The city of Hallowell will celebrate the holiday season with a full day of events along Water Street Saturday, culminating in a parade and fireworks.

“Winter Holidays in Hallowell: Let There Be Light” kicks off with a craft and vendor fair, which includes a gingerbread creation contest, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The contest, held at Harlow Gallery, includes prizes for the most creative and most luscious gingerbread house.

City Manager Stefan Pakulski said the events reflect the community’s spirit as a place for all people, faiths, philosophies and endeavors.

“With many different lights, Hallowell’s expansive holiday season will showcase the city’s diversity, compassion, sense of history, creative arts and vibrant local commerce,” he said. “This should be an opportunity to see Hallowell at its best, enjoy the fun, share deeper sentiments, find great gifts plus fabulous food and drink, and take home a sense of the ample warmth to be found throughout the city.”

Jane Orbeton, chairwoman of the Old Hallowell Day committee, said this year’s event will focus not just on celebrating Christmas, but “Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, the Solstice, whatever.” Mayor Mark Walker said the different events for different faiths demonstrate the importance for communities to come together.

Hubbard Free Library will host Hanukkah treats and stories with Rabbi Erica Asch from Temple Beth El in Augusta. Asch, a Hallowell resident, said a multidenominational group of citizens in Hallowell wanted the holiday celebration to be more inclusive, and she was pleased that the Christian clergy was supportive of the effort.

“I think that Hallowell is a very diverse community and has long recognized that our diversity makes us stronger,” she said. “As a resident, I appreciate that the holiday celebration is taking into account all of the traditions that we hold.”

One of the more anticipated events of the celebration is the ice sculpture presentation, which starts at noon at the city bandstand. An ice sculptor, complete with chainsaw, ice picks and other equipment, will give a demonstration and unveil his creation at 3 p.m.

Row House is sponsoring free horse-drawn wagon rides at the American Legion Hall featuring two Clydesdales, the breed of horse known for its Budweiser Super Bowl commercials. The horses, from Nostalgic Limo Horse & Carriage Service in Dover-Foxcroft, will take 10 riders on a journey through downtown.

The Great Hallowell Christmas Parade begins at 4:30 p.m. and runs from the boat landing to the city bandstand. The evening ends with a fireworks display over the Kennebec River.

Other events throughout the day include a bake sale at Cause 4 Paws, a wreath laying at Hallowell Cemetery and an ugly sweater contest at The Wharf on Saturday night.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ


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