KENNEBUNKPORT – Kennebunkport’s Dock Square area is ready to welcome visitors to the 39th annual Christmas Prelude, a mix of virtual and in-person festivities for 2020, starting Dec. 3.

Kennebunkport’s Dock Square area is ready to welcome visitors to the 39th annual Christmas Prelude, a mix of virtual and in-person festivities starting Dec. 3. Many pre-recorded events will be aired live via Christmas Prelude Facebook LIVE, Christmas Prelude YouTube Channel and local cable stations (Kennebunkport Channel 1301 or Kennebunk Channel 1302). 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, in a written statement. “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.”

Many pre-recorded events will be aired live via Christmas Prelude Facebook LIVE, Christmas Prelude YouTube Channel and local cable stations (Kennebunkport Channel 1301 or Kennebunk Channel 1302).

The events include the 39th annual Dock Square Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, and the Cape Porpoise Lobster Trap Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11; Christmas Caroling at the Franciscan Monastery at 7 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12; Santa Arriving by Lobster Boat at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6; and the Pooch Parade at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.

The 15th annual Hat Parade will start virtually at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, via Facebook LIVE.

Other recorded virtual events include daily happy hour cocktail and cooking classes, daily fireside readings of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” shopping nights, candlelight tours of local inns, a tour of White Columns and Dock Square, the history of Prelude, Lucky Pup’s Adopt A Tree Festival and River Tree Arts’ online art gallery.

The town is decked out in holiday finery and stores and restaurants open, with some activities in place that will meet “very stringent” CDC guidelines to keep people safe.

Live, in-person events include the Prelude Outdoor Market at Old Vines Wine Bar Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 10-13, Center Holiday Fair on Saturday, Dec. 5; Atlantic Hall Outdoor Prelude Mini Fair on Dec. 5, pop-up art shows and sale at Maine Art Hill, Cottage Crawl at the Galleries at Morning Walk, “Nutty Christmas” chef dinners Dec. 5; Seaside Santa Dash 5K and 10K anytime between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 or Saturday, Dec. 13; and a drive-through North Pole at the Nonantum Resort, Dec. 9 and Dec. 12.

There are other ongoing activities for visitors to complete on their own time: Maine Lobster Buoy decorating kits and coloring sheets from River Tree Arts, scavenger hunt by the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport, “It’s a Nutty Christmas” exhibition by local artists, Passport to Prelude self-guided tour among art galleries, lighted labyrinth walk at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, Crepe Evenings and Hot Chocolate Bar at Mornings in Paris.

“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.”

The full schedule is listed online at christmasprelude.com and follow Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude on Facebook and Instagram.