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The WLU Christmas open house and fair

The Women’s Literary Union Christmas Open House and Fair will be December 6, 7, and 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. each night. Admission is $2. Bring your camera on Saturday, December 7 to take photos with Santa from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Woman’s Literary Union has decorated the first floor of the historic Foss Mansion at 19 Elm Street in Auburn for a Christmas Open House and Fair. For sale will be gift baskets, holiday items and more. The grand staircase is decorated for the holidays offering an opportunity for your Christmas photos.

The festive holiday decor blends beautifully with the mansion’s architectural splendor. Built between 1914 and 1917 for Horatio G. and Ella May Fletcher Foss. The distinctive mansion is a landmark of the Historic Downtown Auburn District and was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1976.

The Woman’s Literary Union of Androscoggin County is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. For more information check womansliteraryunion.org or call Kathy Lawrence at 795-6134 or email at kmlawrence@aol.com

Chocolate Church Arts Center presents A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol

 The Chocolate Church Arts Center turns the holiday spotlight on family entertainment with a theater production of A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol. The cast of adults and children from Bath, Brunswick, and beyond will perform the show on December 12 to 14 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol takes on a new twist in this charming production, as the classic tale is told by beloved fairy tale characters – the big bad wolf takes on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, King Midas adopts Jacob Marley, and the show features appearances from the three little pigs, Mother Goose, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and more.

A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol will be directed by Michael Millett of Topsham, who recently appeared as the endearing King Pellinore in the Chocolate Church Arts Center’s fall production of Camelot. Billy Rankis of Brunswick takes on the simultaneous role of the big bad wolf and Ebenezer Scrooge, and Mother Goose will be played by Bath’s Deborah Patterson. Other cast members include Keith Libby, Carolyn Frederick, Charles McDonald, Jodi Rodriguez, and Shirley Bernier. 

A holiday theater production has become a tradition at the Chocolate Church Arts Center, and A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol is ideal for family members of all ages to soak in the festive spirit. Tickets for the show at the Chocolate Church Arts Center, located at 804 Washington Street, are available at www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling the box office at (207) 442-8455.

Maine Music Society Chorale ready for Holiday concert

Maine Music Society Chorale

On December 14 and 15 at 3p.m., the MMS Chorale will present its annual Heritage Holidaysconcert featuringthe exquisite Christmas cantata Hodieby Ralph Vaughan Williams at Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston.   Come immerse yourself in this moving musical rendition of the familiar Christmas story composed by one of the most beloved British composers.  Our featured soloists for Hodie will send shivers down your spine and the chorale will have you wanting to shout Allelulia.  Sopranos Becky Goodenough, Laura Grams and Torey Gimpel, Tenor Brian Pfohl, and Baritone Carl Steidel are superb in their storytelling roles. 

In addition, the Chorale will perform seasonal Chanukah songs and Christmas carols selected to put you in the true holiday spirit.  Keeping with tradition, the concert will end with everyone joining in to sing a round of beloved Christmas carols.  

Celebratingthe holiday seasonwith the Maine Music Society Chorale has become a beloved tradition in the L/A area, and you won’t want to miss this highlight of the concert season. There’ll be music for everyone. Come usher in your holiday joy with this extraordinary seasonal event! 

For a preview of what’s in store, listen in to John Corrie and Susan Trask on Maine’s Big Z 105.5’s Breakfast Club on Tuesday, December 3, at 8:00 a.m.

For more information visit our website at www.mainemusicsociety.org or like us on Face book!  You can also call our business office, SmART Management, at 207-333-3386.  

Sponsors are Gleason Media, Maple Way Dental Care, Platz Associates, Paris Farmers Union and Liberty Mutual.

Ticket Information: Reserved Seating: Adult: $22; Senior: $20; Student: $10; under 12: Free*. *When accompanied by an adult. Plus a $2 handling fee per ticket. Group discount: 20% off price before handling fee for 10 or more tickets to the same performance.

Dirigo FCU donates $24,272 to help end hunger in Maine Communities

Pictured l to r: The Dirigo FCU management team presented checks to local agencies on November 18, 2019.  Pictured Left to Right (front): Mark Samson, Ray Michaud, Nicole Mailhot, Betsy Sawyer-Manter, Kayden Boilard, Erin Reed, Jamie Caouette, Pam August, Linda Hooker, Kevin Joler. (back): Chris Bouchard, Irene Richard, Chris Bicknell, Jennifer Putnam, Janice Daku, Sandy Swett, Laura Vincent, Joel Furrow, Ethan Minton.

Dirigo Federal Credit Union partnered with the Maine Credit Union League’s Campaign for Ending Hunger and donated $24,272 for the 2019 Campaign.  All money raised from the was distributed to hunger organizations and food pantries located in Androscoggin & Oxford Counties on November 18, 2019 when leaders from the local organizations were invited to the Credit Union to receive donations.  Checks were given to twenty local agencies including Rural Community Action Ministry, Trinity Jubilee Center, St. Martin de Porres, St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Poland Community Church Food Bank, Oxford Helping Hands Food Pantry, Hope Haven, New Beginnings, The Root Cellar, Mannafed, Seniors Plus, Kaydenz Kitchen Food Pantry, The Store Next Door, Harrison Food Bank, and The Good Shepard Food Bank.

Governor’s Address: Maine is ready to lead

While my home remains in Farmington, Maine, as Governor it is my honor and privilege to reside at the Blaine House–as governors before me have done since 1919.

The Blaine House is a living tribute to our state. It is owned by the people of Maine and it is faithfully maintained and has been modernized by stewards for generations.

For more than 100 years the Blaine House has welcomed world leaders in search of guidance, including President John F. Kennedy, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, William Tecumseh Sherman, Margaret Chase Smith, Andrew Wyeth, Amelia Earhart, and even heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey.

Well this week we honored that legacy and took another step towards leadership by unveiling 61 new solar panels on the Blaine House garage and the grounds- leading the way towards a clean energy future for Maine.

The solar panels, installed by Maine company Revision Energy, will supply 26,000 kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable electricity–enough to cover at least 25 percent of the Blaine House’s electrical needs. These panels are expected to eliminate large amounts of carbon pollution each year, about the equivalent of not burning 43 barrels of oil. 43 barrels of oil is a lot. When I talk about Maine people sending $5 billion out-of-state every year to pay for fossil fuel, that is exactly what I am talking about.

Whether it is heating the Blaine House or heating your house, filling up a state-owned car or your car, the big, out-of-state fossil fuel companies have too tight a grip on Maine people. They’re always forcing us to dig deeper, to buy oil or gas that harms our pocketbooks, our health, our air and our environment. Enough is enough.

So, while these panels will have a substantial impact on the efficiency of the Blaine House, we view them as only a start for state government. Maine is ready to lead. That’s why I also signed an Executive Order this week directing Maine State Government to lead by example in pursuing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability.

It only makes sense that, as one of the largest consumers in Maine, our state government should be a role model in reducing energy use, embracing sources of renewables, curbing carbon pollution and recycling and reducing solid waste – all of which will lower operating costs at the same time.

This Executive Order directs state agencies to meet or exceed the state’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. The goals for our state as a whole should also be goals for state government, and we will do our part to meet them.

First and foremost, we will prioritize energy efficiency whenever we upgrade state buildings.

We will pursue renewable energy generation and energy storage on state property whenever possible, and if not possible, we will purchase our energy from low-carbon sources.

We will add more electric vehicles when replacing old vehicles in the state fleet and we’ll install more electric vehicle charging stations at public facilities so that employees can charge their cars while they work. We will conserve energy and water and minimize waste and packaging. We will lead by example on the path to a cleaner, greener future and create green-collar jobs at the same time.

Now, not every person in Maine needs to install 61 solar panels to make a difference. I ask you to think about small, affordable changes you can make – from changing lightbulbs, tightening up doors and windows, insulating your basement or attic – keeping more money in your pocket and protecting our environment at the same time.

As this residence greeted leaders of the past, now the Blaine House greets a new generation of leaders in a manner that strengthens our economy, and protects the irreplaceable and beautiful state and natural resources which we share and care for.

CLT presents ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

Dan Burgess, who plays Schroeder, holds Woodstock while Brock Rancourt, who plays Snoopy, looks on at right. At left is Becca Tinkham who plays Patty. ’A Charlie Brown Christmas’ opens at CLT on December 6.

The L-A Community Little Theatre (CLT) will present the timeless classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” live on stage on December 6 through 8. 

 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” includes the whole Peanuts gang as they try to produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of Christmas. This live stage adaptation of the animated classic is set to the original special’s dialogue as well as the famous Vince Guaraldi musical score. 

The CLT cast of A Charlie Brown Christmas includes Michael Litchfield as Charlie Brown, Ashleigh St. Pierre as Lucy, John Guy as Linus, Brock Rancourt as Snoopy, Chris Hodgkin as Pig Pen, Eileen Messina as Frieda, Dan Burgess as Schroeder, Renee Mahon Davis as Violet, Carly Georgen as Sally, Becca Tinkham as Patty, and John Blanchette as Shermy. 

After each performance CLT will host a reception with light refreshments, a sing along, photo opportunities with the cast, a special “times 10” raffle, and two very special guests!  

The theatre will present “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings, December 6 and 7, and on Sunday December 8 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online at https://www.laclt.com/. Call 783-0958 for more information. All shows are held at the Great Falls Performing Arts Center at 30 Academy Street in Auburn. 

Maine-ly Harmony “Christmas Remembered” performance

Maine-ly Harmony chorus members with director Kathy Greason centered, provided by the chorus.

Maine-ly Harmony will celebrate the season with “Christmas Remembered”, featuring upbeat holiday songs and beloved carols at the Emmanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church, 209 Eastern Avenue, Augusta, on Sunday, December 1, at 2 p.m. All are welcome to this free-will offering performance, followed by refreshments and friendship!

Also performing are three diverse quartets and a mixed ensemble composed of chorus members and singers from the men’s Nor’easter Barbershop Chorus.

Maine-ly Harmony is an a cappella women’s chorus, directed by Kathy Greason, that holds rehearsals at the church on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Members, young and old, who hail from several Maine counties, sing the barbershop style of four-part harmony for diverse audiences in communities statewide, including our esteemed veterans at Togus.

For more information about “Christmas Remembered”, as well as other upcoming performances, or information about becoming a member of Maine-ly Harmony, call Nancie at 293-4779, email her at hugabook4@yahoo.com, or visit the chorus Facebook page and website at maine-lyharmony.org.

Virtuoso Guitarist Frank Vignola to play at Chocolate Church Arts Center

Picture l to r: Vinny Raniolo and Frank Vignola.

The Chocolate Church Arts Center, at 804 Washington Street in Bath, will present an eclectic holiday-themed show with world-renowned guitarist Frank Vignola and special guests on Friday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Vignola, deemed “one of the brightest stars of the guitar” by The New York Times, has been the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists” list for the Wall Street Journal. 

The genre-spanning Vignola will perform everything from traditional holiday tunes, to guitar music by everyone from Beethoven, to Paul Simon, to Frank Zappa. He will be joined by a trio of world-class musicians, including fellow guitar giant Vinny Raniolo, who is one of the world’s most in-demand rhythm guitarists. The group will also feature acclaimed bassist Gary Mazzaroppi, who has played with everyone from jazz legends like Stan Getz and Buddy Rich to contemporary artists like Alicia Keyes and Willie Nelson. Jazz vocalist Audra Mariel, known for her unique sound and sincere interpretations of timeless standards, will round out the group as a very special guest singer. 

Frank Vignola has played over 1,000 shows in the past five years alone and is one of the most popular and sought-after guitarists on the international music scene. His dynamic music has brought him to 14 countries on three continents, and has allowed him to perform in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy. The concert on December 6 at the Chocolate Church Arts Center will be an opportunity to see this virtuosic player and his group of acclaimed musicians in a unique, intimate setting, and will be ideal for fans of all kinds of music from holiday classics, to jazz, pop, and classical.

Tickets for Frank Vignola at the Chocolate Church Arts Center are $25 in advance or $28 at the door, and are available for purchase at www.chocolatechurcharts.org, or by calling the box office at 207-442-8455. 

Merrymaking at the Mill to feature holiday village

The opening reception of the detailed holiday village will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Museum L-A, 35 Canal St., Lewiston. Other festive activities and the museum’s gift shop will add to the Merrymaking at the Mill event.  (Mary LaFontaine photo)

Museum L-A will display Mary and Richard LaFontaine’s
500-unit holiday village through the month of December with an opening
reception, Merrymaking at the Mill, from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December
4, in the museum’s gallery. A $5 per person donation is suggested.
“This is truly a unique event, as in prior years the village was seen
only by family and friends. What a treat for all Museum L-A visitors
to have the opportunity to enjoy this spectacular holiday display,”
said Camden Martin, guest services coordinator.

Light refreshments, make your own holiday greeting cards and the
ambiance of the season will add to the festive spirit.

Additionally, visitors can take advantage of the museum’s unique gift
shop, so bring your shopping list. This year, the museum will be
offering a one-of-a-kind holiday ornament for sale.

These are also the final days of the “Footwear: From Function to
Fashion” shoe exhibit that has been so well received and was recently
featured on a segment of News Center Maine’s 207 show.

For more information about Museum L-A and its events and exhibits,
visit www.museumla.org or call 207-333-3881. The museum is located at
35 Canal Street in Lewiston.

Raildroad Club to sponsor ExTRAINaganza

The Great Falls Model Railroad Club of Auburn will hold its annual holiday season “ExTRAINaganza,” a unique four-day family fun event with special activities for children, at 144 Mill Street in Auburn on the weekends before and after Thanksgiving. The handicapped-accessible club house, across from the Barker Mill, will be decorated for Christmas with trains of various sizes operating on five permanent layouts throughout the two-story building.  The ExTRAINaganza will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 23; Sunday, November 24; Friday, November 29; and Saturday, November 30.

Long trains running on multiple tracks and through the tunnels of the large G-gauge layout greet visitors as they enter the building.  The interactive ski slope is a special feature of the attractive winter scene. In the main room, guests will see brightly decorated Christmas trees, railroad games, and craft tables.  Around the corner, young children can enjoy Thomas the Tank Engine on a separate layout in the G-gauge room, with other engines from the Thomas series running on the upper trestle.  Adults and children will discover that the G-gauge layout has many unique features that were hidden from the entrance. In the next room interesting details have been added to the club’s permanent layout for the smaller n-scale.  Trains will also be operating on the new Lionel layout, which is still under construction in the hallway.

Older children can sign up to be “Guest Engineers” and operate one of the trains on the club’s extensive HO layout downstairs.  Long-time residents of the area will recognize Bates Mill #5 and many of the 1950’s scenes reproduced in the Lewiston Lower section of the HO layout. 

Children will enjoy decorating and eating gingerbread boys and girls, creating Christmas ornaments to take home, and playing the special railroad games designed by the club.  The younger children always have fun with the Brio set and age-appropriate trains in the children’s play area.  While watching these activities, parents can enjoy light refreshments from conveniently located tables and chairs in the craft area.  TRAIN TIME videos, produced by the Great Falls Model Railroad Club and seen on many local cable channels, will be shown continuously each day and are available for sale.

Tickets for decorating cookies, making ornaments, and playing games with prizes are $1 a piece or 7 for $5.  Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more details and photos of the ExTRAINaganza in previous years, see www.greatfallsmodelrrclub.org


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