BAR HARBOR — Youngsters hoping for a one-on-one meeting with Santa this season don’t have long to wait. Santa and Mrs. Claus are set to arrive at 5 p.m. Friday at the Village Green for the annual Village Holidays Celebration and Midnight Madness sale.
“This year, the festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the Village Green, where carolers will be singing your favorite Christmas songs, and hot cocoa will be served,” Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce events coordinator Jenny Bishop said.
Just before 5 p.m., Emmy nominee and radio host Judy Pancoast will sing “Here Comes Santa Claus.”
“Santa and Mrs. Claus are set to arrive at 5 p.m. to help light the town tree in the bandstand before inviting everyone to come visit them at the MDI YMCA,” Bishop said.
Photos with Santa and other children’s activities and crafts will be available at the Y. This year the activities are headed up by the Summer Festival of the Arts crew, Bishop said. “There’s definitely some creative people over there, so I think the crafts are going to be next-level.”
Also at the YMCA, children from toddlers to teens are invited to pick out a free book during the Mount Desert Islander’s annual Gift of Reading event. Tables will be overflowing with brand new books donated by the Simon & Schuster publishing company of New York. Each child will be allowed to select and keep the book of his or her choice from hundreds of titles by well-known authors.
“We hope it encourages kids to keep reading,” said Islander Editor Earl Brechlin.
The books are provided by former area resident Lisa Donovan. She works at Simon & Schuster and regularly collects youth and children’s books that pass through her office for the program, which began in Ellsworth as a way to honor former Ellsworth American Editor Hale Joy.
With the help of local donors, the paper also purchases hundreds of popular Maine-themed books to include in the event.
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and 93.7 The Wave will host revelers for apple cider and more carols around a camp fire in the bank’s parking lot on Main Street.
Midnight Madness sales begin at 8 p.m. At the Chamber’s Visitor’s Center at the corner of Main and Cottage streets, receipts from the evening’s shopping will qualify shoppers to enter the midnight raffle drawing for two round-trip tickets between Bar Harbor and Boston on Cape Air. Raffle winners will be announced Monday, Bishop said.
Sales and offers from participating businesses can be found elsewhere in this issue.