Downtown Waterville’s Parade of Lights will kick off the annual opening of Kringleville on Friday.

The 6 p.m. parade is organized by Waterville Main Street and will culminate in the opening of Kringleville. The events typically draw about 15,000 people to downtown.

The parade will start at Head of Falls, head down Front Street, up Union Street, turn left onto Main Street and continue to Castonguay Square, where Santa will light a large Christmas tree in the square.

After Santa Claus lights the giant evergreen tree, he will go into Kringleville in The Center next to Castonguay Square and meet children. The public may view Santa with the children through a large window facing Main Street.

In The Forum room at The Center next to Kringleville, Mrs. Claus will host her workshop.

The Waterville Main Street Program and Kringleville committee will set up crafts there for children to do while waiting to see Santa. The community group REM offers cookies and hot chocolate to children. REM, which pays for the bulk of the rental space Kringleville uses, will be selling wreaths for all seasons to raise money for that rental, and Waterville Main Street will sell baskets.

Children can have their photo taken with Santa and buy the photos for $6 each.

Santa awards three ribbons to floats before the parade starts with first place being Santa’s Choice. The winner of that ribbon gets to decorate and light the float Santa rides on next year, according to Small.

Santa greets children at Kringleville throughout the holiday season. His schedule is posted on the Kringleville website.

In light of the snow, which began Wednesday, city officials have declared some parking restrictions in downtown Waterville to prepare for the Parade of Lights downtown on Friday.

Waterville Public Works crews planned to clear the snow from Main Street and the Concourse early on Thanksgiving Day and ask that vehicles park in Levine’s parking lot on Front Street or at Head of Falls on Front Street during that time.

The streets need to be cleared for the Parade of Lights scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. If vehicles are parked on Main Street or in the Concourse during the clean-up, they may be towed at the owners’ expense.

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