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As winter has fast approached, snow is soon to come. We’ve seen a few flurries here and there but nothing enough to keep us hibernated for the winter months. In the next few weeks,we’ll be hit with a monstrous blizzard, leaving over a foot of snow to shovel, plow, and play around with. Being a college student during the Christmas and winter season can be exhausting. From last minute final essays to finding enough money to buy a gift for your mom, everything hits you in the final days before winter break and it can be really draining, physically and mentally. During this time, taking breaks and giving yourself a mental nap is needed to function from day to day. With that being said, here are a few local events to get you away from thinking about those laborious final papers and into Maine's great outdoors!

1. Take a trip to coastal Maine and visit the Gardens Aglow Maine Lights at the Botanical Gardens. The beautiful garden turns to 665,000 lights during the winter, covering buildings as well. Not only are you there to see the extravagant lights, they also sell hot chocolate, donuts, and delicious kettle corn. Make sure to buy tickets beforehand due to the mass of crowds flowing through. You wouldn’t want to miss it!

2. Attend the Festival of Lights parade in downtown Bangor on December 7th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. This annual event is set in place for people of all ages. You’ll see many different floats including local companies and a visit from Santa at the end. The lighting of the Holiday Tree is to follow the parade. During the Christmas season, this is the perfect event to bring families and friends together for a great time.

3. Travel south a few minutes down the highway to stop by the Feztival of Trees at Anah Shrine in Bangor. This event is like no other, featuring numerous amounts of decorated trees filled with lights, gifts, and goodies donated by local companies to be auctioned to the visiting community. This event is fun for anyone looking to win a good prize!

Kaitlyn is a first-year student at the University of Maine with a major in Elementary Education, in hopes of finding a minor in the near future. She enjoys nature walks on the bog walk, geocaching with her friends, and watching horror movies all year round!
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