NORWAY — The state’s largest Christmas parade is set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, with dozens of floats, firetrucks, music and Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“People are coming in every day to sign up,” Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Williams said.

This year’s theme is Toyland Christmas, which will depict the idea of a faraway land filled with magical toys.

“We’re expecting up to 50 floats,” Williams said. The popular U.S. Navy Silver Dolphins drill team from Groton, Conn., will march again this year. Music will be provided in part by the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School band and the Oxford Hills Middle School band.

The parade will start on Main Street in Norway, at the corner of Whitman Street, and end in Market Square in Paris.

Williams said other cities such as Lewiston, Auburn and Portland have Christmas parades, but the Norway-Paris parade has more “moving parts.”


“We just have a larger outpouring, not only from businesses but from the fire departments in our 13 towns,” Williams said. All the fire departments participate in the parade as well as first responders and others. “It’s massive in that regard.”

The parade and accompanying three-day Festival of Trees draws people from across the state and beyond.

The fifth annual Festival of Trees returns to the Four Seasons Function Center at 187 Main St. in Paris. It will begin Friday, Nov. 27, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce open house. On Saturday, Nov. 28, the event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 29, from noon to 4 p.m.

Williams said Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available after the parade Saturday and children may have their pictures taken with them for free. Parents and others are encouraged to bring their cameras for the opportunity that Williams called, “the real heart” of the three-day event.

Children who visit with the Clauses will receive a gift.

All the trees on display from the Festival of Trees are raffled off. The winner will take home the tree, decorations and any gifts on or under the tree. Some of the proceeds go to a local charity. 

Anyone interested in registering a float and/or a tree should contact the chamber at 743-2281.

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