Newagen seaside inn

Your Complete Guide to the Boothbay Festival of Lights

Get excited for the Boothbay Festival of Lights! It’s the best holiday celebration in Midcoast Maine. During the festival, the whole town sparkles with thousands of lights and local businesses help create wonderful winter memories! We’ve compiled everything worth knowing about this unforgettable celebration.

Looking for the best place to enjoy the Boothbay Festival of Lights with loved ones? Look no further than Southport, ME. Just a 15-minute drive from Boothbay Harbor, it’s perfect for experiencing quality time with family. For more seasonal event ideas, Request access to our free Southport Vacation Guide! It will help make the most of a spectacular holiday getaway.

Your Complete Guide to the Boothbay Festival of Lights

About the Festival

Each winter, the Boothbay Festival of Lights illuminates the area with a joyous atmosphere. The whole town participates in retail and dining specials and offers a variety of activities. Whether visitors prefer to shop until they drop or gaze at creative light displays, they’ll find plenty of ways to savor the season at this delightful festival.

2017’s Boothbay Festival of Lights is November 17 through December 31. For those driving in, Boothbay Harbor features four conveniently located municipal parking lots. Free shuttles to festival events will also be available starting at 3:30 p.m. each day. Have a wonderful time exploring local shops, then hop on the shuttle to events like the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Aglow!

Where Can I Shop?

During the Boothbay Festival of Lights, numerous local boutiques offer special deals. While wandering the area, you’ll find jewelry stores like A Silver Lining, the home of the famous hand-wrought Maine Bracelet. You’ll also discover unique shops like the one at Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm. There, visitors can browse gifts made of hand-spun fleece. A local piece of art from the Down East Gallery also makes a perfect present. There are many more interesting boutiques to choose from, so be sure to check the festival’s list of participating shops.

What Events Can I Attend?

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Aglow

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Aglow is a mesmerizing display of twinkling lights. Purchase Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Aglow 2017 tickets online or at the door of the event. It’s the largest Christmas light show in Maine, but Gardens Aglow is also known for its great selection of food and entertainment. Enjoy a s’mores pit, freshly popped popcorn, and The Kitchen Garden Cafe, an on-site restaurant serving cocktails and appetizers.

The Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees is a silent auction of more than 60 decorated Christmas trees. Profits from certain themed trees benefit local charities. There is also a raffle drawing for gift items to make holiday shopping a little easier! Admission and parking are free for this occasion.

The Dough Ball and Gingerbread Spectacular

In this annual display of gingerbread houses at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, professional bakers and grade school builders come together to compete for awards like “Most Ingredients Used” and “Best Holiday Spirit.” The creations are shown starting December 15 at the Dough Ball Preview Party from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visitors can view these creative confections throughout the weekend between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The 32nd Annual Harbor Lights Festival

2017 brings the 32nd Annual Harbor Lights Festival, a nautical celebration that lights up the night. Highlights include appearances by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, carriage rides, and a tree lighting. The evening concludes with a festive boat parade in which local captains show off their decorated hulls. This year, the event takes place on December 2.

Cozy Up at The Russell House Bed & Breakfast

After getting in the holiday spirit during the Boothbay Festival of Lights, come back to comfort at our beautiful sister property, The Russell House Bed & Breakfast! Since we close for the season starting October 15, The Russell House Bed & Breakfast is the next best choice! This gorgeous bed & breakfast is just five minutes away from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and some of their spacious guest rooms and common rooms feature fireplaces perfect for warming guests after a chilly night on the town.


Before booking your stay, be sure to take advantage of The Russell House’s Gardens Aglow Package. You’ll receive 2 tickets for the festive event, lodging, and a free home-cooked breakfast each morning of your stay!

Ready for the best holiday season yet? Check The Russell House’s availability today and start looking forward to a wonderful winter trip.

Font Resize