There are a lot of fun activities planned before the Festival of Lights parade steps off in Bangor on Saturday, including a chance to meet Santa's reindeer.

I love the way Downtown Bangor celebrates the holidays, with the late afternoon parade filled with colorful lights and festive music. It's fun to get all bundled up, have some coffee or hot cocoa, and watch the parade, but did you know there are a lot of fun activities planned before the procession starts?

The kids will love to go see Santa's reindeer, the whole family can make ornaments, and then listen to the holiday chimes. Take the family to the warming center for some hot beverages, and then watch the lighting of the city's Christmas tree. It's a great way to get in the holiday spirit and have some family fun, at the same time.

Here's the schedule of events, from the festival's Facebook page:

  • 11 a.m. - 3 p.m: Winter Art Factory involving fun art projects, University of Maine Museum of Art, 40 Harlow Street.
  • 2 p.m. - 4 p.m: Meet Santa's Reindeer! Norumbega Parkway Mall, near 80 Central Street.
  • 2 p.m. - 4:20 p.m: Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra Holiday Music-a-thon, Bangor Arts Exchange Ballroom, 193 Exchange Street.
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m: Open-air Holiday Chimes Concert from the historic bell tower at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bangor, 120 Park Street.
  • 4:00 - 8:30 p.m: Letters to Santa/Warming Station, Charles Inn, 20 Broad Street. This is a tentative event. Check the Festival of Lights event page for updated information.
  • 4:30 - 6:30 (ish) p.m: Festival of Lights Parade, downtown Bangor. The parade will start along Exchange Street, following Harlow to Central Street, where it will turn left and continue to Main Street, ending up in the area of Davenport Park/Cedar Street intersection.

After the parade, folks will gather in West Market Square to watch the lighting of the Holiday Tree. It's supposed to be a cold evening, so wear your thermals, and don't forget the hat and mittens.

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