Started as a way to social distance but still enjoy a holiday lights adventure, the "Stillwater River Trail" Holiday Lights Display will open for its 4th year on Friday, December 1st, and organizers are saying this year it's bigger and better than ever!

Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display5, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display5, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
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Located near Brown's Beach off of Bennoch Rd in Orono (if you put in 92 Bennoch Rd it will take you to where you need to go) this particular light display is a fun way to check out some fabulous lights on foot. It's especially great if you have kids who like to get out of the car every once in a while to stretch their legs.

Holiday Lights 4, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
Holiday Lights 4, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
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The sponsors of the trail this year include Sunrise Glass, the University Credit Union, Next Home Experience, and JPRoberts Plumbing and Heating, just to name a few.  And they've all been working for many months to get things set for this weekend's opening.

Holiday Lights 3, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
Holiday Lights 3, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
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According to the Stillwater River Trail Facebook Page, it's through the help of many dedicated volunteers that this display takes shape each year.

Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display1, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display1, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
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"A lot of work goes into the light display and it is located on private property. Please be respectful of the displays and trail. We appreciate the enthusiasm about the displays but must tell you that they cannot hold the weight of your child, no matter how cute or tempting it may seem to try."
Holiday Lights 1, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
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Having been through this display each year since it started, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your visit.
First, you'll want to try to park down at Browns Beach.
There is extra parking down at the water district, but that can be a bit of a walk, and a dark one, at that.
Holiday Lights 2, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
Holiday Lights 2, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library #42955
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This brings me to my second tip: Bring a flashlight or two.
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display3, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display3, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
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 While the display itself is nice and bright, the walk from the parking lot to the display can be a bit on the dim side.
Third tip: Wear layers and boots!
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display 6, Cori Skall
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display 6, Cori Skall
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I think the organizers said it best when they wrote:
"This is an outdoor nature walk. There WILL be mud, ice, and uneven ground. Dress warm and wear winter boots. We know you want to look cute in your designer booties but it’s a bad idea, Karen. And we don’t want to hear it when they get ruined. "
Fourth tip: give other walkers with animals some space.
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display2, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display2, Stillwater River Trail Little Free Library
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Organizers say dogs and cats are welcome, but to make sure you have your furry friends on a leash, and to clean up after them.
Fifth and final tip: Take lots of pictures!
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display 7, Cori Skall
Stillwater River Trail Holiday Lights Display 7, Cori Skall
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Speaking from experience, this is a particularly cool little trail that provides plenty of stops along the way for great holiday photos. Who knows, you might catch everyone with a smile on their face, and find a Christmas Card-worthy shot at this particular spot.
In fact, there have been plenty of proposals along the trail, through the years, too.
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Once the lights are officially lit, they will run each night throughout December.
The hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday 4 PM till 9 PM and Fridays & Saturdays 4 PM till 11 PM.
And don't forget to enter your holiday lights display into our "Light Up Eastern & Central Maine" contest for a chance at $500. Click here to find out more!

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