South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber of Commerce and City of South Portland announce plans for virtual event to usher in the holiday season

SOUTH PORTLAND — For more than 25 years, the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber of Commerce and the City of South Portland have hosted a free outdoor Holiday Fest and Tree Lighting on the first Friday of December to usher in the holiday season. While ongoing restrictions on outdoor events prevent this event from occurring in person, the beloved community celebration will take place this year in virtual form.

The Community Chamber and City of South Portland will be airing a pre-recorded event on SPC-TV, as well as on the City and Chamber Facebook pages, at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. The virtual event will feature interviews with community partners, the tree lighting ceremony in Mill Creek Park, and seasonal music from South Portland Middle School and High School bands and choruses. 

“As with many other organizations and events this year, we have had to pivot and reimagine our Holiday Fest and Tree lighting event in a different format,” said Judith Borelli, events committee chair for the Community Chamber. “With determination, we and our partners are working on bringing this beloved tradition to our community, albeit in a nontraditional way.”

“In these challenging times, when most family and community traditions are on hold, we were very heartened to learn that the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber of Commerce have been able to work with our City team to develop a “Virtual” Holiday Fest and Tree Lighting event,” said South Portland Mayor Kate Lewis.  “In 2020, many realize that we have come to count on these annual celebrations, especially during the holiday season, as a time to express community spirit and pride, and appreciation for our neighbors in South Portland. We must stay connected even as we keep physically distanced. Although it looks a bit different, we are grateful for those who have come together to keep the tradition alive this year to celebrate the season of light. On behalf of the City, we want to thank all who have had a part in this effort. Despite the extreme challenges and uncertainty of the year, we look ahead to brighter and longer days, and extend best wishes to all.”