PARIS — The Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual Christmas Parade and Festival of Trees at the end of the month.

Hundreds of spectators are expected to line the streets of Norway and South Paris for the popular parade, now in its 42nd year. The theme this year’s parade is “A North Pole Christmas.”

The parade will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Marchers and floats will start in downtown Norway and continue down Main Street into South Paris, ending at Moore Park. 

According to Chamber of Commerce Director John Williams, special guests for this year’s festivities include a color guard of U.S. Marines from Brunswick, a precision marksmanship team from the U.S. Submarine School in Connecticut, mascots from the Maine Red Claws and Portland Sea Dogs, and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Local marching bands, fire departments and floats from local businesses and community organizations will add to the festive spectacle.

Williams said about 40 floats drove in last year’s parade. So far, 20 groups have registered to put floats in the parade, which is on par with other years. Judges will be rating floats and awarding prizes for winners, he said. 

The chamber is accepting registration for parade floats until Friday, Nov. 22. The cost to register for judging is $35, although those who don’t want to enter for judging can register for free. 

The parade corresponds with the chamber’s Festival of Trees event, being held for the third year. The chamber will be raffling off fully decorated artificial Christmas trees donated by local business and organizations.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Rightstart, which runs the Christmas for Kids and Christmas for Teens programs in Oxford Hills. Donations of cash, gift cards or new, unwrapped toys will also be accepted at the event. 

Held at the Four Seasons Function Center in South Paris, the festival goes on all weekend and features live music from students and community members. The event starts with an open house for chamber members at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, and will be open to the public from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, with Santa and Mrs. Claus on hand following the parade. On Sunday, the event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Raffle winners will be drawn after the doors close on Sunday. 

 For more information or to register for the parade visit the chamber’s website, www.oxfordhillsmaine.com

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