Northeast Harbor residents turned out to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus when they arrived aboard Sunbeam in 2017. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Holiday events begin on Mount Desert Island 

Southwest Harbor’s First National Bank Angel Tree 

The First National Bank’s Angel Tree in Southwest Harbor is back for another year. Any customer who wants to purchase gifts for a local child in need may stop by and grab an angel. Donations of checks payable to the bank’s Angel Tree program are also welcome. Gifts are due by Dec. 13.   

Santa’s Mailbox 

Through Dec. 17, the mailbox located in front of the Great Harbor Maritime Museum will be accepting children’s letters to Santa. Children are welcome to write letters and deliver them to the 124 Main St. location in Northeast Harbor. 

Village Holidays Celebration 

This Friday, the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce will hold its Village Holidays Celebration on the Village Green from 5-7 p.m. with refreshments and activities. Santa will arrive at 5 p.m. for a downtown procession and tree lighting ceremony. Following the ceremony, people can meet Santa for stories and photos. Social distancing is recommended. 

From 6-10 p.m., many local businesses will be in on the fun, offering discounts for holiday shoppers. COVID-19 protocols will vary for each store. 

For more information, visit 

Island Arts Association’s Holiday Craft Fair 

The Island Arts Association will have its annual Holiday Craft Fair at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Events Center this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the craft fair, the popular raffle will once again be held for chances to win gift certificates and items donated by local businesses. There will also be a chance to win a Webber Grill donated by Hammond Lumber. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the YWCA. Attendees are required to wear masks. 


The Neighborhood House Frosty 5K  

The Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor welcomes the return of the Frosty 5K Run & Walk along with the Kids Fun Run this Saturday. Start/finish lines this year will be at the Northeast Harbor Marina. Runners and walkers can register that day at 9:30 a.m. for $15 if they have not done so in advance. Walkers will start at 10 a.m. and runners will start at 10:30. The fun run will start at 10:15 a.m. Awards will be presented at the end. 

To register in advance for $10, go to 

Northeast Harbor Library greeting card workshop 

This Saturday, the Northeast Harbor Library will be hosting a card-making workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. No registration is required and all materials are provided. Masks must be worn. For more information, call Robin at (207) 276-3333 or email [email protected]. 

Northeast Harbor Santa visit and tree lighting 

Santa will arrive at the Northeast Harbor Marina aboard the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Sunbeam this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Santa will parade through town on a firetruck and will be available for a meet-and-greet prior to the tree lighting on Main Street at 4 p.m. Hot cocoa will be served at the Great Harbor Maritime Museum on 124 Main St. Shoppers are encouraged to visit local businesses that offer various sales and discounts this holiday. Stores and promotions can be found online at 

Harbor House Christmas tree lighting 

Harbor House is hosting an event on Friday, Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Southwest Harbor Village Green where Santa Claus will light the town Christmas tree. Although there will be no outdoor bonfires or inside picture taking, families can take photos with Santa outside at the tree. The Pemetic PTO will be selling cookies in the nearby parking lot behind the First National Bank and the Common Good Soup Kitchen will be offering treats. Social distancing is encouraged. 

Christmas float in Tremont 

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, a Christmas float, sponsored by the Tremont Consolidated School PTO and transporting Santa Claus, will drive around Tremont to spread holiday cheer. Children will get individually bagged goods and a chance to see Santa. The town encourages people to bring letters for Santa and drop them in the magical mailbox.  


YWCA of Mount Desert Island’s Children’s Bazaar 

The YWCA of Mount Desert Island will hold its annual Children’s Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The YWCA will be taking reservations this year and will be accepting one child every five minutes to pick out gifts. The child will then be picked up 15 minutes later at the side door of the building on 36 Mt. Desert St. Families are required to make reservations by calling (207) 288-5008. Wrapping paper will be sent home with the kids to minimize the amount of time in the building and the number of volunteers needed. Every volunteer is vaccinated and will wear a mask. Attendees will need to pass a quick health screening before entering the building. 

Meet Santa’s reindeer at Atlantic Oceanside 

Meet Santa’s reindeer on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center in Bar Harbor. The festivities will take place outside under a heated tent and inside the event center. Sponsored by Witham Family Hotels, the event’s activities will include letters to Santa, a hot cocoa bar, grab-and-go kids crafts and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift for local children in need. The gift donations will go to the Maine Seacoast Mission. Mask wearing and social distancing are encouraged. 

Bar Harbor River Church’s Night in Bethlehem 

On Saturday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. and again at 7, Bar Harbor’s River Church at 1184 US Highway 102 in Town Hill will hold A Night in Bethlehem drive-in experience for the public through narration, song and live animals. Each car can tune in through an FM transmitter as the famous manger scene is reenacted and the Christmas story is narrated while a choir sings. 


Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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