The Christmas season got off to a soggy start in Bridgton, as our annual Festival of Lights parade rolled in a dreary drizzle. It wasn’t enough to dampen revelers spirits though, and the sidewalks of Main Street were lined with families and visitors.

It is wonderful to see storefronts decorated to the hilt with holiday glitz, and the snowflake lights twinkling from lampposts. Business is booming in Bridgton. Ladies Day Out founder Jessica Jones said this year’s event was the best attended ever, with participating businesses reporting brisk sales and lots of traffic. Thank you for supporting all of our locally owned businesses during Christmas and year-round, they are a big part of what makes Bridgton so special and unique.

FunFair

The Christmas season is in full swing, with craft fairs, caroling and a schedule stuffed with parties. One of the worthier local events is Frosty’s Funfair, a fundraising festival for Harvest Hills Animal Shelter, Journey Animal Rescue and Ralphie’s Retreat.

From 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, there will be kids activities, face painting and refreshments served by Frosty himself. There will also be affordable professional family photos, a bake sale, raffles and grab bags. A fundraiser for animals wouldn’t be complete without a pet photo contest, and the party wraps up with the crowning of the Snowflake Prince and Princess. Bring your whole family out for this great cause. Call Deb at 461-4183 for more information, or go to FrostysFunfair on Facebook.

Footloose

Dig out your taffeta dress and hairspray, it’s party time. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Bridgton Fire Department is throwing a “Winter Wonderland” prom-themed dance from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Town Hall on High Street will be festooned with all the trappings of a high school dance, including classic tunes, a photo booth and a spiked punch bowl. They will also crown the King and Queen of prom, so now’s your chance to win in case you were overlooked in high school.

Library Lament

The demise of North Bridgton’s beloved library is a loss for this tight-knit neighborhood. Before it closes its doors for good on Dec. 29, join them for one last traditional holiday party there.

The final Polar Express rides out on Monday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m., with treats for all, a reading of the classic book and a special visitor. Everyone is encouraged to wear their PJ’s and bring their favorite stuffed animal along for the festivities. Before the party there will be a special book sale, as the library sells off its collection from 4 to 6 p.m. New books are $5, current books are $5 a bag and the older books downstairs will be $3 a bag.

Learn with Loon Echo

If you are a local teacher, please take advantage of a grant for environmental education programs from a Lakes Region conservation group. Local schools and libraries are encouraged to apply for a grant from Loon Echo Land Trust, made available from a generous gift of their Educational Endowment.

Since 1998, hundreds of children in and around Bridgton have participated in the programs that teach about the natural world. Named after local preservationists Helen Allen and Polly Bartlett, the grants are earmarked for outdoor recreation and environmental education. Please contact Loon Echo at 647-4352 for more information, or check out [email protected] for info about their grant programs and land protection efforts.

Spaghetti Supper

The Village Folk Festival has been a fabulous addition to the summer scene in Bridgton, but it will not continue without more volunteers. Although it is well attended and successful, there are just a handful of people who have stepped up to bear most of the planning responsibilities. The founders are calling for more enthusiastic and energized help, and are hosting a free dinner party to gauge interest.

Please join them for a Spaghetti Supper on Monday, Dec. 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Bridgton Community Center. Whatever your strengths and interests are, you are sure to find a grateful group there ready to welcome you to the crew. This festival is a great draw for our town, and many hands make for lighter work. Please come out and help it continue next summer!

Bar Crawl

If you see 75 revelers roaming around town in Santa hats next weekend, you’ll know the Christmas Bar Crawl is in full swing.

The second annual carousel is being called “Eat, Drink and Get Blitzened” and is a fundraiser for the Bridgton Heating Collaborative. Crawlers will be shuttled from local bars and restaurants by the Campfire Coach and other vans, ensuring a safe and fun event for all. There will be a scavenger hunt and raffles, including a $400 grill donated by Absolut and other awesome prizes. Tickets are selling out fast at the Black Horse, BHOP, Beef ‘N’ Ski, the Tap House and Campfire Grille, but raffle tickets are available for purchase by everyone whether you do the crawl or not. Please help us raise lots of money for this vital local non-profit, which helps local low-income residents heat their homes. Stop by any participating business and buy as many raffle tickets as you can!


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