Monday, November 19, 2012

Downtown Waterville

In recent years, downtown Waterville really shown some growth and improvement. Growing up in the area, it seemed that many businesses would move in but not many would stay. These days, the area really has grown to a budding neighborhood with cute shops and tasty restaurants. Even the Waterville Opera House, which has long been a fixture in the downtown area, has recently been renovated and is better than ever.

There are a number of businesses in the area that I am fond of, but first I'd like to mention a few annual events that are worth checking out. For me, they definitely are tinged with nostalgia, but there are definitely some enjoyable events that are improving every year. First, (and since it's getting to be that time of year) is the set-up of Kringleville in Castonguay Square. Every year, the square sets up for the arrival of Santa and his helpers--and of course Santa has visiting hours so that you can make sure he gets your Christmas list right. It was always a very exciting and magical event for me as a kid, and it is always preceded by the Parade of Lights. I have not attended in recent years, but it is my fervent hope that some of the older decorations have been replaced by now. The animantronic elves and reindeer were definitely seeing some wear and tear in my childhood; I can only imagine that by now they would be downright frightening. Either way, it is a great event for children and parents alike.

Another favorite event of mine happens every August. If you are ever in the area, or feel like visiting, the Taste of Greater Waterville is really fun and worth checking out. Main Street shuts down for the day and local restaurants set up booths so that people can walk around and get a taste of everything. There's also live music and rides set up in the square. It's great to walk around and try out everything, and the event has blown up in recent years.

Hardy Girls and Foliage
On a regular day, it is fun to walk around Main Street and check out all the shops. I've always enjoyed looking at the window displays, especially at the jewelry stores ;). Many businesses have been in the area for a while, such as Jorgensen's. Jorgensen's has been serving the coffee and sandwich addicted crowd for years, and it was once one of the only coffee shops in town (besides Dunkin' Donuts). It's popular with Colby students, and it has a nice seating area perfect for sitting down with a book or some work. Recently, Selah Tea has opened down the street, and I have to say that it is giving Jorgensen's a run for their money (especially in terms of desserts. Tiramisu? Yes please!).

City Hall
For beer lovers, Mainely Brews has recently opened and they feature a number of their own brews on tap. Their trivia night and other events are fun, and it is fast becoming a popular hangout. There are several other restaurants and pubs to choose from (Cancun, You Know Whose Pub, Amici's Thai Bistro, and plenty of others!), so there is something for everyone. For you local foodies out there, The Waterville Farmer's Market is held every week in the downtown area, and Barrels Market is open 24/7, serving and selling locally grown produce and products.

Downtown Waterville
Recently, Sean and I were in the area visiting family, and we were able to get some nice shots with some great fall colors in there.

Abby and Penny

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