SKOWHEGAN — Preparations for the 25th annual Holiday Stroll in downtown Skowhegan kicked off Wednesday with volunteers from Main Street Skowhegan decking the trees in the downtown Pocket Park, getting them ready for the two-day event.

Mary Haley, project coordinator for Main Street Skowhegan, said the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Semper Fidelis, made strings of “light orbs” out of Christmas wreath rings in a class led by Pam Powers on Tuesday night at Bigelow Brewing in Skowhegan.

Darcy Spooner, co-owner of Country Crow Primitives and a member of the Main Street Board, said the lights will be strung on the branches of the spruce, fir and pine trees in the small park at the corner of Commercial Street and Madison Avenue.

“It’s something totally different,” Spooner said of the lights.

Kristina Cannon, executive director at Main Street Skowhegan, said more foot traffic is expected this weekend, beginning with a big parade at 7 p.m. Friday featuring Santa Claus arriving on a firetruck.

“There seems to be even more anticipation than usual for this year’s Holiday Stroll,” Cannon said. “Perhaps because it’s the 25th annual and because we just had a successful Small Business Saturday where the downtown was bustling with holiday shoppers.”

She said the return of the popular elf-on-a-shelf scavenger hunt also will generate excitement.

Downtown merchants will host Santa’s Village activities for children, such as cookie decorating, the Lions Club talking Christmas tree, free screenings of the movie “Elf” at the Strand theater both days, horse-drawn wagon rides, marshmallow roasting over an open fire and, this year, a special fire hula-hoop performance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the municipal parking lot.

For a full schedule of events, go to the Main Street Skowhegan website or visit its office above The Bankery on Water Street.

“With dozens of people involved in the planning and several hundred attendees, the Holiday Stroll is a great community event for Skowhegan,” Cannon said.

This year’s Holiday Stroll begins at 10 a.m. Friday with the annual holiday bazaar at the public library, followed by free gift wrapping and free hot cocoa starting at 5 p.m. on Water Street.

There’s breakfast with Santa Claus from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Tewksbury Hall, behind the Federated Church; the Tessier Farms petting zoo; craft fairs; bake sales; and other activities, including the Festival of Trees at Redington Memorial Home.

At 11 a.m. performer Phoebe Flows will demonstrate her fire hula-hooping.

“She’s a fire hula-hoop performer and she’s from Portland,” Haley said. “She’s bringing lots of extra hula hoops and she’s going to teach any of the kiddos that are around watching how to hula hoop — with the regular hoops, not the fire hoops.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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Twitter:@Doug_Harlow