It’s no secret that there’s something special about the Town of Mississippi Mills, which includes the town of Almonte, the village of Pakenham, the former Township of Ramsay as well as the hamlets of Appleton, Clayton and Blakeney — and Christmastime is no exception.
The holiday season begins with A Pakenham Country Christmas on Nov. 25, and doesn’t stop until the jolly man himself comes shimmying down the chimney Christmas Eve.
Saturday, Nov. 25 – A Pakenham Country Christmas – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The village of Pakenham is transformed into a veritable winter wonderland during their annual Christmas kick-off. Escape to the county to experience the true meaning of Christmas and community spirit. Don’t miss the holiday craft fair at Pakenham Public School, kids can write their letters to Santa while you shop. The day wraps up with the official tree lighting on the historic five span bridge at 5 p.m.
Friday, December 1 – Light Up the Night 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Nothing says Christmas in the Valley like Almonte’s annual Light Up the Night event. This year this iconic event is celebrating 26 years! A holiday cheer-filled evening of fantastic musical entertainment, late night shopping, fireworks, hot chocolate on twinkle-lit street and, of course, the much-anticipated arrival of Santa Claus is truly a heart warming holiday experience to behold.
Wayne Rostad is back as host and the show will feature Country Recording Artist Kelli Trottier, Ottawa Valley Singer/songwriter – Neville Wells, Local Favourite – Johnny Spinks, The Christmas in the Valley Singers (Dave Poulin, Robin Moir and Braiden Turner), Singer/Songwriter/Comedian – Dai Bassett, The Cedar Hill Sunday School Choir & The Almonte Academy of Dance: Snow Queen and Twinkle Fairies. And we can’t forget Santa Claus!
The festivities begin Friday at 7 p.m. on Mill Street in Almonte and wrap up with the light up ceremony – a spectacular firework display high above the Mississippi River falls.
You an get a limited edition Light-Up the Night toque for $15 at Levi’s Home Hardware, Kentfield Kids, or Brenda’s New to You while supplies last.
More information about Light Up the Night is available at www.lightupthenightalmonte.com.
Saturday & Sunday, December 2 & 3 – Santa Claus Parades
As always, Mississippi Mills is keeping Santa particularly busy with two local appearances this year. On Saturday, Dec. 2, he’ll be in Pakenham for a ‘Christmas Sweets and Treats’ themed parade and festivities. The parade gets underway at 1 p.m. and winds up at the Stewart Community Centre at 112 MacFarlane Street. During the parade, the Pakenham Civitan Club will be accepting donations of food or money to the Lanark County Food Bank.
Parade participants are asked to register by 12:30. After the parade, free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served compliments of Kelly’s Canteen in the community centre, where the kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy a free skate.
On Sunday, Dec. 3, Almontonians will wait until nightfall for Santa’s arrival on Mill Street. Recently Almonte is shifted their parade start time to early evening with a start time of 5 p.m. which allows for a beautiful demonstration of Christmas cheer with brightly lit floats making it an unforgettable evening holiday event.
Like Pakenham, this year’s theme is ‘Canadian Christmas Past and Present,’ and local businesses, churches, sports and community groups are encouraged to call and register so they can add their light to this what could be Almonte’s longest parade yet.
The 2nd Almonte Cubs, Scouts and Venturers will be collecting food along the parade route in support of the Lions Christmas Food Basket campaign. After the parade, the Almonte Lions Club will sponsor its annual “warm up” with hot dogs, hot chocolate and free public skating at the Almonte Community Centre. Both the Almonte Civitan Club and Lions Club are ready with awards to recognize the best use of theme, best music, best walking and the best overall float.
For more information about the parades contact the Town of Mississippi Mills Recreation and Culture Department at 613-256-1077.