Holiday Happenings near Camden, ME; Gardens Aglow

Holiday Happenings near Camden, Maine

November 15th, 2019 by Hawthorn Inn B&B

As a Christmas junkie, I look forward to the Holiday happenings near Camden, Maine. Boothbay, Rockland, Camden, and Rockport all have entire weekends devoted to holiday activities. Then, there are all of the midweek activities to get you through to the next weekend. It requires serious planning to get in all of the midcoast Maine Christmas and holiday celebrations!

The Holiday Event to Kickoff the Season


The first holiday event starts the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The Coastal Botanical Garden staff decorate the central gardens and building for Gardens Aglow. Boothbay is about an hour away from Camden. This event is well worth the trip.  The Gardens Aglow gets bigger and better each year!  Read our blog post to learn about the 2015 Gardens Aglow. This year, there are over 500,000 energy efficient LED lights glowing on Thursdays through Sundays, November 14 through December 31, 2019.

There are multiple events that occur throughout November and December as part of the Boothbay Festival of Lights. For the full description of events, click here. One can combine multiple activities to get into the holiday spirit:

  • North Pole Express on weekends
  • Festival of trees
  • and Holiday Sparkle Fireworks just to name a few.


Archway with Christmas lights at Gardens Aglow

Holiday Happenings Near Camden, Maine

Rockland Festival of Lights

Rockland’s Festival of Lights is the next holiday happening. It is always the weekend after Thanksgiving. It starts with the arrival of Santa aboard a U.S. Coast Guard boat on Friday at noon. Then Santa visits with children in Merrill Park.

holiday happenings near Camden, Maine Lobster trap Christmas tree

Friday evening begins with the lighting of the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree.

The Festival of Lights continues on Saturday. Saturday’s activities include:

  • Shop Local Saturday at local downtown businesses
  • The Farnsworth’s Share the Wonder – an annual family holiday celebration with model trains, music, and prizes
  • Festival of Trees at the Public Library
  • Tour of the Historic Inns of Rockland
  • The Parade.

The Festival of Lights parade is a wonderful community event. After the parade ends, each viewer can vote for the People’s Choice Float with a non-perishable food item or a toy. The donations go to the Salvation Army for Rockland families.

Camden Christmas by the Sea

Camden’s Christmas by the Sea festival follows on the first weekend in December. Events occur Thursday, December 5, 2019 through Sunday, December 8, 2019. One can find the complete list of events on the Camden Area Business Groups event page. For a detailed account of a previous Christmas by the Sea weekend, read our blog.

As part of Christmas by the Sea, there are also events occurring in Lincolnville and Rockport. The Rockport Opera House hosts the Holly Berry Fair. New this year at Guini Ridge in Rockport is a Christmas Market in the spirit of a traditional European Christmas market with local artisan’s wares for sale. Come celebrate the holiday season and pickup your trees, wreaths, garland and more!  Their DIY center will be setup to make your own wreath as well as pro-tips for your holiday decorating. Santa arrives by boat in Rockport Harbor. Later on Saturday, Santa arrives by fire engine to Lincolnville Beach. Carol and sit by the bonfire on the beach as you await Santa’s arrival.

Santa arriving by float in Christmas by the Sea parade

Camden Opera House

The Camden Opera House is a beautiful venue in the center of downtown Camden.  There is not a bad seat in the house. Check out their calendar to see concerts and shows are playing during the holiday season.

Lunasa Irish music band

Lúnasa and special guest Ashley Davis return to the opera house stage to weave music, spoken word and more, taking concertgoers back to the band’s Irish homeland.  It was a sold out show last year that was just amazing.  I can’t wait for this year’s show.


Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor

Spend the afternoon of the second Saturday in December listening to concerts at the Rockport Opera House. Then head down the hill to Rockport Marine Park. Enjoy some of the 2000 luminaria throughout the village lighting the path to the harbor.


Wait for the Harbor Master to cross the harbor to set off the fireworks.

Harbor master boat with lighted Christmas tree


I like fireworks as much as parades and holiday festivals. These are quite special.

Fireworks over Rockport Harbor in December

For more details on Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor, click here.

Lodging for holiday happenings near Camden, Maine

Hawthorn Inn's Christmas tree

With so many holiday happenings near Camden, Maine, you will probably need someplace to stay.  Consider making the Hawthorn Inn your home base to attend all of the festivities. Check out our Promotions page to find current specials to enhance the festivities.

May you have a truly blessed and happy holiday season!  We hope that you take the time to enjoy it!

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