By Howaida Sorour-Roberts
It’s magical anyway you look at it, but this year Christmas in Merrickville promises to be even more bewitching than usual. The volunteer driven, day-long celebration will be held this year on Saturday, Dec.3.
As always the event will kick-off at 8:30 a.m. with a hearty breakfast with Santa, at the legion on Main Street.
“The legion members do a wonderful job and it’s probably one of the most popular events of the day,” said Mark Scullino, chair of Christmas in Merrickville.
From there, it just keeps getting better. The usual cookie walk and weigh will be back, as will the silent auction and wagon rides. Children’s activities and face painting starts at 9:00 a.m., and the ever popular Dr. FourFace Extravaganza will back to entertain children of all ages at 2:00 p.m.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. and pictures with Santa will start at 1:00 p.m. Lawrence Street will be closed right after the parade and fire barrels will start to appear, with cider, hot chocolate and snack at various locations. And don’t forget to come out and cheer at the broomball match between council and the firefighters at 2:15 p.m.
Of course this year there are a number of new additions to the line up of things to do and see.
“The United Church at the corner of Main and St. Lawrence Streets will have a Vendor Market, which is new this year and it runs from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and Christmas with Elvis at the Sidecar Café is also new this year,” said Scullino.
Elvis will be performing three shows starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Sidecar Café’ off Main Street.
Meanwhile on St. Lawrence Street, Rob Barclay will be tickling his saxophone and entertaining the walkers and shoppers.
“I’m going to be playing a wide range of music from 20s, 30s and 40s slower tempo Jazz – something to stroll and saunter to and enjoy,” said Barclay, musician and Kemptville resident.
The ever-popular chili tent has moved from the post office to the sidewalk in front of Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shops. “The chilli contest used to be a contest for restaurants but this year we’ve put a shout out to the village and are opening up the contest to more individuals, but we’ve moved it because we wanted a larger space for Diego the Magician. He’ll now be performing in front of the post office,” said Scullino.
The Magic of Diego show, has been a staple of CIM for the past four or five years. Recently voted the Nation’s Capital Best Illusionist, it takes on a busker style outdoor illusionist show for this event.
“The show is very, very interactive and family oriented for the 3 to 303 year-olds!” said Diego, weekend magician and police officer during the week.
Scullino says the organizers are also planning to light up all the parks in the village. Both the Cenotaph Park and Block House Park will be beautifully lit this year with laser lights that will give a kaleidoscope effect in those areas.
Also new this year are glassblowing demonstrations at Gray Art Glass with Michael Gray.
“The horse drawn wagons will pass by Michael’s facility so people can take a peek, as they drive by, but check their website for demonstration times too,” said Scullino.
There’s a shopping spree to be won, and a Spirit Award will be given for the best Christmas hat or outfit. All the stores will remain open late into the evening and there will be carolers wandering throughout the day as well.
The event is also a fundraiser for the Lions Club Hampers and Build a Mountain of Food.
“We depend on donations and sponsors and give the proceeds of the event back to the village,” said Scullino.
For more information about Christmas in Merrickville and a complete schedule of events, visit christmasinmerrickville.ca.