November brings with it the sparkle, excitement, and unique shopping opportunities of the upcoming holiday season. With COVID-19 numbers once again on the rise, it’s best to check ahead, but with any luck, more festivals, craft fairs, light parades, and other events will remain ours to enjoy. Unless otherwise noted, all events follow CDC masking recommendations. Here are a few excellent ways to enjoy Maine this month:
Comedy Night with Jody Sloane
The 49 Franklin Reception Hall and Mystic Theater brings Best of Boston headliner Jody Soane, with Greg Boggis, to the area. Doors open 6 p.m. Show begins at 8 p.m. Pub food menu available. Follow Comedy Night with Jody Sloane on Facebook for more information.
Early Bird Pajama Sale & Bed Races
During this annual Early Bird Pajama Sale in Bar Harbor (beginning at 6 a.m.), extra discounts are offered if you wear your jammies! Bed Races start at 10 a.m., with teams from area businesses and organizations running their decorated beds down Cottage Street. For more information, go to visitbarharbor.com.
Eighth Annual Veterans Day 5K Road Race
Held virtually last year, this road race is live in 2021, kicking off at 10 a.m. at the Wells Elks Lodge. Sponsored by the Wells Chamber of Commerce, the event sees between 120 and 150 runners annually. Proceeds benefit Honor Flight Maine, a nonprofit that transports veterans to Washington D.C. to tour the memorials. For more information or to register, visit www.wellschamber.org.
Holly Days Sale
Falmouth Congregational church is hosting a Holly Days Sale on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Folks can shop local and support their community. For more information, visit falmouthcongregationalchurch.org/holly-days-sale.
Ninth Annual Maine Harvest Festival and Exhibition
Experience and enjoy the fall harvest of over 200 Maine famers and festival food producers at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Sample sips from Maine vintners, brewers, and distillers. Fiber artisans, Maine chefs, and home cooks will be showcasing their products. Guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all times inside. For more about this award-winning event, visit the maineharvestfestival.com website and follow on Facebook.
Masterworks II—Beethoven’s 8th
The rich sounds of Mendelssohn, Saint- Saëns, and Beethoven will move and inspire during this Bangor Symphony Orchestra performance at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. Lucas Richman is the conductor, with Mark Kosower, principal cellist of the renowned Cleveland Orchestra and a celebrated soloist, performing. In-person ticket holders receive digital access. Digital-only tickets are also available. Visit bangorsymphony.org for more information.
The Polar Express
November 26—December 23
Each year, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum hosts THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. For 2021, the fun begins at the outdoor boarding platform. The conductor boards passengers onto 10 coach cars decked out for the holidays. Christmas music entertains on the way to the “North Pole” for a peek at Santa waving as he prepares his sleigh for departure. On the return trip, there’s hot chocolate and cookies waiting back at the station. All passengers are required to wear masks. Call (207) 828-0814 or visit mainenarrowgauge.org/holidayexpress for more information.
Houlton Holiday Light Parade
This annual event, beginning at 6 p.m. on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, ushers in the Christmas season, including the arrival of St. Nick himself! The parade features about 30 decorated units, and costumed singers and dancers. Typically, Santa and Mrs. Claus light the town Christmas tree and then go inside, but visits with children may take place outside this year. For more information, call (207) 532-4216 or visit greaterhoulton.com.
Greater Fort Kent Chamber Arts & Crafts Fair
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is home to one of the longest-running craft shows in Northern Maine. With about 125 exhibitors and fun door prizes, this juried show draws around 250 people annually. Call the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, (207) 834-5354, for more information.