For the 12th consecutive year, Lewiston and Auburn will host their free holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 6.

Since 2007, officials for both cities have collaborated to host a series of holiday-themed activities, culminating in a parade that starts in one city and ends in the other.

Dottie Perham-Whittier, community relations coordinator for Lewiston, said every year Auburn and Lewiston take turns being the host city. This year it’s Auburn.

Sabrina Best, Auburn recreation director, said she has been helping organize Auburn’s side of the celebration for the past four years.

“It’s one of the fun meetings that I look forward to each week,” Best said. “Collaborating with Lewiston is easy. They’re always open to suggestions and changes, just as we are, and the celebration has really evolved over the last few years.”

In Lewiston, the festivities will begin at 3:15 p.m. at the Lewiston Public Library on Lisbon Street with a new offering: the Ho Ho Ho Lego’s Activity Event for children 5 to 12 years old, Perham-Whittier said. Children will construct their own holiday-themed Legos.

Afterward, a Christmas tree lighting will be held at 4:30 p.m. at Kennedy Park at Park and Pine streets, where children will have a chance to have their pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus, get free mittens from a booth run by Rinck Advertising, and free snacks from the Salvation Army.

In Auburn, Best said an open house from 4-7 p.m. will be held at the Woman’s Literary Union at 19 Elm St., and at 5 p.m., there will be story time and crafts at the Auburn Public Library on Spring Street.

At 5:30 p.m., free horse-drawn wagon rides will be offered at Festival Plaza on Main Street.

All the festivities culminate in the Parade of Lights, Best said, which starts at 6 p.m. at Kennedy Park in Lewiston and ends at Festival Plaza in Auburn at 7 p.m. After the parade, every child under the age of 10 will receive a free gift.

“We were very fortunate to have a donor come forward this year so we could give out these gifts,” Best said.

After the parade, children will be able to get their pictures taken with Santa, receive free snacks and mittens, and free dental bags from Maple Way Dental Care.

Perham-Whittier said goth cities have seen “great crowds, regardless of who is the host city.”

“It’s been great working with Auburn these last few years,” Perham-Whittier said. “Our goal is to make sure we have plenty of fun activities in both cities, and it feels like we’ve been accomplishing that.”

Map provided by the City of Lewiston

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