“Raindrops on roses” and “whiskers on kittens” are all well and good, but I have to admit — with no disrespect to Maria von Trapp or Julie Andrews — I would not include them on my list of favorite things. ‘The Sound of Music” has long been a holiday staple, and the soundtrack of this musical is burned into our collective memories, even if we’ve never seen a cream-colored pony or tasted a crisp apple strudel.

But hearing that particular song recently triggered the thought that even in this most challenging of years, we all have a lot of favorite things locally that we can still enjoy now or hopefully embrace sometime in 2021 as the vaccine rollout continues. While there are many difficulties right now both locally and globally that need to be prioritized, it feels especially appropriate during this holiday time to counterbalance negative thoughts with reminders of all that we have to be positive about and look forward to later in 2021. After a couple of years now working at the Chamber of Commerce, in no particular order, here are “A Few of My Favorite Things — Biddeford / Saco Edition:”

• The amazing ocean views of Wood Island and Saco Bay from the pier in Saco, or from the walking path at the East Point Audubon Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool
• The Eastern Trail bike path, particularly the stretch from Thornton Academy in Saco to where it opens in breathtaking fashion at the Scarborough Marsh
• Starting the day off right with a hot cup of coffee custom-brewed at a local roaster or coffee shop (and you just have to get a pastry to go with it)
• The view of the Saco River waterfalls from the RiverWalk Pedestrian Bridge in the Mill District over the Saco River, particularly in the spring when it’s raging
• Going for a walk or short drive at lunchtime to pick up an empanada at Quiero Cafe, or a chili dog at Rapid Rays, or the ribs plate at Dizzy Birds, etc. (we have so many great dining options locally)
• The businesses that consistently invest in our area and our people — like Volk Packaging, Ready Seafood, all our banks and credit unions, and recent addition Hancock Lumber, just to name a few of the hundreds of our great local companies
• Hanging out with friends and family at the many microbreweries and bars of Biddeford and Saco and chatting with knowledgeable local owners and staff (while enjoying the fruits of their labors)

• Downtown events and holiday celebrations put on by our Main Street organizations, volunteers, and generous business sponsors

• The talented performers in the beautiful City Theater during a show or musical, can’t wait for their return soon
• Paddling a kayak with the current down the Saco River … and then getting picked up vs. having to paddle back upstream!
• All the board members and ambassador volunteers we have at the Chamber who give their time and talents to make our community and our business environment better
• Wandering the aisles at McArthur Library and Dyer Library to discover a hidden gem of a book
• The peaceful and scenic cross country ski trails that wind through wooded fields at Harris Farm
• The many forested and winding walking trails located within just five minutes of our downtowns at Clifford Park, Saco Health, Cascade Falls, and other locations
• The passionate leaders of so many local nonprofits that work tirelessly every day to help those less fortunate in our communities
• The hard work and partnering that city officials, developers, business owners, and residents have done to reinvigorate empty spaces in our cities with exciting and creative uses
*• And last but not least, our beaches! Whatever the time of year, they are a constant source of fun, beauty, and inspiration
Note: I toyed with formatting these in rhyming couplets like Rodgers and Hammerstein, but that’s harder than it sounds! Looking back on this past year, so much has been taken away from us with the necessary constraints resulting from the pandemic. But I also feel that we have much to be thankful for, such as the above list, along with the hundreds of other favorite local things that could be added to this list. There are so many people to appreciate locally who have continued to do everything they can to make Biddeford and Saco fantastic places to live, work and play, a big thanks to you all. Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: