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Pandemic impacting plans for holiday celebrations across Maine

Communities across the state are cancelling or making changes to winter festivities.

BANGOR, Maine — The holidays are just around the corner and celebrations across Maine will look very different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual Festival of Lights Parade held in Downtown Bangor is one community event being reinvented. The parade was canceled due to social distancing and gathering restrictions. 

The Rotary Club of Bangor in partnership with the Greater Bangor CVB & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Bangor Partnership, and Links Design will host the new Festival of Lights from December 5, 2020 through January 2, 2021. 

The public is invited businesses, non-profits, private homeowners, and municipal organizations to be a part of the Festival of Lights around the Greater Bangor Region by creating light displays at their own locations.

To comply with state guidelines surrounding COVID-19, this year, the light display will be enjoyed from the comfort of your car. BOOTHBAY, Maine - Despite COVID-19's effort to cancel almost every fun event you could think of enjoying this year, Gardens Aglow in Boothbay is getting ready for another magically lit season.

"We're hopeful that people will have fun with it," Chair of the Festival of Lights Parade, Roland Narofsky, says. "This is in smaller groups. It's unusual times and we're making the best of it." 

Narofsky adds the goal of this new celebration is to create and promote a safe way for residents and visitors to the Bangor region to view spectacular displays.

You can register to create a light display that will be included in the Festival of Lights HERE.

In addition, the Rotary Club of Bangor is dressing up the downtown Bangor holiday tree with new lighting and decorations.

Kennebunkport's Christmas Prelude is another Maine holiday celebration seeing some changes. The annual tree lighting, carol singing, Pooch Parade, and other events will happen through the magic of Zoom and social media. 

“Christmas Prelude was to give something pleasant back to the towns and the way we’re really going to do it is make activities that are COVID proof,” Kennebunkport Business Association President Paul Humphrey says.