There’s a tree and menorah lighting in Biddeford on Friday, and the Holiday Festival and Parade of Lights takes place Saturday in downtown Saco. Courtesy Photo, City of Saco

It’s time for annual  holiday happenings, and the twin cities along the Saco River and the seaside town of Old Orchard Beach are planning events.

Biddeford gets a head start on local holiday celebrations holding it’s events on Friday, Dec. 6. Both Saco and Old Orchard Beach host their events the following day on Saturday, Dec. 7.

In Biddeford, events start at 3:30 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 6 with cookie decorating at Reilly’s Bakery. And downtown revitalization organization Heart of Biddeford hosts a number of events on Friday evening, starting at 5:45 p.m., when Congregation Etz  Chaim lights the Menorah in City Square on  Adams Street, outside City Hall. Fifteen minutes later, Santa himself stops by to light the Christmas tree.

Free activities in Biddeford on Friday afternoon and evening include:

• Crafts at McArthur Library, cookie decorating at Reilly’s Bakery,  3:30 to 5 p.m.

• Menorah Lighting, 5:45 p.m., City Square


• Selections by Salvation Army Band, 5:50 p.m.

• Santa arrives at 6 p.m. to light the tree.

• Carols with members of New Life Church.

An array of other activities take place 6:25 to 8 p.m., including horse drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa (inside Bangor Savings Bank), and s’mores hosted by Biddeford Recreation.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, there are kid-friendly events at the Christmas Celebration by the Sea at the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of  Commerce starting around 2:30 p.m., with Santa and Mrs. Claus making an appearance, live acoustic music, face painting and crafts for the little ones, and sweet treats of cookies and cocoa. Around 4 p.m., people may make their way to the downtown square where the tree will be lit at dusk.

Also on Saturday, Dec. 7 in downtown Saco, the Holiday Festival promises fun for kids and families, a chance to visit with the Jolly Old Elf himself, and later, the Parade of Lights.


A trolley, operating from noon to 4:30 p.m. from the Saco Train Station to the Saco Museum with five stops along the way, can drop people at different destinations.

Activities and events include:

• Kids crafts at Dyer Library, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Festival of Trees at Saco Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Face painting, crafts and cocoa with Parks and Rec at City Hall, noon to 3 p.m.

• Nativity Scene at Post Office Park, noon to 3 p.m.


• Horse drawn carriage rides (located behind Post Office), noon to 3 p.m.

• Santa and Mrs. Claus at Saco Train Station, 1 to 4 p.m.

• S’mores cocoa, and children’s crafts, noon to 3 p.m., Saco Train Station

• Christmas Tree lighting and caroling, 4 to 4:30 p.m., Saco Train Station

• Toys for Tots Bean Supper at Most Holy Trinity Church, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

• Parade of Lights, Main Street, 6 p.m.

The Parade of Lights, with a bicentennial theme in recognition of Maine’s 200th birthday in 2020 begins a half-hour earlier than in past years, at 6 p.m.. The parade begins at Middle and Beach streets, turns south on Main Street, and proceeds to Pepperell Square where it will turn into the Square and end.

There is no parking along the parade route. City officials note that Main Street, from Pepperell Square to Beach Street, will be closed to traffic beginning at 5 p.m., and Beach Street, from Main Street to High Street, will be closed at 5:30 p.m. These sections of Main Street and Beach Street will remain closed until the parade and cleanup are complete.

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