A tree lighting ceremony will occur in Mill Creek Park on Dec. 2. File photo

Public holiday events are coming soon to South Portland.

On Dec. 2, the annual Holiday Tree Lighting is taking place at Mill Creek Park. The event is organized by the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, South Portland Parks and Recreation, and the South Portland Human Rights Commission. The tree lighting has been an annual event since 1980, when then city manager Bob Ganley began the tradition.

The event runs 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. There will be horse-drawn wagon rides, performances by South Portland student musicians, fire pits, selfies with Santa, and local PTAs offering a fundraising snack sales.

There will also be drop-off spots for people to donate nonperishable food items for the food pantry, clothing for a church clothing closet, and items for a toy drive.

At 6 p.m., there will be welcoming words from local leaders, a student poetry reading, and a performance by South Portland High School singers before a countdown to light the tree.

The Knightville Holiday Stroll is scheduled for Dec. 4. Knightville is a neighborhood in South Portland that includes Thomas Knight Park. The event is noon to 8 p.m.  There will be entertainment and holiday shopping. Many local businesses are offering specials for the event, such as Green Gnome Holistics, Chair Salon, Lighthouse Bikes, Artemis, Taco Trio, and more. Many of the specials are being advertised on the Knightville Holiday Stroll Instagram page.


Breakfast with Santa at the South Portland Community Center is from 8 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 10. It is $10 dollars a person and registration is required. Children younger than 3 are admitted free. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, fruit cocktail, and beverages. Proceeds will benefit the South Portland Police Department VIPS program. Registration is available at https://tinyurl.com/BreakfastSanta22.

The Holiday Craft Fair at South Portland High School is planned for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. The event is open to the public. There will be 30 local crafters present. There will be kids’ make-and-take tables, baked goods, and more. The event will benefit music educator Jen Fletcher’s participation in the 2023 Macy’s Day Parade.

There are several collections going on as well.

The 11th annual South Portland Holiday Toy Drive is collecting through drop-off locations around the city. The Winter Clothing Collection is accepting new and gently used winter clothing, especially boots for elementary through high school students, winter coats, waterproof mittens and gloves, hats, etc. They are also collecting new and gently used basketball sneakers and sports/running sneakers for middle school and high school students. Items can be dropped off at the South Portland Community Center or South Portland High School.

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