BY JACQUELINE WEAVER
Courtesy The Ellsworth American
Their Victorian farm-house is ablaze with lights and decorations from Santa and his sleigh on the rooftop down to Santa appearing on the front lawn in a boat with hundreds of lights in between.
Dean and a friend also decorate the iconic Sardine Man across the road at what is now Lobster Web LLC and once was the Stinson sardine cannery.
The billboard overlooks what will be the fifth annual Winter Lights Festival at the town pier, also spearheaded by Dean and Diane with the help of volunteers.
The date for this year’s festival in December has not yet been set, but it will be listed in The American’s calendar of events.
Each year more and more families bring their children to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus and to receive a free gift, book and a pair of mittens knit by Lois Crowley.
Volunteers ladle out hot bowls of chowder while children sample platters of cookies and cups of cider.
Alongside Dean and Diane’s home is their Hurdy Gurdy Man Antiques & Salty Dog Gallery, which is open through the holidays, Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
The shop stocks nautical items, ephemera, housewares, jewelry, artwork, toys and vintage clothing, among other items.
Gifts for children under $20 include sterling silver charms and other jewelry; kits for making a robot out of a soda can; shark bath buddies for the tub; stuffed bears with costumes; stuffed lobsters, whales, crabs, seagulls and foxes, and a 1957 pair of vintage 22-carat, gold-plated children’s training skates in the original box, among other gifts.
The second floor gallery features award-winning, limited edition art photography spanning three decades of Dean’s work, among them photos of foreign commercial fishing vessels harvesting in U.S. waters.