Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Celebration Comes of Age in South Berwick

South Berwick’s annual Home for the Holidays festivities set for December 3 and 4 have taken another leap forward this year with more groups than ever working together on the community celebration of the town’s artists, merchants, citizens and children.
Artists from the Women’s Holiday Art Sale will be in Town Hall, as always, but also will sell their wares on Main Street. And downtown storekeepers have boosted the celebration with the fullest lineup yet of song, food, art, children’s activities and music since Home for the Holidays began six years ago.
Friday evening’s stroll will include cookie decorating, a visit with Santa, holiday karaoke, a boxing demonstration, craft fairs and Hanukkah games. Also this year, strollers will be able to make stained glass or lantern ornaments and see the premiere of a short video about the history and future of the South Berwick Public Library. Free treats and warm beverages will be offered at all the shops.
Downtown decorations also have been enhanced this year. Dozens of merchants and individuals purchased signature Home for the Holidays woodpecker flags to hang throughout the village, and the South Berwick Eliot Rotary Club donated luminaries to shine on sidewalks and lead strollers from one happening to the next.
In the last six years, Home for the Holidays has become a centerpiece of community life in the holiday season, as downtown business owners keep their doors open into the evening and hundreds of residents fill the streets with cheer.
The Home for the Holiday’s umbrella sponsor, SoBo Central, will share space on Main Street with Stained Glass Stained Images studio, a new stained glass gallery and supply shop on Lower Main, to host a variety of ornament making.
The festival originally grew out of the Women’s Holiday Art Sale, now in its 12th year. This year, the artists have expanded into downtown’s newest business, Film Barn Studios at 245 Main St. Film Barn will serve as a creative community space, showcasing local art, music and films, and will house Pip Productions, a video and multimedia design company.
Local videographer Tim Benoit will be at Vacuum Village showing his video on the South Berwick Public Library, featuring photos from the Old Berwick Historical Society, interviews with founding members of the Library, and a glimpse of future plans for the Young Street property.
In addition to Santa Claus welcoming children for a photo op at P. Gagnon & Son, Mrs. Claus will read stories at the Library. People’s United Bank will help children write letters to Santa, and York Hospital Medical Services is inviting children for face painting and snacks.
On Saturday, December 4, the Women’s Holiday Art Sale, craft sales at the First Parish Federated Church and First Baptist Church, the holiday bazaar at Marshwood High School and the Jewett House all will be open.
For a complete listing of activities, the Home for the Holidays brochure is online at
Photo caption: Kristen Wiese-Adelman of Rollinsford and 28 other local craftswomen will participate in the 12th Annual Holiday Women’s Art Sale, Dec. 3 and 4. (Courtesy photo)