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  • mainetoday

    Skate-tacular @ Falmouth Family Ice

    Good things come to those who wait. After two rainouts, it was a perfectly cold, clear night for the Tree Lighting and Skate-tacular at Falmouth Family Ice. Just as Jesse Rodgerson got on bended knee and proposed to Alicia Matthews--and she accepted--the tree was lit! And then 20 local figure skaters took to Lee Twombley Pond to perform solos to holiday music. Even Santa was impressed.

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    Fire + Ice @ Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport

    One of the most popular aspects of Kennebunkport's Christmas Prelude, Fire + Ice at Nonantum Resort, sold out both nights. With holiday-theme martinis poured through ice sculptures, a giant bonfire by the waterfront, the Tony Boffa Band in the ballroom, and food samples throughout the indoor-outdoor party, there was something to make just about anyone merry.

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    Portland’s Merry Madness

    Merry Madness kicked off a night of merry drinking and shopping Thursday night. The event moved to Congress Square this year, outside the Westin Harborview Hotel, with Friends of Congress Square Park as co-hosts. The $10 entrance fee included a glass of wine, and more than 70 participating shops offered refills throughout the evening. The perfect accessories: A wineglass-holder necklace, a Santa hat, and an umbrella. Sponsored by Portland's Downtown District: www.portlandmaine.com/

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    Beat Santa 4-Miler in OOB

    Rule #1: Santa cheats, popping up somewhere mid-race. But the name of the game here is still beating Santa to the finish line, which 10 people did. For those not into competing with the jolly guy wearing a Go-Pro camera, the Captain's Galley buffet was wafting the scents of chicken wings and meatballs across the finish line. Proceeds from this second annual 5KSports.com event went to the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, in honor of the peace-loving 8-year-old boy who died in the 2013 Boston marathon bombings.

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    Santacon 2014 in the Old Port

    What could be more merry than hundreds of Santas? Santacon hit the Old Port for a jolly Saturday night on the town for more St. Nicks than you could shake a candy stick at. After dinner at Pat's Pizza and group photos on Monument Square, the whole cast of Christmas characters hit Oasis for a dance party, then Gritty's and Bull Feeny's, Studio 55, and--for the those still standing--Brian Boru at midnight. And these Santas did a little good for goodness sake, too, collecting cash for Family Crisis Services. https://twitter.com/SantaconPWM

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    First Friday Art Walk: Fire + Light

    First Friday Art Walk in December is packed with artsy shopping opportunities. Beyond all the cool handcrafted items with gift potential, there was something to discover every so many feet along Congress Street: carolers and a fire pit at Longfellow House, ballet in the library window, horse-drawn carriage rides at Monument Square, and belly dancers at Maine Artists Collective. Hardy outdoor vendors took advantage of the cold, dark night, selling hats and mittens, "light objects," and cedar kindling. Fire and light--that's what it's all about this time of year.

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    Lighting of Nubble Lighthouse in York

    Sohier Park in York was packed Saturday night with hundreds of festive folks anticipating the holiday lights being lit at Cape Neddick Lighthouse (Nubble Light). The annual tradition includes hot cocoa and cookies, music from the York High School Chamber Singers, and a visit from Santa, who hitches a ride with the York Beach Fire Department Ladder Truck. Cape Neddick will be decked out for the holidays every night, 4 p.m. to midnight, through New Year's Day.

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    Santa Hustle 5K and Half-Marathon @ Maine Mall

    Christmas spirit hit the Maine Mall with force today as hundreds donned Santa hats, beards, and red sweatshirts and the Santa Hustle 5K or Half Marathon. The after-party at Jimmy the Greek's was packed--at 9 a.m.! The annual event raises money for Easter Seals Maine to help people with disabilities and special needs and their families. For more information on this national race series: http://www.santahustle.com/