Published January 25th, 2012

It amazes me every year just how quickly the holidays fly by. Now with my own two small children (and another on the way soon), it seems to go by even faster. But I do love to see the excitement of the season twinkling in their eyes. After all, the holidays are for families and, especially children.

Two years ago, my friend Gay Dion of The Good Kettle and I put our heads together and decided that we wanted to host an old fashioned Christmas gathering at the Point for the community. Our hope was to provide the opportunity for guests to create a bright memory during this difficult economic time by bringing everyone together to celebrate the season. The first event in 2010, was a huge success. We were blessed with over 300 attendees. On Saturday, December 10, 2011, French’s Point & The Good Kettle hosted the Second Annual Yuletide Community Tree Lighting. In spite of the lack of snow this year, guests, vendors, supporters and donors reveled with the holiday spirit and turned out in great numbers again. We were delighted to see the response of community support & attendance.

The event kicked off at 4:00pm with the opening of the doors to the holiday bazaar. Vendors offered their wares to guests, providing an opportunity to purchase products that are locally made and support small local businesses. Basil Staples of Staples Homestead Organic Blueberries began offering caroling hayrides with the assistance of Bonita Brooks who lead the singing. Santa Claus arrived via Stockton Springs Fire Department Truck at 4:30pm to a crowd of anxiously-awaiting children. With candy canes in hand, he posed next to the fireplace for photos taken with each child by their parents and photographer Buck Bulkley. Snacks and beverages were provided by several donors and were enjoyed by all. The Stockton Harbor Sailing Center was present and assisted children and adults in making rope knot Christmas tree ornaments. The Stockton Springs Recreation Department provided Christmas cookies for children to decorate and face painting. French’s Point provided ornament making supplies, crafts and s’mores making stations by the fire pits on the patio. The Christmas tree lighting took place at 5:30pm and caroling was lead by Bonita Brooks. Guests returned indoors to listen to the joyous music provided by the favored Belfast Bay Fiddlers. Children danced with Santa and enjoyed the lively music.

Admission for this event was free for children. For adults, admission was either a $3 cash donation to benefit the Tree Lighting Fund or one non-perishable food item per adult to benefit the Searsport Food Cupboard and those in need in our community. We were ecstatic to bring quite a load over to the cupboard after the event, thanks to the support of our guests. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers, sponsors, donors, and supporters that made this year’s celebration a success. We hope you will join us next Christmas. Keep an eye on our blog for more details about other upcoming public events taking place here at French’s Point or send us an e-mail to request to be added to our e-mail list, or if you would like to participate or volunteer for future community events.

A special thanks to…

Donors
Sandy Point Scissors- Stockton Springs
Red’s Automotive- Stockton Springs
The Purple Baboon- Belfast
Creative Catering- Stockton Springs
McDonald’s- Bucksport
The Good Kettle- Stockton Springs
French’s Point- Stockton Springs
Stockton Springs Recreation Department- Stockton Springs
Belfast Bay Fiddlers- Belfast
Just Barb’s Restaurant- Stockton Springs
Jerry’s True Value Hardware- Bucksport
EBS- Bucksport
Dunkin Doughnuts- Searsport
Hannaford’s Supermarket- Belfast & Bucksport
Bruce & Laurie Gray- Stockton Springs
Viking Lumber- East Belfast
Sheehan’s Florist

Supporters
Buck Bulkley Photography- Stockton Springs
Stockton Harbor Sailing Center- Stockton Springs
Staples Homestead Blueberries- Stockton Springs
Stockton Springs Fire Department- Stockton Springs
Thompson’s Landscaping- Stockton Springs
Michael Thompson- Stockton Springs
Nichole & Ryan Christmas Tree Farm- Stockton Springs
Joy Seaver- Stockton Springs
Candace Moore- Stockton Springs
Rhonda Nichols- Stockton Springs
Robert & Bonita Brooks- Stockton Springs
Jodi McGary Photography- Pittsfield

Vendors
Coastal Creations Pet Salon- Bucksport
Book Stacks- Bucksport
East Cape Studio- Stockton Springs
Artist Dianne Horton- Swanville
Asha Fenn- Stockton Springs
The Good Kettle- Stockton Springs
Betsey Headley- Belfast
MacLeod’s Restaurant- Bucksport
Faylene Cunningham-Searsport
Landmesser Paintings/Fern Hill Studio- Stockton Springs
Fern Hooper- Stockton Springs
Friends of Fort Knox- Prospect
Sheehan’s Florist- Bucksport
Sandy Point Community Club