Annual Tree Lighting Kicks Off Holiday Season in Downtown Portland


Portland, Maine — Joy and merriment will fill Monument Square Friday, November 25th as thousands gather for the 2016 Tree Lighting Presented by Hood® Eggnog. The spectacular celebration features free, fun-filled activities for the whole family from 5-6:30pm including live music, horse & wagon rides, a visit from Santa himself and — new this year thanks to Hood Eggnog — an interactive, life-sized snow globe and free samples of delicious eggnog. All of the festivities lead up to the big moment when a stately 50-foot blue spruce will be illuminated by thousands of LED lights — wowing the “monumental” crowd and officially ushering in the holidays in beautiful Downtown Portland.

Event highlights include:

  • Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band: Maine singer-songwriter Rick Charette captures the hearts and spirits of the young and old alike with his delightful and inspiring children’s songs. Rick and his band will keep the crowd rockin’ with a spirited blend of traditional holiday music and kid classics like “Alligator in the Elevator.” Adding to the enchantment, a very special guest in a red suit will join Rick for a good old-fashioned sing-along with the crowd.
  • Life-Sized Snow Globe: Families will “ooh and ahh” at the sight of a brand new attraction this year: a giant inflatable snow globe courtesy of Presenting Sponsor, Hood Eggnog. Revelers can step inside, strike a pose and snap a holiday pic to share — capturing magical memories that will last a lifetime. You can follow the fun with @hphood using #HoodSnowGlobe!
  • Hood Eggnog Samples: To celebrate the 2016 Hood Eggnog flavor lineup, Hood will treat the crowd to tasty samples of the beloved holiday beverage. Traditional Hood Golden Eggnog is joined this year by three additional flavors: Pumpkin, Vanilla and Sugar Cookie.
  • Horse & Wagon Rides: From 4-8pm, guests can enjoy free rides in a traditional horse-drawn wagon. Each half-hour adventure gives passengers a chance to kick back, relax and soak up the sights & sounds of historic Downtown Portland. From Pandora’s spectacular Winter Lights to the whimsical window displays of shops and restaurants, there’s holiday magic at every turn!

“The Tree Lighting in Monument Square is a beloved annual community event,” said Casey Gilbert, executive director of Portland Downtown. “Rick Charette brings joy to all with his music — it is such a treat to have him perform. This year, the event will be even more magical with the addition of Hood Eggnog and their giant snow globe! Revelers will get a chance to sample delicious eggnog while the holiday tree lights up the night. We hope that everyone will stay afterward to view Pandora’s Winter Lights, check out the holiday window decorating contest, and enjoy an evening stroll downtown.”

The 2016 Tree Lighting is made possible thanks to the support of many. Portland Downtown, the event organizer, wishes to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Hood Eggnog, as well as our Major Sponsors, MEMIC and Machias Savings Bank. We also wish to thank our Tree Lighting emcees: Meteorologist Sarah Long of WMTW Channel 8 and AJ Dukette of 94.9 WHOM.

Portland Downtown, a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization, is in the business of maintaining a clean and safe downtown while building and promoting a vibrant business, residential and tourism destination.