Popular Christmas trees, popular music

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LEWISTON — The results are in — the Kora Shriners FEZtival of Trees, which wrapped up Nov. 29, was another big hit. Visitors packed the Kora Temple to admire the beautiful trees, decorated with a lot of flair, fun and lights.

Businesses and organizations sponsor trees and gifts. Festival-goers buy raffle tickets to win a tree and all the gifts under it.

Winning the community sponsor awards for trees that fetched the most raffle tickets sold were: 1. W.D. Matthews, 2. Cote Crane (it came with a snowblower) and 3. Rainbow Federal Credit Union.

Winning the raffle on one of my favorite trees, decorated with Legos with a “Frozen” movie character made of Legos as the tree topper, was Duffy Woods. That tree was designed by Bittersweet Landing Boatyard of South Bristol.

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Shriner Director General Randy Murray said the FEZtival “went absolutely wonderful.”

About 2,500 people attended the weeklong event, which kicks off Christmas season in L-A.

— Bonnie Washuk

Maine has holiday spirit

Consider this a follow-up to Staff Writer Mark LaFlamme listing his Top 10 dreaded Christmas songs on Nov. 30.

There’s an AccuRadio website that lists which states have the most holiday spirit based on the number of hours holiday music is played (http://www.accuradio.com/blog/which-states-have-the-most-holiday-spirit/)    The Top 10 states with the most Christmas spirit are:

1. Washington, D.C. (I know it’s not a state, but that’s what the list says!)

2. Pennsylvania

3. Tennessee

4. Washington

5. Ohio

6. Massachusetts

7. Missouri

8. Alabama

9. Iowa

10. Mississippi

The states with the least Christmas spirit are:

1. New Jersey

2. New Hampshire

3. Delaware

4. Wyoming

5. Hawaii

6. Connecticut

7. Montana

8. California

9. Alaska

10. Idaho

How did Maine do? We’re pretty jolly. According to AccuRadio, Maine is No. 13, relatively high on the list.

According to the webpage, the five most popular Christmas songs in the country are: “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “The Christmas Song.”

Classics.

LaFlamme said he has no dispute with the top five songs.

“It would have been more fun if they’d listed some of those I despise,” he said. “If Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ had been on the list, I would have to move to a country that doesn’t celebrate that holiday.”

Maine coming in as No. 13 in loving Christmas “seems appropriate, if you know what I mean,” LaFlamme said.

— Bonnie Washuk

Need more ice!

STRONG — State fisheries biologist Bobby Van Riper of Temple is getting excited for ice fishing, because Varnum Pond just got ice cover Thursday night. It’s near where he lives, he said on Friday morning.

Van Riper said there aren’t many ponds in his district that are open to ice fishing anyways. “We only have 33 waters in the whole of Franklin County out of 200 waters,” he said.

Ice is starting to set in, but thicknesses aren’t “safe” yet. Still, he said he saw anglers anxious to get some earlier-than-usual ice fishing going. They were checking ice Friday morning, he said. Additionally, he said that in talking to Maine game wardens recently, he learned that people have been out on the ice while wearing life jackets.

“We’re right in that really marginal area” for ice thickness, Van Riper said. “But we’re getting there.”

Rime ice has started to form along the shores of Rangeley lakes. Additionally, ponds that are in what he calls “cold holes” like Norcross Pond have been making ice in below-normal temperatures during the last month and a half.

“There’s nothing open to ice fishing yet,” Van Riper said. “The ice is very marginal, but the stuff is building. The bravest of the brave may go out next week, but I think the real safe stuff won’t happen until around Christmas”

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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