Party for Downeast Horizons Offers Lots of Smiles, Christmas Spirit 

’Tis the season for Christmas parties.And a special one in Bar Harbor Thursday generated lots of laughs and smiles. It’s pretty easy to tell why everyone’s gathered at the MDI Center in Bar Harbor. But just in case you’re wondering, Linda Mathis will fill you in.”A Christmas party!!! To have fun – like having gifts, giving to each other and family and friends.”The Downeast Horizons program hosted this yearly get-together for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Brian Bailey – a graduate of the program – says he wouldn’t miss it. “Downeast Horizons is a good group with kids with disabilities and it’s wonderful to see their faces.”Executive Director Tony Zambrano says, “Many of the people you’ll see today may not have a Christmas such as you and I might have and it’s really wonderful to be able to give this to them.”About 100 peopled packed the party, with many waiting to see one guy. As David Frey says, “He’s chubby, he’s got a big white beard and he’s dressed all in red. He’s even got red boots. And listen for jingle bells – that’s very important.”Santa Claus says he’s glad his trip around the world brings him here, too. “They don’t ask for a lot. I gotta deliver this present to somebody’s house in a minute and that’s all they want is a hug and a present and to be treated like every body else in the community. So it’s an incredible event for the them.”One that Zambrano says wouldn’t be possible without donations from the community, to make sure everyone walks away with a present in hand and the christmas spirit in their heart. “To them it’s priceless. To another individual it may not seem like a lot but just to give them that opportunity to get an unconditional gift from somebody is so special.”Most of the guests at the party were adults in the Downeast Horizons program.The kids got to meet Santa at a party of their own a day earlier.