ELLSWORTH — Shopping, tree-lighting, parading and free books — oh my!
That’s the lineup for a series of events over the next couple of weeks that will welcome the holiday season in downtown Ellsworth.
First up is the second annual Holiday Marketplace, which opened Thursday, Nov. 16, in the former J&B Atlantic building at 142 Main St.
The Heart of Ellsworth is the group that organized the event, working with building owners Jon Hutchins and Bill Sanborn. Working with Peter Lione, Heart of Ellsworth’s creative director, the space has been transformed into “a festive shopping experience” featuring seven local stores and vendors.
The marketplace will be open through Dec. 31. Hours will be as follows: Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Heart of Ellsworth and Flexit Café & Bakery will host a free holiday party for the community in the marketplace space on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 5-7 p.m.
Each weekend the marketplace will host a revolving “mini craft show” featuring local artisans and homemade goods. Anyone interested in table space should contact Heart of Ellsworth Executive Director Cara Romano by email at [email protected].
On Friday, Nov. 24, a community tree lighting will be held 4:30 p.m. at S.K. Whiting Park at the corner of Oak, Main and High streets. Organizers said there will be festive music and hot cocoa for the whole family.
Then, on Saturday, Dec. 2, Ellsworth’s annual downtown Christmas parade will make its way down Main Street. Lineup starts at 10 a.m. on upper Main Street near the Maine Community Foundation and the parade steps off at 11.
The theme for this year’s parade is “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.” Staff from the Woodlawn Museum will serve as grand marshals for the parade.
Directly after the parade, The Ellsworth American will hold its annual Joy of Reading event, where children can pick through tables full of books at the newspaper’s office at 30 Water St. and select one to take home with them for free.
Launched in 1995, the event honors former American editor Hale Joy. The Joy of Reading was established in his memory to promote literacy in children and to instill in them a love of reading.
Former American staffer Lisa Donovan donates hundreds of books to make the event possible.
Donovan, executive managing editor and vice president of the children’s division at Simon and Schuster, gets a copy of every children’s book the company publishes each year. She sends her copies to the American and Mount Desert Islander, which in turn distribute the books to local children.