I hope everyone had a happy, delicious Turkey Day and fueled up well for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the upcoming shopping onslaught that is the Christmas season.

BRAG craft fair

Get started on your holiday gift list by shopping local at the Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair at Stevens Brook Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.

Crafters and vendors are sure to have something for lots of folks on your list. There will also be raffles to take a chance on and food available to purchase, making this a great way to start off a happy holiday season.

Proceeds go to support BRAG projects.

Ping pong program

The Sunday afternoon ping pong program at Bridgton Town Hall, which has been on hold while the town refinishes the floor, is scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, if work is completed by Saturday, Nov. 24, as planned.  All are welcome and equipment is provided.

Food pantry

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, St. Joseph Catholic Church will hold its monthly food pantry from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The church is located at 225 S. High St. All in need are welcome to attend. For more information call 647-2334 or 743-2606.

Festival of Lights

Bridgton will kick off the holidays with its annual Festival of Lights Saturday, Dec. 1.

All are welcome to start with a community potluck lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., sponsored by Girl Scout Troops 58 and 67, at Town Hall on North High Street. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 for a family so everyone eat heartily and get ready for some fun, beginning with Bridgton Recreation’s Holiday Spectacular Science Show at 1:15 p.m., also at the Town Hall.

Kid-friendly open paper holiday crafting will be offered at Groundcover, 209 Main St., from 1:30-3:30 p.m., followed by story time and activities from 3:30 – 4 p.m.

The Magic Lantern Theater will screen a free family holiday movie and serve cocoa and cookies from 3 to 5 p.m., and Bridgton Recreation will host a holiday party in the library at 4:30 p.m.

The town Christmas tree will be lit at 5:15 p.m. across the street from the library, and then the “Nutcracker” themed Parade of Lights will proceed down Main Street at 5:30, ending up at the Bridgton Community Center on Depot Street (behind Renys) for a bonfire and party with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Everyone is invited to join in the fun. Lots of the town’s businesses will be open and promoting great deals and holiday shopping ideas to help you get into the ho-ho-ho spirit!

Gallery 302 events

“Conversations,” the current show at Gallery 302, 112 Main St., is the unique and intriguing result of a project by Bridgton Art Guild members.

Ten artists submitted new work for an exhibition and put their names into a hat. Then each artist chose another artist’s name and created a piece in response to the work of that artist. The response could be prompted by a color, an appealing theme, a dynamic composition, or maybe a memory triggered by the artwork.

The pieces are paired in the exhibit to show both the original piece and the one inspired by it. The exhibition runs through Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Also at the gallery, a lovely watercolor by the late Polly Hayton entitled Spring Garden will be raffled off during the Friday, Dec. 7, reception at the gallery, which is open to the public and runs from 5-7 pm. Funds from the raffle will be used to provide scholarships to area high school graduates who want to study visual art in college. Raffle tickets may be purchased at Gallery 302 between now and Dec. 7.

The Gallery is a great place to shop for holiday gifts and it is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. For more information call 647-2787 or visit gallery302.com

Bridgton’s Annual Festival of Lights will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, starting with a potluck lunch and other activities leading to the tree lighting, Parade of Lights and bonfire party.