Holiday season

– local events planned to inaugurate the holiday season

Mill Creek Park in South Portland will be lit up for the holiday season during a tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3. File photo

South Portland, Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth offer plenty of ways to ring in the holidays with several festive events starting next week.

A holiday tree lighting event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, December 3 at Mill Creek Park in South Portland. Organized by the South Portland Cape Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, as well as southern South Portland Parks, the Department of Rec & Waterfront, the event will feature carols from school musicians, selfies with Santa, concessions, a truck firefighters and more.

Also on December 3, Scarborough will host a gingerbread house decorating event from 6-8 p.m. at the Scarborough Community Center Hub at 418 Payne Rd. The gingerbread houses, which will come pre-assembled, are $20 each. Decorating materials will be provided, along with free refreshments and artisans. Registration is mandatory on

Scarborough will also host a Santa Drive Thru event from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 at Memorial Park. Drivers will follow a route through the school campus to meet Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Elves. Hosted by Scarborough Community Services and Fire and Police Services, the event is designed to allow families to celebrate the festive season while maintaining a safe distance.

A holiday tree lighting will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on December 10 at the Cape Elizabeth Town Green, where Santa Claus is also expected to make an appearance.

South Portland is currently hosting its 10th annual Christmas Toy Drive. Donations and new toys can be dropped off at the local police department, 20 Anthoine St.; The Community Center, 21 Nelson Road; Fire station of cash corner, 360, rue Main; and several local businesses. Donations will also be accepted via Gofundme and Venmo. More information can be found on

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