A child tells Santa what they want for Christmas at the 2019 Very Merry tree lighting. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

 

Very Merry Falmouth returns to town Dec. 2-4, with the traditional Merry Mix and Mingle, Ugly Sweater 5K/ Merry Mile and fireworks at the top of the events list.

Like so many other events, the collaborative event by the town, the local chamber of commerce and Falmouth Memorial Library was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have had to change things a bit this year with COVID to be more prudent,” said Erin Cadigan, Falmouth education and outreach coordinator.

The event, which Cadigan said has grown exponentially since its start as a way to get Falmouth residents to spend a weekend shopping locally, kicks off with the 35th annual community tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2 at Village Park. Santa Claus will pay a special visit.

The Falmouth-Cumberland Chamber of Commerce’s Merry Mix and Mingle will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 3 in the American Legion parking lot to keep in line with pandemic precautions. There will be plenty of food and drink, but it won’t be served buffet-style as in previous years; volunteers will serve. In addition, the one-pot cook-off competition between local restaurants to see who has the best chili, chowder and soup has been canceled.

“We’re really sorry to see the hot-pot go this year. There’s definitely a hope to bring it back again next year because that’s a really fun event that drew a lot of people in,” Cadigan said.

There will still be hot chocolate, wagon rides and plenty of family-friendly activities, including the annual fireworks display at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. The fireworks tend to be the biggest event for the weekend, drawing thousands of people along Route 1, Cadigan said.

The Ugly Sweater 5K/Merry Mile on Dec. 4, which benefits Falmouth Memorial Library, is one event that remains unchanged this year.

“It’s not a huge fundraiser, primarily the money has come from sponsorships, but we didn’t solicit a lot of sponsorships this year in recognition of the ongoing difficulty a lot of our local businesses have had,” Library Director Jenna Mayotte said. “Primarily, this year was about having a fun event. We wanted to bring it back. Moving forward, we would love to make it a big race that could be a big fundraiser for us.”

Race participation is expected to be from 150-175 this year, up from the usual 90, Mayotte said. As of Nov. 17, 91 people had already registered to run or walk in the race. The run begins at 9 a.m. and the registration link can be found at shopfalmouthme.org. Registration is open until the day of the event.

Also on Dec. 4, free ice skating will be held at Twombly Pond, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents should also keep an eye out that afternoon for free wagon rides throughout downtown Falmouth.

“People really value a sense of community, and that’s what we hope to achieve,” Cadigan said. “People can come together, be with their neighbors, meet new neighbors and celebrate locally and patronize some businesses here in town.”

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