Boothbay region lights up with the Festival of Lights

Posted:  Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 8:15am

The second annual Boothbay Festival of Lights kicks off on Nov. 17 with a sparkling series. The Festival of Lights is a celebration of signature holiday events in Midcoast Maine’s quintessential seaside towns of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. The town sparkles with thousands of lights and the shops, restaurants and hotels are open and ready to help visitors create wonderful holiday memories.

The festival is designed to showcase Boothbay region special signature offerings to visitors to the Boothbay region and the extraordinarily successful winter holiday event Gardens Aglow, presented by Coastal Maine Botanical Garden (CMBG) which is scheduled for Nov. 17 through Dec. 31.

The community has come together to create an even more vibrant second year festival. “Last year I felt so proud to see our towns come together in a joint effort to bring something very special to the peninsula. This year should prove to be even more spectacular,” says Betty Jeanne Maddocks, community member. “There’s something special about living in a small town especially when the community steps up to the plate to show others what a magical place we live in.”

The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce will also be hosting the first-ever “Light the Shore” contest for the annual Harbor Lights Festival, a signature event. All properties along the shoreline have been invited to show their holiday spirit by decorating and lighting their properties, docks and floats.

“The Chamber is delighted to play an integral role in the implementation of the Boothbay Festival of Lights and has been working closely with community groups and organizations to staff the Shuttle Station which will provide a warm place for visitors to wait for the shuttle buses to Gardens Aglow. The various community organizations volunteering to staff the Shuttle Station, our region ambassadors, will provide local information on dining, shopping and lodging as well as giving our visitors the opportunity to learn about their organizations,” says Patricia Inness Royall, executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce. “In essence, the Chamber has become the central information hub for the Festival of Lights and we look forward to continuing to expand that role.”

The 2017 Signature Event series includes:

Gardens Aglow

The biggest and brightest light display in Maine! Over 500,000 LED lights will decorate Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens' central gardens and buildings. Spectacular! Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Nov. 17–Dec. 31.

Festival of Trees

Silent Auction of more than 60 decorated trees and related items. Raffle drawing for gift items and the 2017 Theme Tree. Christmas Shops featuring: Mantle and Table, Santa’s Sweet Shop, Nature’s Corner, ETC, Little Trees. Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, Dec. 1–3.

Harbor Lights Festival

With a distinctly nautical flavor, this festival is fun for the entire family and will help to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Festival highlights include Santa and Mrs. Claus and a whole cast of characters including elves, moose, lobsters and more arriving in grand style … by boat, of course! Downtown Boothbay Harbor, Dec. 2.

Holiday Sparkle Fireworks

The Harbor comes alight with a fabulous and festive firework show! You will literally be surrounded by sparkling lights! Downtown Boothbay Harbor, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.

The North Pole Express

Board the North Pole Express and enjoy a heated, steam train ride to meet Santa. Follow the train trip with a reading of The Night Before Christmas, enjoy homemade cookies & hot cocoa, see the model railroad and holiday tree display, and make a vintage-inspired ornament to take home. Boothbay Railway Village, Dec. 9–10, 16–17 and 23.

The Dough Ball and Gingerbread Spectacular

Annual display of gingerbread houses large and small, with a few cabins, castles, lighthouses, and mythical structures thrown in for good measure! Professional bakers and grade school builders all compete in this hilarious annual event. Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, Dec. 15, 16–17.

For more information on these and other events throughout the holiday season visit, visit