PORTLAND — The lead-up to Christmas is will get underway downtown with a few alterations.

Arborist Jack Masery runs a support cable from the tree. Workers with the Portland Parks and Recreation forestry division will set lights on the tree Friday and it will be lit up the day after Thanksgiving. Gregory Rec / Portland Press Herald

Monument Square will still be adorned by a large Christmas tree – this year from Florida Avenue – but the traditional lighting event on the day after Thanksgiving will not be held. Instead, Portland Downtown is featuring a 24/7 webcam of the tree on its website portlandmaine.com.

Portland Downtown’s Merry Madness event is also being amended. Usually, downtown business stay open late one night in early December, but this year Merry Madness will be a month-long event. It will feature a passport filled with online and in-person deals and coupons at more than 60 downtown businesses. Shoppers can collect stamps for visiting participating businesses from Dec. 1-31, and those who collect 10 or more will be eligible for a special raffle.

Portland Downtown is again hosting its window display contest, in which more than 40 stores and restaurants will decorate their storefronts to compete for the honor of best overall, best use of merchandising, best theme and most original. The public can vote on their favorites in early December on Portland Downtown’s Facebook page.

The city’s downtown parks at Longfellow Square, Tommy’s Park, Boothby Square, Lincoln Park, Pleasant Street Park and Congress Square Park will again be adorned by Pandora’s Winter Lights, designed by Pandora LaCasse.

For more information, visit portlandmaine.com.

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