It's time to get signed up if you're planning to take part in this year's Festival of Lights parade in Downtown Bangor.

It's become tradition in my family to get all bundled up, sip hot chocolate, and celebrate the Christmas season. As always, the parade will wind its way through Downtown Bangor on the evening of Dec. 2, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The theme this year is 'Holiday Memories,' so participants are encouraged to build their displays around that. There will be marching bands, small and large floats, performing groups, and more representing Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, New Years, Solstice, Kwanzaa, and other holidays.

Folks will line up to watch the parade that will start from the intersection of State and Exchange Streets, following Harlow Street to Central Street. It will turn left onto Central and proceed down to the intersection of Main, State, and Hammond Streets, traveling through the intersection and down Main Street, winding up in front of Davenport Park. Of course, Santa Claus will wrap up the parade, as the last entry and main attraction!

Before the parade, several businesses will offer some family fun. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the University of Maine Museum of Art will have winter art making activities. Specialty Sweets will have candy crafting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and kids can meet Santa and decorate cookies at Bagel Central fro 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. And for some holiday music, the Bangor Arts Exchange Ballroom will host the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra's Music-a-thon. As usual, the City of Bangor's annual tree lighting in West Market Square will follow the parade. Find more information at the Bangor Rotary's website. The Bangor Rotary is celebrating its centennial at this year's parade.

Folks are reminded to dress warmly and keep their children safe and away from the passing floats and parade entries. Warming stations and public restrooms will be available to parade-goers at the Charles Inn, Bangor Arts Exchange Ballroom, and the parking garage.

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