Photograph by Neal Parent, Parent Gallery
Come kick off the holidays in downtown Belfast with festive cultural and retail enticements the weekend of December 5th and 6th! With two evenings of art openings and street performances as part of Belfast Art’s special holiday art walk offerings, the monthly First Friday Contra Dance, and Our Town Belfast’s annual Early Bird Sale and Tree Lighting events on Saturday, the whole family can have fun ringing in this joyful season.
On Friday the 5th, Betts Gallery at the Belfast Framer on Main Street will have an Opening Reception for Wrap-up the Holidays, a show of small works by 25 area artists from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Waterfall Arts’ handmade art and craft gift show will have an opening reception from 5 – 8 pm. Street performers will punctuate the downtown, and the evening will continue with the Belfast Flying Shoes 9th Birthday Celebration Contra Dance at the Belfast American Legion Post, featuring the three-member band Crowfoot with caller Adina Gordan and a celebration cupcake tower.
Saturday morning December 6th, Belfast wakes up for its annual Early Bird Sale from 6 – 9 a.m. where shoppers will find deep discounts in over fifty downtown Belfast shops and restaurants. Retail revelry continues throughout the day and at 4:30 p.m. Santa will arrive at Post Office Square where children and adults alike will sing carols with the Belfast Area High School A-Capella group and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies courtesy of the Belfast Soup Kitchen. The tree will be lit around 5pm with help from Santa himself and a lucky child chosen from among the attendees. Sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, and hosted in partnership by Our Town Belfast and Belfast Parks & Recreation, the tree lighting is being brought back to its traditional location at Post Office Square this year, adding to the old fashioned Christmas spirit.
On Saturday night holiday shoppers can be sure find something to delight a loved one during Belfast Arts Art Walk from 5:30-8pm. Betts Gallery – Wrap-Up The Holidays, Åarhus – Holiday Extravaganza, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery – Frolicking Fiber Fiesta Holiday Art Show, and Waterfall Arts – Handmade Art/Craft/Gift Show all have shows highlighting local made, affordable, handcrafted gifts. Harbor Artisans Artist Cooperative is raffling off a number of their local, hand-made works throughout most of December, the proceeds of which will help support the Waldo County Interfaith Fuel Fund.
The Belfast Creative Coalition and Our Town Belfast encourage the community to come out in support of local shops and galleries this holiday season. Supporting Belfast area businesses is easy to do when there are so many opportunities for fun and festivity this December downtown!