Lights On The Annual “Prelude” Celebration in Kennebunkport

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Kennebunkport’s “Christmas Prelude,” a magical holiday celebration to commence the Christmas season, will be held for its 39th year in a row. The Prelude reminds locals and people from all over the world of the magic of Christmas time, when the town is transformed with bright lights and ongoing festivities. Though the Prelude has been forced to adapt to COVID-19, it will not be canceled.

The Kennebunkport Business Association, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization of local business owners, has spent the last three months arranging this year’s reimagined Christmas Prelude.

“Rather than just cancel the Prelude, we’re reimagining the experience through a virtual lens,” said Paul Humphrey, President of the Kennebunkport Business Association.
The main events, such as the tree lighting in Dock Square, Santa reading to the children, and prize-winning events such as best homemade hat and best-dressed pooches, will happen over Zoom and social media. Last year, the tree lighting drew a crowd of 3,500 people in Dock Square and 10,000 viewers on Facebook Live. This year, the tree lighting will be pre-recorded and is expected to draw 15,000 viewers on Facebook Live. The virtual Prelude celebration will start on December 3rd, as planned.

Throughout the week there will be virtual cooking classes, cocktail-making classes, and shopping to support local businesses.

“People from all over the world can experience the Prelude from the comfort of their homes,” said Paul Humphrey. “No matter what, it will still be magical.”

For those who plan to be in Kennebunkport, there will be in-person activities, including a weekend outdoor Christmas Market. The downtown will still be decorated to capture the magic of Christmas Prelude, and people will still be able to enjoy shopping and dining. All businesses and in person events will adhere to strict CDC guidelines.

Further details on event times and dates can be found on christmasprelude.com in the days and weeks ahead.