RUMFORD – Christmas festivities kick off this weekend with a craft fair and parade in the Rumford and Dixfield area.

On Saturday from 9-2 p.m., more than 50 craftspeople will offer fresh trees and wreaths, embroidery, doll clothes, Christmas ornaments and other things at Mountain Valley High School.

River Valley Chamber of Commerce administrator Kristy White said Jonathan Burrell of Rumford will demonstrate porcupine quill embroidery. Others will show how to paint stones and plaques. Tickets for the annual Christmas musical will also be available, along with wooden handicrafts, jewelry, clothing and jams and jellies.

Parents will have a chance to shop while their children are cared for by members of Interact, a youth group sponsored by the Rotary. There is no admission to the fair. Donations will be accepted to benefit a local charitable organization. The group who will receive the money has not yet been chosen.

On Sunday, the Mountain Valley High School football team will lead the annual Christmas in the Valley parade that steps off at Dirigo High School in Dixfield at 4 p.m.

Floats and Scout troops, along with Santa Claus, will be among the parade participants. The parade will stop at the King Hiram Lodge in Mexico where it will disband. The parade reforms at Labonville where marchers will proceed through Mexico then down Congress Street in Rumford.

Santa will light the tree at the end of Congress Street before going to Hotel Harris where he will hand out coloring books and crayons to children.

The chamber, sponsor of the events, is also holding business and home decorating contests this year.

White said ribbons and gift certificates will be awarded to the top three displays.

Businesses or home owners who want to compete must call the chamber to register prior to judging from Dec. 10-13.

What: Christmas in the Valley Craft Fair

When: 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., Saturday

Where: Mountain Valley High School Puiia Gymnasium

What: Christmas in the Valley Parade

When: 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2

Where: Begins in Dixfield; ends at Hotel Harris in Rumford

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