We’re starting to make our list and check it twice, eagerly awaiting our first winter season, which means one thing here- We’re getting ready for our first ever Prelude! Kennebunkport has been in deep planning mode for months for the 38th annual Christmas festival, held this year from December 5th through the 15th, covering two full weekends and a fun filled week between early in the holiday season. We’ve been out to buy the decorations, they’re ready to go up after thanksgiving. We’ve got some extra help joining us from the other side of the Atlantic. We’re deep in the research phase for all of our delicious Christmas recipes (the best part of the preparations… the tastings) and we’re almost ready to roll!
First up is the Christmas Prelude Outdoor Market at Old Vines, all the sights and smells of the Christmas season in one place- nestled under the tent at Old Vines. Artists, craftsmen, and other local businesses will be there to display their best merchandise, perfect for the holiday shopping on your list. Starting on Thursday and going strong through the whole week, this holiday market is the perfect first stop to get into the spirit.
Friday the 6th, we have our tree lighting in dock square, a beautiful sight to behold before you wander over to the Washington Hose Fire Station for your caroling and hot chocolate fix, a very important warm-up before you head over the Christmas Karaoke at Alisson’s Restaurant!
Saturday, the fun continues with Cocoa, Cookies, and Critics at the Maine Art Hill Gallery, the perfect time to chat with some local artists and pick up a beautifully crafted gift for the art lover in your life. Next up on Saturday afternoon is our annual Hat Parade, make sure to bring your best handmade or store bought hat to join in on the festive fun in dock square before heading for some more caroling by candlelight at the Franciscan Monastery.
Sunday is a great day to experience the history of Kennebunkport, every historic inn in town (including us) are opening their doors for open houses. Get to know the innkeepers and the beautiful spaces we can offer to guests in town.
Wonderful events are only for weekends though and our Midweek Magic in Kennebunkport should not be neglected! Events run all week long, from the Ugly Sweater Party at Old Vines, to Paint the Prelude Tree and the 12 Beers of Prelude Tap Takeover at Alisson’s. Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery tasting room in town are opening their doors to teach interested attendees about pairing Maine wine with Maine chocolate, special for the holidays. We have candlelit tours of the Historic Inns and White Columns Museum available too.
Friday brings us a unique opportunity for a Golden Chariot Ride and Cocktail Party at the Seashore Trolley Museum and our town’s beautiful Prelude fireworks display. Saturday, the 14th is full of adventure, including the Walk to Bethlehem, where you walk with Joseph and Mary as they seek shelter at Kennebunkport’s historic inns.
We round out our Prelude celebrations with the 9th annual Pooch Parade before Santa arrives in town on a fire engine. This wonderful celebration of the Holiday season is definitely one you cannot miss! It really is the perfect way to get into the spirit and celebrate the season in a beautiful place with great people, great food, drinks, and so much more.
Of course, when everything is said and done and you need a place to put your feet up for the night to rest up and get ready for the next day of celebration, come on home to the 1802 House, we’ll put the kettle on for you.
For more information on any of these events, and the hundreds of others offered throughout the week, please visit https://www.christmasprelude.com/