The annual Presque Isle Holiday Light Parade will kick off the County holiday season with tons of family friendly activities and a special tree lighting ceremony.

Thousands of people will make their way to Presque Isle for the traditional holiday parade, but this year, sponsors of the event have a special surprise. For years the Christmas tree has been located on the A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital campus or outside the MPG Farm Store on Parson Street.

However, this year, in honor of the Aroostook Medical Center Centennial, the tree will be lit on Main street by a very special guest. Cancer survivor, Hadley McLean, 9, will have the honor to ride on a tractor provided by MPG and flip the switch to the Christmas lights on the tree.

McLean, touched the hearts of many when she survived brain cancer and chose to turn in her birthday party into a community event to raise money for other children fighting the disease. Since beating the disease McLean has been named Miss Maine Princess.

The 20 foot tree with hundreds of lights on it will represent survivors, family and friends of survivors, caregivers, and others who have been touched by cancer in some way.

‘The Holiday Light Parade is an activity that folks from all over look forward to each year,’ said Theresa Fowler, executive director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce. ‘Adding to it with a community tree lighting ceremony will not only enhance the parade, but will provide a festive feel for the community after the event is over and through the remainder of the Holiday season.’

The 2012 Presque Isle Holiday Light Parade on December 1 begins at 7:00 p.m. on Main Street, Presque Isle.  The parade begins at the intersection of North Street and Main Street and travels south through downtown to the University of Maine at Presque Isle.