WATERVILLE — The city will usher in the holiday season in style Friday night as the annual Parade of Lights passes through downtown and Kringleville, Santa’s mini-village, opens in Castonguay Square.

A gingerbread-style house large enough for children to enter will be featured in the square, along with Arctic animals.

The events are being organized by the Children’s Discovery Museum. The major sponsors are Central Maine Motors Auto Group, Colby College and Selah Tea.

“It’s a long-standing tradition,” said Amarinda Keys, Children’s Museum executive director. “It brings people from Waterville and surrounding communities together for one night. The whole, entire parade is made possible by businesses and organizations. It’s really a beautiful community event for the community and by the community.”

Main Street, from Post Office Square to the connection with Front Street, will close at 5 p.m. Friday for the parade, so people should not park on the street, according to Keys.

The parade lineup will be at Head of Falls and the procession will cross Union Street and turn left at Central Fire Station, according to Keys.

At 6 p.m., the parade will start and head south on Main Street, through downtown, and turn east and then north onto Front Street. Santa Claus will disembark at Castonguay Square and enter his red house, where he will greet children who line up at the door. Children may have their photos taken with Santa as well.

The giant evergreen in the square also will be lit.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride on the last float in the parade; Tammy Rabideau, the Waterville Public Library’s new director, will be parade marshal and ride in the first car, a convertible donated by Central Maine Motors for the event, Keys said.

“We’re excited to have her,” Keys said of Rabideau.

Thirty-five floats, including Grinch, Nutcracker and Rudolph-themed floats, will be in the parade, which also will include dancers and lots of lights.

In Castonguay Square, Girl Scouts will sell hot chocolate, and GHM Insurance Agency will offer hot chocolate in the little park behind The Proper Pig restaurant off Common Street, Keys said. A stage will be set up between Castonguay Square and Main Street and radio station 107.9 will play holiday music from its station during and after the parade, Keys said.

“The Arctic animals are back in the square, and we have a new animal that will be revealed on Friday,” she said. “Our gingerbread house will be back as well.”

Thousands of people typically line the streets for the annual parade. Keys reminds those who plan to attend to dress warmly, as the night is typically cold.

Some businesses, including Selah Tea, will stay open late for the events.

“We’re really excited to put on Kringleville during this transition period,” Keys said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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