Colorful Parade and Moonlight Madness Attract Hundreds to Downtown

Thomas Constant got to meet Santa on the stage at the Triangle Park after Friday's Lioness Christmas parade. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)

By Lura Jackson

The intensely cold evening of Friday, December 7th was made warmer in downtown Calais as hundreds gathered to participate in and watch the annual Christmas parade. This year’s parade saw a large number of participants and many floats that were festively decorated for the occasion. Afterward, the crowds stayed to take part in the Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition’s annual Moonlight Madness event that saw many businesses offering discounts, specials and refreshments.

Businesses and organizations from across St. Croix Valley – and from over the river – took part in the parade despite the bitter temperatures. Seasonally-appropriate music played from vehicles and a band of local youth attempted to coax melodies from their frozen instruments.

Certain parade participants earned special treatment this year, including City Manager Jim Porter, who was named Parade Marshal, and Santa, who rode in on the Calais Fire Department’s Mack engine. After the parade, children and their parents gathered in Triangle Park to share their Christmas wishes with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Additional warmth was to be had in the various businesses lining the Main Street, including Katahdin Coffee House, which reported record sales. At Artemis’s Attic, special sales took place and refreshments were served. Calais Bookshop offered fifty percent off its secondhand fiction all day Friday and Saturday, giving patrons the opportunity to stock up on winter reading. Urban Moose joined in the fun with storewide sales and more. At Rachel Ashley Jewelers, the store held a giveaway raffle for two $500 gift certificates to anyone who came to the store or signed up on their new website at Cassie Cox and Ezra Leavitt were the lucky winners. At the Olde Boston Shoe Store, discounts were in place for a variety of items and giveaways were held throughout the night. Waterfront Boutique joined in the fun with discounts that got larger as the night went on. The first fifty customers received a free ornament.

At the Schooner, the restaurant opted for a different approach, donating 5 percent of its sales that night to the Irene Chadbourne Ecumenical Food Pantry. The Schooner will be holding a similar event on Friday the 14th with 5 percent of all sales going to PAWS.


With more and more participants in the parade and in Moonlight Madness, downtown Calais is increasingly becoming the place to be in early December thanks to the organizers and many volunteers that helped to make it happen.