Parade of Lights kicks off holiday season in Central Maine

Isabella, of Fairfield, visits with Santa at Kringleville. (photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)

by Mark Huard

Everly Hanson, 6, of Clinton, enjoying her ride on the float during the Parade of Lights. (photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)

Winslow and Waterville partnered together for the annual Parade of Lights, opening of Kringleville, lighting of the Winslow Gazebo, and the lighting of the Castonguay Square.

Temperatures were in the mid-20s by Saturday evening, as the lighted floats, marchers, and Santa made their way from Winslow High School, down Benton Ave, across the bridge into Waterville. Once in Waterville the parade proceeded up Main Street.

In Castonguay Square, City of Waterville Parks and Recreation department found a huge tree for the annual display, while SkyBoy Holiday & Event Lighting, a major sponsor of Kringleville, was creative in setting up lights on Santa’s Cabin and wrapping trees and light poles. With a countdown from Santa, the magic of the season was brightly lit to kick off the annual Kringleville event, which runs Saturdays and Sunday afternoons in December.

The Parade Grand Marshal this year was Victor Esposito Jr., sponsored by Central Maine Motors Group. Victor is a longtime supporter of Jobs for Maine Graduates. He is a JMG Master Specialist, and 77 years old. He’s worked for JMG for the past 24 years, and spent 21 of those years at Vassalboro Community School working in grades six to eight. For the past two years he has been working out of the AYCC (still with JMG) doing Workforce Dev­elopment and Career Exploration, and helping to develop the Teen Program at the AYCC. He has been teaching for a total of 42 years.

Special thanks to Amanda McCaslin from Winslow Parks and Re­creation for coordinating the parade and the lineup, and the police departments from Waterville and Winslow for coordinating the road closures and keeping everyone safe.

Owner of Stage Presence for Dancers Heather Beaster says, “participating in the The Parade of Lights has been a tradition for our studio for over a decade. It kicks off the holiday season for us and the whole community! It’s so amazing to see the smiles on kids and adults faces as you go through the route. Everyone is so joyful, even in the cold! The spirit of the season is definitely in the air, you can feel it! Our SP4D Family wouldn’t miss it!

Second place winner in the float competition, Mushero’s Lawn Care. (photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)

Winslow Parks and Recreation Director Amanda McCaslin added, “The parade of lights was a remarkable success, marking a festive beginning for the central Maine community. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated town employees and volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring this event to life. The floats showcased an extraordinary display of creativity and holiday cheer, captivating everyone with their exquisite craftsmanship. It was truly a sight to behold!”

Judges, representing the Children’s Discovery Museum, have chosen this year’s Parade of Lights contest finalists, judging holiday theme and best looking floats.

First place Maine Homeschool Athletic Association, second place, Mushero’s Lawn Care; and third place, Winslow Parks and Rec.

The thousands of people in attendance at the parade of lights definitely lit the path to the holiday season. Whether you were there as a child or as a parent or guardian or grandparent, you were welcomed as part of a wonderful event by the community for the community. Make sure you keep that spirit going by enjoying Main Street and visiting Santa Claus in his cabin on Saturdays and Sundays until Christmas.

Downtown Waterville aglow in lights, and bustling with activity during the Parade of Lights. (photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)


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