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Stonington – Celebrate the season with your community and a fun-filled day of holiday hoopla. The holidays are upon us and Stonington is getting ready to deck the halls. On the weekend of December 9-10, the town will be coming together to celebrate the season with the second annual Holiday Hoopla!, two days of events for the whole family, hosted by a number of organizations and nonprofits across the island.
“It does the heart good to come together as a community to celebrate the holiday,” says Jeannie Hatch, the Island Community Center’s director. Annie Taylor Gray, Executive Director of the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce adds, “If it’s HOOPLA you want, come and join your neighbors, family and friends in all the festive celebrations that are bound to put you in the holiday spirit!”
On Saturday, December 9 at 11am, the weekend will kick off at the Stonington Opera House Lobby with a Pop-Up Market in the lobby featuring local vendors. Also available will be an array of Opera House Arts items, including gift certificates and apparel. While parents browse through the market, little ones can enjoy a host of family activities in the theatre, including story-telling and pictures with Santa. There will also be a station for making animal-friendly ornaments to be used at Sunday’s outdoor tree lighting. Edible Island and the Island Community Center will have special tables set up for little ones to make crafts and special holiday-themed snacks.
Celebrants can pop across the street to the Odd Fellows Hall from 10am-2pm for a lunch served by the Rebekahs. Lunch will be $8, and will consist of soup, sandwich, drink, biscuit and dessert. All proceeds from the lunches will be used buy presents and food for a needy family for Christmas.
At 2pm, Opera House Arts presents a special Live! For $5 performance: actor Neil McGarry’s stunning one-man performance of A Christmas Carol. Using only Charles Dickens’ original text, McGarry delivers a riveting performance of the classic holiday story, portraying each and every character with full engagement and, somehow, making you believe you’re watching a full company of players. Fully staged, complete with dancing, this one-man tour de force has left critics and audiences of all ages laughing and crying with joy!
This is the first time the Opera House is extending the Live! For $5 performance series into the winter months. Underwritten by the W.F. Whitman Family Foundation in Memory of Maia Aprahamian, the series provides live performance suitable for the whole family at only $5 per ticket – and as always, island students can attend for free!
The fun will continue on Sunday, December 10 at the Stonington Library at 4pm on with a story reading of a nautical Christmas story, followed by caroling and a magical outdoor tree lighting on Hagen Dock. Leading the community in song will be the cast of the Reach Performing Arts Center’s production of A Christmas Carol (which will perform on December 13, 14 & 15 at the Reach). At 5pm, families are invited back to the Stonington Public Library for a Candy Cane Social, with cookies and cocoa, sponsored by Healthy Island Project and a grant from AARP of Maine.
“For a few years, we’ve had requests for downtown a tree lighting, but until we completed the renovations on Hagen Dock, we really didn’t have a good place to do it,” says Kathleen Billings, Stonington’s Town Manager. “I made sure as part of the process that we had a special place by the dock in the green space to have the tree lighting our residents had asked for. It will be great to have the first tree lighting for the kids!”
This event is created in partnership with the Island Community Center, the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce, Deer Isle-Stonington schools, Edible Island, Healthy Island Project, Opera House Arts, the Reach Performing Arts Center, the Rebekahs of Maine Stonington Chapter, the Stonington Public Library and the Town of Stonington.
For more information on Stonington’s Holiday Hoopla please email [email protected], visit, or call 207-367-2788.
Schedule of Events:

10am-2pm: Special Lunch menu provided by Rebekahs (Odd Fellows Hall)

11am-1:30pm: Holiday Pop-Up Market, pictures with Santa, story-telling and ornament and snack making (Stonington Opera House)

2:00pm: LIVE! for $5 performance of A CHRISTMAS CAROL


4:00pm: Holiday Story-telling (Stonington Public Library)

4:30pm: Town Tree Lighting with Caroling (Hagen Dock)

5:00pm: Candy Cane Social (Stonington Public Library)

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