Above: A man dressed as a lobster greets children as he marches in the 10th annual Hat Parade in Kennebunkport Saturday, part of the town’s 34th annual Christmas Prelude. Right: Left to right, Jason Sharkey, Candice Goy and Jordyn Sharkey, all of New York, are pictured at Kennebunkport’s 34th annual Christmas Prelude Saturday.

Above: A man dressed as a lobster greets children as he marches in the 10th annual Hat Parade in Kennebunkport Saturday, part of the town’s 34th annual Christmas Prelude. Right: Left to right, Jason Sharkey, Candice Goy and Jordyn Sharkey, all of New York, are pictured at Kennebunkport’s 34th annual Christmas Prelude Saturday.

KENNEBUNKPORT — Kennebunkport’s 34th annual Christmas Prelude began last week, and Saturday saw thousands pack the streets of the seaside town for a number of festive events.

 

 

Perhaps the most popular was the 10th annual Hat Parade, in which hundreds marched along Route 9, through Dock Square and over the bridge to Best of Everything, a jewelry, accessories and gift store. Although officially billed as “a parade for holiday hats,” many marched clad in much more than just a hat, wearing elaborate costumes that stretched from head to toe.

Chosen as having the most creative costumes were the Braddick family of Kennebunk, who along with friends dressed as characters from the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in recognition of the film’s 40th anniversary.

The Braddicks are no strangers to the Hat Parade, said Barry Braddick, who was dressed as King Arthur, and they’ve even won the most-creative title before. “It all started with fish heads,” he said, remembering his family’s first-ever Hat Parade costumes.

The Braddicks weren’t the only seasoned Hat Parade participants to march Saturday. Marlene Raum and Danie Connolly were part of a group from Kennebunk and Kennebunkport who for the last several years have marched wearing gigantic hats that stretch down to their knees.

“We weren’t wearing hats. We were hats,” said Raum with a laugh. “We love to give that spirit and the energy of the ‘bunks to everyone around.”

Revelers came from near and far to attend Saturday’s several Prelude events.

It was Candice Goy’s first time coming to the festival. “It’s magical,” the New Yorker said.

“We had read about how amazing (Prelude) was and wanted to come to start the holiday season off with a big, festive celebration,” said Catherine Yusi.

Not only was it the Connecticut resident’s first time at Prelude, but it was also her first trip to Maine. Yusi said she and her family were having a wonderful time, especially with temperatures unseasonably high Saturday afternoon.

Prelude is organized by the Kennebunk Business Association, a volunteer organization comprised of business owners in the Kennebunks. The 12-day festival will run through Dec. 13. For a full list of Prelude events, visit www.christmasprelude.com.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]


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