LEWISTON — Dufresne Plaza on Lisbon Street was packed Saturday for the start of the city’s second Holiday at the Plaza.

Families took photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice skated in the plaza, had a ball in the huge inflatable snow globe, visited vendors lining the street and craftspeople indoors just off the plaza.

Kids and adults played games like slap hockey, snow throw, “1st Down” football throw and “Shooting Stars” basketball game — which all lined a closed-off Lisbon Street. The evening was capped with the lighting of the Christmas tree and menorah.

Lewiston’s Salzberg family were out for their first holiday event of the year and first time at Holiday at the Plaza. Olivia, 9, was with her parents, Chris and Marlaina, and toddler sister Penny enjoying the food — her favorite part, she said — and all the festivities.

Olivia and Penny were among the scores of children who got to sit on Santa’s lap for a photo, and Olivia was able to hook a prize in the fishing game, a Peck’s Department Store-era game put on, among many other games, by Lewiston Recreation.

“I didn’t ask (Santa) for anything, though,” Olivia said holding her fishing prize up. “And I didn’t get it on my first try.”


“It’s been really fun for the girls with good food, great entertainment,” Chris Salzberg said.

Megan and Chris Jones and their children, Julian, 3, and 5-month-old twins Riley and Ellie, came out to the plaza with extended family to enjoy their second holiday outing of the season and first time for the Holiday at the Plaza.

“It’s nice to have some normalcy and have the communities get together for this event,” Megan Jones said just after the group walked into the plaza. “We’re really looking forward to having some fun.”

“I’m excited to see Santa,” Julian added with encouragement from mom.

Musical performers throughout the afternoon included Bates College Crosstones, Josie French from Monmouth Community Players, local Leslie Reed, the Lewiston High School Chamber Singers, Maine Christmas Tree singer Malinda Liberty, the Maine Music Society Chamber Singers and Rabbi Sruli Dresdner and Lisa Mayer from Temple Shalom.

City spokesperson Angelynne Amores said around 2 p.m. that if early turnout was any indication, it appeared that more people participated this year than last year, which drew about 2,500 people in 2022. Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said he was happy the city moved forward with Holiday at the Plaza so people have the opportunity to gather and heal together as well as celebrate the holidays.

“It’s clear from this turnout that people needed this right now. I’m glad that we could come together as a community during this time,” Sheline said, adding that public works “hit it out of the park” with this year’s 27-foot Christmas tree and all the lighting that comes with the holidays.

“This is the best looking tree in the entire state of Maine,” Sheline added. “Without public works, we don’t have a Christmas in Lewiston. They really make Christmas happen.”

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