by Amarinda Keys
Children’s Discovery Museum
After two years, the beloved Parade of Lights was back! This annual event has drawn thousands of families for many years and serves as a fun and festive kickoff to the holiday season. The Children’s Discovery Museum was excited to collaborate with the town of Winslow and the city Waterville to host this wonderful event. The museum is working to create a brand-new play space for Central Maine. While they anxiously wait to open the doors of their new location, they are excited to coordinate such a wonderful event for the community.
The 2022 Parade of Lights was held on Saturday, November 26. Floats assembled at the Winslow High School, traveled down Benton Avenue, crossed the bridge, traveled up Main Street, in Waterville, and dispersed at the Elm Street/College Avenue/Main Street crossing. Santa made his entrance in a horse-drawn carriage. Floats included dancers from SP4D, a collection of Jeeps from Central Maine Jeep Owners, and fire trucks and police cruisers from local towns. This year’s parade included a panel of judges. The winning float was Living Water Community Church and their float featured The Chronicles of Narnia scene with characters. Runner-up was Hamlin’s Marine, with the most festively-lit boat the judges had ever seen. This year’s Grand Marshal, sponsored by Central Maine Motors, was a longtime volunteer and local martial arts instructor and photographer, Mark Huard.
As always, the parade also kicked off the Kringleville season, a long-standing holiday tradition that is now organized by the Children’s Discovery Museum. Santa will be visiting children in his house at Head of Falls each weekend from 1 – 4 p.m., leading up to Christmas. Many weekends feature free hot chocolate, giveaways and special activities thanks to local businesses and organizations. Every child who visited with Santa will leave with a book donated by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and Marden’s. Families will also be offered the opportunity to purchase a photo with Santa, courtesy of Central Maine Photography. For more information about Kringleville, including updates for the 2022 year, please visit kringleville.org.