Santa and Mrs. Claus
Santa and Mrs. Claus join one of the Christmas parades that occur in Aroostook County every December. (Courtesy NorthScape Photography/Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce)
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We got our first snow this week, about 4 inches that settled down to 3, and it is later than usual, but we are still glad to see it.

A lot of people, especially those who haven’t been to The County, think that once the snow comes, life slows down, that there’s nothing to do but hunker down and stay warm. In part that’s true, but between now and Christmas things also speed up, with seasonal concerts and Christmas fairs, and other offerings that keep us all busy. 

Jan GriecoAroostook is blessed with highly creative people: woodworkers, artists, cooks, and other creators, and nothing underscores that more than the number of fairs and events scheduled between now and Christmas. In truth, it has already started and while I could write a small pamphlet about what there is to do here in The County, I’m sticking with the events scheduled between now and Christmas.

While Caribou’s annual craft fair has already come and gone, there are more than enough opportunities for finding unique gifts, home-canned and baked goods, art, and even specialty foods.

Things ramp up on Thanksgiving weekend. Presque Isle takes Christmas lighting to an art with a display competition, Light Up Central Aroostook, with prizes for the best home lighting, and Nadeau’s Victorian Light Display at a Victorian home on Third Street. In Caribou, there’s a Shopper’s Breakfast at the Wellness Center on Bennett Drive, and if you are brave enough to take the trip north to the St. John Valley, there is Fort Kent’s Holiday Craft Fair, which was limited last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year the fair returns with vendors sharing shop space with local businesses, and additional vendors in the Knights of Columbus Hall on Nov. 27 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Nov. 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Dec. 4 starts a busy weekend throughout The County. In Presque Isle, the St. Apollonia Festival of Trees runs Dec. 3-Dec. 5 at the Aroostook Center Mall in the old Sears building, coupled with the 5th annual Winter Craft Fair on Dec. 4 and 5, also in the mall in the old Kmart; the annual Easton Christmas Craft Fair; the Grant Memorial United Methodist Women’s Christmas Bazaar, and Presque Isle’s 32nd annual Light Parade at 6 p.m. in downtown Presque Isle.  

It’s a busy season here, so if you are thinking you want to get away and would enjoy some real holiday spirit, make the trip north to The County – and on the way up, make time to stop into Houlton for the annual Light Parade beginning at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27.

I easily could add a dozen more events, but for more details and events, check out the Chambers of Commerce in Houlton Presque Isle, Caribou, and Fort Kent. You’re always welcome in The County.

Jan Grieco is a retired college instructor and former newspaper reporter. She lives in Perham, where she farms and lives off the land.

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