South Portland’s Mill Creek Park will be filled with holiday cheer from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday as the city’s annual celebration lights up the neighborhood.

New to this year’s tree lighting is a visit from Rudolphs – two of them.

“We normally have horse-drawn carriages but we weren’t able to find a group this year to provide those,” said Jenna Martyn-Fisher, the recreation coordinator for the city’s parks and recreation department. “So we have someone bringing a mini pony and a mini donkey that will be dressed as Rudolph.”

Attendees will be able to take pictures with the Rudolphs and have a chance to meet Santa as well.

Food and refreshments, including hot chocolate, cider, baked goods and nachos, will be sold to raise money for parent-teacher associations in South Portland. Other groups will accept donations of toys for the city’s annual toy drive, warm winter clothing and non-perishable food items.

Leading up to the parks and rec department staff flipping the many light switches around the park, high school and middle school choruses will perform and some South Portland students will also recite poetry on a range of holiday themes, including hope, humanity and light. Children can explore a city fire truck and attendees can also shop for a Christmas tree at the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club’s annual tree sale at the park.


The weather forecast midweek called for rain on Friday, but it’s unlikely to stop the celebration, Martyn-Fisher said.

“It is a rain or shine event. As long as it’s not a complete downpour, we will still hold it.”

If the event is canceled, a notice will be posted on the parks and rec department’s social media pages and website,, on Friday morning.

“Right now, it looks like it’s going to be light rain,” she said.

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