2018-12-06 / Editorial

Let’s ring in the holidays with community spirit

Beyond the Headlines
by Sen. Justin Chenette

The holiday and Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. Family gatherings, mornings of newly fallen snow and a general feeling of positivity and hope that resonates throughout this place we call home.

Nothing better demonstrates this feeling of community and holiday spirit like the eighth annual Saco Holiday Festival & Parade of Lights. This Saturday, Dec. 8, Saco will be bustling with Santa and his handful of mischievous elves and family friendly activities for all ages.

Starting at 1 p.m. and going until 4 p.m. we will have children’s activities in the Saco Train Station. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there along with craft-making and delicious treats. Thanks to the ShuttleBus Zoom, we will have a free trolley transporting folks between five stops: Saco Post Office, museum, city hall, State Farm and the Amtrak Station.

Over at city hall from 1 to 4 p.m., Saco Parks and Recreation will hold face painting for the kiddos. All the while the Saco Museum’s annual Festival of Trees will be going on, so be sure to stop by.

This year we will hold the tree lighting and caroling at Saco Train Station where the old turbine stood and was just removed. This leaves us plenty of parking for all to easily enjoy. Bring your singing voices.

Right before the main event, Saco Toys for Tots will hold a bean supper at Most Holy Trinity from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The parade is truly a sight to behold. Last year we had 100 different floats and units in the one of the largest parades ever in Saco.

This year it looks like a solid repeat with a few surprises. I love the blow up Grinch and army of land mowers. I march with a few awesome people and will bring hand bells to make it more festive, so flag me down if you see me. The only requirement in the parade is a lot of lights. The parade starts at Middle and Beach streets before turning into downtown Main Street proceeding to Pepperell Square, ending in the square. It starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. and you’ll want to grab a spot early as we tend to have a very large crowd.

One of the many reasons I love volunteering with Saco Main Street is the quality of our events. You might only see it on the day of the activities, but it takes many months of long hours and planning to pull them off. Our committees are the lifeblood of our organization and we are always looking for new volunteers to help if you love any of our events and want to help make them even better.

As always, remember to buy local and shop small this season. Many of our Main Street businesses will be open and available to eat, shop and drink during the festival. Hope to see you there!

Justin Chenette is serving his second term as the youngest senator in the Maine Senate representing Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington and Buxton. He previously served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. Outside the Legislature, he is the owner of Chenette Media LLC, a marketing & public relations firm, is the Marketing Coordinator of Saco Sport & Fitness, and is President of Saco Main Street.

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