WATERVILLE — Organizers are gearing up for the annual Parade of Lights and opening of Kringleville, Santa’s mini village, Nov. 29, downtown, with a new twist this year: Santa will light the giant evergreen tree in its new location at Head of Falls after the parade.

The tree for years has been in Castonguay Square, where Kringleville will remain, but the tree will be moved to Head of Falls where there is more space to accommodate the thousands of children and adults who gather for festivities after the parade.

Waterville Parks and Recreation Director Matt Skehan said Thursday that he has not yet found the right tree, but if anyone has one to donate that is within about an hour of Waterville, the city would love to consider it. The tree will be placed between the parking lot and gazebo at Head of Falls, he said.

“I’m looking for a blue spruce between 25 and 30 feet tall,” Skehan said. “They may give the Parks & Recreation office a call at 680-4742.”

Amarinda Keys, executive director of the Children’s Discovery Museum, which organizes the parade and Kringleville activities, said dance troupes will perform at Head of Falls after the parade.

“We have a DJ coming down and there will be music,” she said.


New this year is a parking ban on Main Street downtown that will start at 3 p.m. the day of the parade to ensure adequate space for parade floats.

Major sponsors for the parade and Kringleville are Central Maine Chevy and Selah Tea Cafe.

Keys said the evening events the day after Thanksgiving help to usher in the holidays.

“It’s one of the rare opportunities that you have the whole community coming together in one place at the same time to welcome in the holiday season, and the whole thing is free and supported by local businesses and volunteers,” Keys said Thursday. “Everyone is there, and everyone can enjoy it together. I really like that.”

Lineup of floats for the 6 p.m. parade starts at the former Manor Restaurant on College Avenue. Anyone wanting to have a float or activity in the parade may call the Children’s Museum at 622-2209 or register online at kringleville.org. Keys said about 22 groups have signed up to be in the parade and typically about 30 organizations participate.

“The Grinch is coming, and Cindy Lou Who, police and fire, four dance troupes and cheerleaders,” she said. “There’s a gingerbread land, a snowflake themed float, Skills Inc. and carolers from New England Music Camp.”


The grand marshal, sponsored by Central Maine Chevy, will be the World Series Cal Ripken 2020 Team and Chevy trucks will be featured, as Chevrolet is the official vehicle of the parade. Businesses including Jorgensen’s Cafe and Selah Tea will be open during the parade.

The parade will start at the north end of Main Street, proceed south through downtown, turn east at the Colby hotel construction site and head north on Front Street, ending at Head of Falls where Santa and Mrs. Claus will exit their float and Santa will light the tree.

“He’s going to light the tree and then he’ll go up to Castonguay Square and see kids that night and every weekend until Christmas,” Keys said. “Girl Scouts will give out hot chocolate in the square during the parade and there will be local businesses giving out hot chocolate every weekend with Kringleville, which is nice.”

Keys said the Discovery Museum wants to grow the event to include more activities.

“That’s the idea — to bring things to Head of Falls because there’s more space down there,” she said.

The Discovery Museum, now located in Augusta, has been raising funds to buy the First Congregational Church of Christ building at 7 Eustis Parkway in Waterville. The hope is to buy the building and be at least partially open late next year, she said.

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