A reimagined Christmas Prelude places emphasis on pre-recorded, virtual events

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Prelude in town, but the 39th year has been reimagined for the times.

The Christmas Prelude schedule is being updated daily. For more information, check christmasprelude.com and follow Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude on Facebook and Instagram. Courtesy photo

“Christmas Prelude will be very different this year, with an emphasis on keeping everyone safe,” said Kennebunkport Business Association President Paul Humphrey of Mornings in Paris. “There will still be wonderful activities for the whole family via marvelous, pre-recorded virtual programming to really take people behind the scenes here in Kennebunkport.”

That virtual programming will include the ever-popular Hat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 5, with people able to sign up now online, and participate in the “parade” through the wonders of Zoom. Prizes will be sent to the winners.

All of Prelude’s signature events – the Dock Square and Cape Porpoise tree lightings, caroling at the monastery, Santa arriving by lobster boat – will be pre-recorded and virtual this year, along with cooking and cocktail classes, shopping nights, a tour of White Columns and Dock Square, the story of the history of Prelude, a tree and wreath festival and Santa reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in front of a fire each evening.

“I think people will really be surprised by the many offerings online, all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own couch,” Humphrey said.

The town will still be decked out and stores and restaurants open, with some activities in place that will meet stringent CDC guidelines to keep people safe.

“We really want people to shop and spend locally,” Humphrey said, noting that both in-person and virtual shopping will be available to help boost Kennebunkport merchants. “Masks and social distancing are required for all, as we work to keep Kennebunkport a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Christmas Prelude will happen on two fronts this year: live from the Kennebunks and online through virtual events. Courtesy photo

The schedule is being updated daily, so be sure to check christmasprelude.com and follow Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude on Facebook and Instagram.

Museum showcases local artists

This year, the Brick Store Museum pays special homage to the region’s independent artists and creators who have been devastated this year. Without fairs, festivals or large gatherings, those who make their living in the arts have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The museum’s Holiday Showcase will be a month-long event inside the museum’s galleries that will feature the works of artists and fine crafters, in addition to the museum’s “Perspectives: 2020” bicentennial exhibition. The Holiday Showcase opened on Saturday, Nov. 21, and ends Sunday, Dec. 20.

During the entire month, admission to the museum will be free courtesy of sponsors H.M. Payson and Biddeford Savings Bank, as a holiday gift to the communities. Visitors will be able to both visit the museum exhibits and shop for locally-made gifts and artwork (with COVID precautions enforced), supporting both individual artists in York County and the Brick Store Museum’s educational mission in the community.

The Brick Store Museum’s Holiday Showcase is a month-long event inside the museum’s galleries that will feature the works of artists and fine crafters. Courtesy photo

The museum also has an option for those not comfortable coming indoors during the pandemic – artwork and special pieces will be featured on the museum’s social media feeds and via its new online store, the Museum Mercantile, which can be found at www.brickstoremuseum.org.

The Holiday Showcase is open anytime the museum is open (closed only Mondays). More information can be found on the museum’s website, www.brickstoremuseum.org, or at the museum’s front desk at 117 Main St. in Kennebunk. Over 25 regional artists have joined the showcase to show off paper art, paintings, jewelry, basketry, custom drawings, sculpture, fiber and textile works, photography, handmade soaps and sachets, accessories, wood carvings and more.

Southern Maine Health Care puts new visitation restrictions in place in response to COVID-19

The new rules are effective Wednesday, November 18 for Southern Maine Health Care locations and medical practices. They are intended to safeguard patients, visitors and staff during the ongoing pandemic.

New visitation guidelines at Southern Maine Health Care

In response the ongoing pandemic, Southern Maine Health Care implemented temporary visitor restrictions. This is being done to prevent or limit community spread of the virus.

The new guidelines for visitors are as follows:

· Visitation hours at SMHC are now limited to Monday through Friday 3 to 6 p.m.; Weekends 9 a.m. to noon.

· Hospital Inpatients areas:

o Critical Care: Two visitors daily

o Obstetrics: One spouse/coach allowed in labor and delivery area

o All other inpatient areas: One visitor daily

o COVID-19 Patients: No visitors except for end of life

· Emergency Department:

No visitors allowed in the waiting rooms. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.

· Outpatient Surgery, Procedural Areas, Ambulatory/Diagnostic Areas:

Patients should come alone or arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.

All visitors/escorts are subject to screening for COVID-19. Visitors/escorts with any COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter SMHC facilities.

Visitors and escorts Must:

1.) Perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon leaving the patient’s room/care area;

2.) Remain at least six feet from the patient at all times (as much as possible);

3.) Wear a mask at all times in the facility, including patient rooms;

4.) Cover mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing, use and dispose of tissues and perform hand hygiene after contact with respiratory secretions; and

5.) Not go to any locations in the facility other than the room of the patient they are visiting. Hospital cafeterias are closed to visitors.

For more information, visit www.smhc.org.