Ten years ago, Madawaska Lake Township resident Brenda Jepson created a Christmas DVD that shone a spotlight on Aroostook County. The film was shown on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, which Jepson said she was “thrilled” about.
She had no idea, she said Friday, that the film “Christmas Greetings from Aroostook,” would be replayed every year since.
“It is hard to believe that this is the tenth anniversary,” she said. “I assumed that it would be played once or twice on the network. Ten years, later, however, it is still being played.”
Jepson owns Crown of Maine Productions, and she created the Christmas DVD with her husband, Alan. The 26-minute DVD offers a glimpse of the sights and sounds of Aroostook County during the Christmas season. The disc features several montage sequences, including the Presque Isle Light Parade and Christmas light displays at homes from Houlton to Fort Kent.
The narrator, Layne Longfellow, a descendant of Maine poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, at one point recites his relative’s poem, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
Church bells and music from groups such as the Heavenly Harpers of Houlton and the Caribou Choral Society also are part of the mix. Jepson and her husband spent more than a year working on the project, traveling throughout The County to shoot footage for the DVD.
Jepson said that she and her husband had to “hustle” to capture all of the Christmas events featured in the DVD.
“It was also a really challenging film to shoot in the winter,” she said. “On the night of the Presque Isle Light Parade, the temperatures were so low that my fingers were frozen. At the same time, we did not get a lot of snow that year. We had to keep putting off the filming of the sleigh rides and couldn’t film them until March. The positive side is that it was a bit warmer for filming then.”
The film is set to air this year at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 24.
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