The Six Hats entertain the crowd in Dock Square on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Kennebunkport. The folks inside the hats won the grand prize for best costume in the sixth annual Hat Parade. The event was part of the Christmas Prelude, which continues this weekend in the Kennebunks. Buy Photo
Helen Olson, of South San Francisco, Calif., (left) and Janet Theurer, of Cambridge, Mass., chat before the start of the Hat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Kennebunkport. "Its a joke in the family that the Theurers come out as babies as hammerheads. My brother has to wear extra, extra, extra large bike helmet and I can only wear men's hats — so that's the idea behind our hats," explained Janet Theurer. Buy Photo
Danika Whitehouse of Kennebunk wears a lollipop hat while marching in the Hat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Kennebunkport. Whitehouse was part of a group calling themselves Ye Olde Candy Shoppe. Buy Photo
A group of friends from Massachusetts calling themselves the Lobster Chefs march in the Hat Parade. Their costumes included hats, aprons and even laminated menus. Buy Photo
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — It was hard to tell who was smiling more, the spectators crammed into Dock Square, or the participants marching by in the silly, handmade hats. There were people wearing Christmas tree hats and Christmas present hats. There were gingerbread house hats and lollipop hats.
The sixth annual Hat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 was part of the festivities at Christmas Prelude, a holiday celebration held in the Kennebunks since 1982. The ¼-mile long parade drew hundreds of spectators.
For many of the participants the parade has become part of a yearly family reunion. A member of Kennebunk’s Theurer family traveled from San Francisco to march in this year’s parade. They called themselves “The Hammerheads,” poking fun with the family’s trait for having large heads.
Gail Arseneaux and some friends from ranging Massachusetts to Florida make the parade part of an annual girls’ weekend out. This year they paraded as the “Lobster Chefs,” wearing chef’s hats and aprons while carrying trays of fake lobster and cupcakes. They even printed up laminated menus to complete their costumes.
“We’re all queens for a day,” said Arseneaux.
After the parade prizes were awarded for creativity. The grand prize went to group from Kennebunk’s Chase Hill Bakery who wore gigantic black top hats that came down to their thighs.
“The first year we didn’t have many people watching but now they’re four deep on both sides of the road,” said Sheila Matthews-Bull, a Prelude organizer. “It’s like they can’t wait to see what the parade brings this year.”