Example of a gingerbread house courtesy photo

As the holiday season unfolds, the towns of Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, and South Portland are gearing up for a series of events.


In Scarborough, the festivities kick off with an invitation for kids to send their letters to Santa. Scarborough Community Services is now accepting these notes, allowing children to share the good deeds they’ve done throughout the year and express their holiday wishes. Parents can assist their little ones in filling out the special letter template, available for download online, at the Hub, at the Town Hall Clerk’s Office, or request a copy by emailing comserv@scarboroughmaine.org. Parents can also have children just write on a piece of paper and put it in the mailbox. The paper should have the child’s name and mailing address so that Santa can respond.

“The letters came about thanks to COVID,” Nicole Hall CPRP, Scarborough’s operations and events manager said. “We knew that we were not going to be able to do all of our events like normal, and we were trying to think outside the box as far as programming and keeping connected to the community. Years ago we used to do North Pole phone calls but knowing we couldn’t get together in person would also be an issue, so we thought we would try letters. And we had such a huge response! The first year we did it, we had over 600 letters!” To ensure Santa has ample time to reply, all letters must be dropped off or mailed before Nov. 30. The North Pole Express mailbox is conveniently located at the front of Town Hall.

Following the letter-writing festivities, Scarborough is holding a gingerbread house decorating event on Dec. 1, from 6 p.m to 7:30 p.m. The event provides all necessary materials for $5 per gingerbread house. Space for this event is limited, so early registration is advised. It is sponsored by State Farm Insurance Agent Michelle Raber. Hall said, “Michelle has been a longtime supporter of Community Services and we are excited for her to join us at this festive event.”

On Dec. 2, Memorial Park in Scarborough will be transformed into a winter wonderland to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus. The free event, presented by Saco and Biddeford Savings, will feature treats, activities, live music, and even a  fireworks display. The library will be there with a station helping kids figure out their elf names and decorate bookmarks. Home Depot will give away building kits as well. Scarborough Rotary will be collecting non-perishable goods and donations for the Scarborough Food Pantry. “Since we are back in the park this year,” Hall said, “we will be kicking off the event with the traditional tree lighting event. The Scarborough School chorus will be with us at the beginning of the event sharing some holiday songs live. The event wraps up with a fireworks show at 7:30 p.m.”


“Saco & Biddeford Savings has been a longtime sponsor with Community Services and their crew is one of the most hands-on and festive groups we have,” Hall said. “They love getting in the spirit of the holidays and they bring that energy with them to our events. This year, they will be bringing some “festive friends” with them, and they will be serving free hot cocoa and cookies out of our concession stand. We also want to thank Hannaford for the generous donation of the cookies. This really has been a great group effort in bringing this event together for the community at no cost for participants.”

Cape Elizabeth:

In Cape Elizabeth, holiday festivities include the 4th annual holiday tree lighting ceremony scheduled for Dec. 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. This is a free event, with hot cocoa, treats, games, and Santa. Also, a brunch with Santa takes place at Sea Glass, Inn by the Sea on Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. at 40 Bowery Beach Road in Cape Elizabeth. Call 207-799-3134 for details.

South Portland:

On Dec. 1, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mill Creek Park in South Portland, there will be a tree lighting ceremony featuring carols, treats, a visit from Santa, and more. Attendees can bring donations for those in need. Also, the Lyric Music Theater’s production of “A Christmas Story” tales [;ace from Dec. 1 to 17. For more information, visit www.sopoparksrec.com

The Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair will be held on Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Peoples United Methodist Church, will have baked goods, candy, jewelry, holiday decorations, handcrafted gifts, books, and more. The fair is free to attend, and a luncheon offering chili, fish and corn chowders, and hot dogs for sale will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On the same day, a Christmas fair will take place at the Betsy Ross house in South Portland on  Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a variety of gifts, jewelry, Christmas decor, homemade crafts, baked goods, and enjoy basket raffles and a 50/50 drawing. The Betsy Ross House is located at 99 Preble St. in South Portland, attendees are asked to use the Henley Street entrance.

Also on Dec. 2, from 9 a.m to 3 p.m., the annual Christmas Fair will take place at Point Community Center in South Portland at 345 Clark’s Pond Parkway.  East Point Christian Church hosts the event which features handcrafted items from local vendors, food trucks, live animals, inflatables, Christmas craft stations, and baked goods.

Then, on Dec. 9, from 8 to 10 a.m., there will be breakfast with Santa at the South Portland Community Center which includes a meal and photo opportunities, all for a cost of $12. On Dec. 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Portland Community Center, join the Gingerbread House Building event starting at $20, where families can decorate pre-assembled houses and enjoy hot cocoa.

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