adelphia also hope you will make the downtown even brighter by purchasing special fiber-optic light wands at $5 each. All proceeds will benefit the Bangor Skate Park fund.

And Robbins reminds us that “Bangor is the type of community you see in all the Christmas cards. I hope everybody will show up and enjoy the festivities.”

There is no admission charge for you to attend the Pembroke Historical Society Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Pembroke Elementary School.

There will be more than 40 crafters and a Chinese Raffle that features donated items, including a “Harry Potter” starter kit and a Christmas wreath. The winning tickets will be drawn at the close of the fair.

Among the Down East crafters featured are Mark Wren of Robbinston, Fred Hartman of Whiting, Lea Sullivan of Robbinston, Debby LaRochelle of Charlotte, Joan Dodge of Alexander, Don Sutherland of Eastport, Fred Knapp of Princeton and Theo McDonough of Alexander.

We have learned from Cindy Greenacre and Linda Mosley that the Hampden Academy Dollars for Scholars program is sponsoring “Breakfast with Santa” from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Reeds Brook Middle School Cafeteria in Hampden.

Your pancake breakfast is just $2 per person or a maximum of $8 per family, and the kiddies will certainly enjoy their visit with Santa Claus. For an extra $2, you can have a photo taken of them.

All money raised by Dollars for Scholars goes toward college scholarships for students involved in the program.

The students work to earn hours by donating their time at the fund-raisers. The hours they earn equal scholarship money at graduation.

Members of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bangor invite you to visit five historic Bangor homes where you will enjoy caroling and refreshments.

Current parishioners of St. John’s own the homes and each has been decorated for the Christmas season by a team of five area florists.

The homes will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

At each home, carolers from St. John’s will present a selection of Christmas carols and hymns.

The small admission charge will benefit the church.

The historic homes are the McNulty-Woodward House at 72 Broadway, the Hersey-Lancaster House at 180 Broadway, the William Clayton House at 105 Forest Ave., the Victor Catinaud House at 51 Grove St., and Cliff Cottage, the John Godfrey House at 212 Kenduskeag Ave.

Participating florists are Bangor Floral, Lougee and Fredericks and Johnson Florist and Gift, all of Bangor; Hampden Floral and Greencare of Hermon.

Tickets can be obtained in advance by calling the church at 947-0156, but Corky Smith also told us that tickets will be available at each site.

More than 100 Nativities have been loaned to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bangor for its Christmas Creche Exhibit.

The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday Dec. 2, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the church on the corner of Grandview Avenue and Essex Street in Bangor. Admission is free.

According to Lewis Hassell, the Nativities are from private collections and congregations not only in the Greater Bangor area, but other regions of the world as well.

Each creche reflects the culture and perspective of artists and local families who have loaned them to the church for this special event.

Children will have a special area where they can touch and play with the Nativity scenes, dress up in costume and create their own take-home crafts.

The films “The Nativity” and “The Lamb of God” will also be shown during the exhibit.

The New Renaissance Singers will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Gong Family Chamber Musicians perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, and a live satellite broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with a special Christmas message, will be featured at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Jon Averill, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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