Abigail Cote, 2, has some reservations Sunday about sitting on Santa Claus’ lap during Holiday At The Plaza at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Dufresne Plaza was buzzing, bustling and bouncing Sunday in celebration of the holidays.

Although a day later than planned due to Saturday’s rain, Holiday at the Plaza went off without a hitch as hundreds of people enjoyed activities, including ice skating in the plaza, photographs in a giant inflated snow globe, visits with Santa Claus and his reindeer and much more.

Festivalgoers had opportunity to walk a closed-off Lisbon Street and shop at businesses, check out artisans from throughout the region and order from more than a half-dozen food trucks.

As of midafternoon, Santa’s helpers reported processing countless letters to the North Pole and more than 150 family photographs taken with the jolly bearded man in the red suit.

The Maine Music Society Chamber Singers perform Sunday in front of the newly lit Christmas tree at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The event also saw Santa Claus assist Mayor Carl Sheline in lighting the city’s Christmas tree and menorah, important symbols affirming the holiday season is truly underway.

Sheline thanked members of the community for coming out to enjoy the activities, city employees who made everything possible and businesses, vendors, artisans and musicians who set the tone for the day and the rest of the season.


“Our hardworking city employees, most importantly, brought the reindeer from the North Pole, and escorted Santa Claus themselves all the way to Lewiston so all the kids could meet him,” Sheline said. “This is what the holidays are all about — bringing our community together to rejoice in the season and each other.

“Let us celebrate under this tree and around this menorah, and give thanks to the people around us who make this time of year special — family, friends and the new friend you may meet tonight. Happy holidays to each and every one of you.”

Santa’s reindeer, also known as Belle and Coco, came from the Pony Express farm in Winslow.

Jaxson Hazzard, center, has fun Sunday with his cousins Bentley Towle, left, and Dante Negron inside a giant inflated snow globe at Holiday At The Plaza at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Dillon and Even, two children from Lewiston, said they had never seen reindeer before — at least up close. Their only regret was they were beyond arm’s reach.

“This line is in the way,” Dillon said, giving the partition a shake.

“Yeah, I’d really like to pet them,” Even said.


Lewiston native Landon, 5, pulled himself away from his doughnuts long enough to give the festival his seal of approval.

“I like this,” he said, pointing to the fire pit, “and the poutine truck.”

Reindeer Belle and Coco are on display Sunday on Lisbon Street in Lewiston during Holiday At The Plaza at Dufresene Plaza. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Minot residents Brian and Chesari Dubois sat around one of the fire pits with their children Liam, 9, and Liv, 4, and all were eating doughnuts from one of the vendors. Chesari Dubois said even with all the activities, the treats seemed to be the highlight for the children.

“I like the festival,” Liam said. “The doughnuts are my favorite.”

Liv, a little shyer than her older brother, said, “I like the reindeer — and doughnuts.”

Brian Dubois agreed the doughnuts were a highlight of the event.

“We’ve only been down here for about 20 minutes,” he said, “but we’re having a really fun time.”

Nicole Welch, the recreation director for the city of Lewiston, is dressed as a snowman Sunday as she cheers for those trying the ring toss at Holiday At The Plaza at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Ice skaters enjoy Holiday At The Plaza on Sunday at Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

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