Two weekends of magic and merriment in the Kennebunks help kick off the holiday season.
Kennebunkport's Christmas Prelude is a magical time perfect for getting people in the mood for the upcoming holiday. The area is transformed into a twinkling Christmas village featuring an enormous tree in the center of Dock Square decked out with nearly 5,000 lights, at least 100 buoys, 50 wooden lobster traps, and topped with a lobster holding a star. An enormous crowd attended the tree lighting ceremony on December 2nd.
Estimates pegged the crowd at around 2,000 people, all eagerly anticipating the lighting of the iconic centerpiece of the festival.
Later that evening, the truly unique Cape Porpoise Lobster Trap Tree was lit. Caroling was led by the Church on the Cape Choir and refreshments provided by Bradbury Brothers Market and Cape Porpoise Kitchen added some extra cheer.
In the Lower Village of Kennebunk, the Washington Hose Fire Company warmed the chilly evening with a bonfire and hot chocolate. Folks sang Christmas tunes while toasting their fingers and toes.
The first Saturday of Prelude included the 6th annual Hat Parade. The Patriot Fife and Drum Duo led participants in a parade through town showcasing creative and sometimes unusual headwear.
A highlight of the third night of Prelude was Candlelight Caroling hosted by the Franciscan Monastery. As a very special treat, chestnuts roasted on an open fire greeted participants at the front gate of the Monastery.
The second weekend of Prelude featured a wonderful fireworks display that lit up the cove behind Dock Square. People scored prime viewing spots on the Kennebunk River Bridge.
On the second Saturday of Prelude, the inaugural Walk to Bethlehem followed Mary and Joseph as they looked for shelter at historic inns. The procession featured hyms, carols, candles, and readings of scripture.
The final day of Prelude included the inaugural Pooch Parade. Participants dressed their four-legged friends in holiday finery to parade through town. Bob Dennis, who was also kind enough to supply all of the images used in this post, was on hand at the end of the parade to take pictures of the pooches posing with Santa.