Mattawa’s Christmas festivities begin this week, and include the Light up Your Community Initiative, a parade, and a Christmas market.
Chelsey Grant, Mattawa’s communications coordinator, explained the Light up Your Community initiative is the municipality’s way to encourage residents to add some festive cheer to their homes with a string of lights or two.
This year marks the second time the event has taken place, and Grant encourages residents of Calvin, Papineau Cameron Township, and of course, Mattawa, to participate.
The intention is to boost holiday spirit by “lighting up the community,” and residents are asked to do so before December 4, which is the day of the parade.
The Firefighter’s Annual Parade of Lights takes place this Saturday at 6 p.m., with “a new route this year, which is pretty exciting,” Grant noted.
She mentioned there is a “tradition of starting the parade in front of the nursing home,” which will continue, as many residents “want to see and enjoy the parade,” so it is nice when the parade comes to them.
“We’re going line up the parade at the senior’s home and begin from there.”
From there, the parade will go up to Pine Street, to the highway, “go around the round about” then come down Main Street up the valley and “we’re going to end at Town Hall this year.”
“We’ll have hot chocolate” at Town Hall and “we’re going to have a tree lighting” ceremony to top things off, Grant explained.
Santa will also be at Town Hall, so people can meet with him after his parade ride.
Grant explained that with Covid precautions, kids won’t be able to sit on Santa's knee as social distancing is a must. However, parents can take photos of their children standing near Saint Nick.
There will be music, and “I’m hoping to find some carollers if I can,” Grant said, adding she plans to reach out to local churches to see if there are any choirs who may want to volunteer.
A Christmas Market is scheduled for Sunday, December 12, upstairs at the Mike Rodden Arena from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Grant has been securing some “different vendors” this year, including Oley’s Armoury, which is bringing a selection “of sights and gun slings and things like that.”
“New Ontario Brewery is also coming,” she said, adding that the new vendors will spice up the proceedings.
“So, it’s going to be a cool Christmas market, and not just all the usual stuff” one associates with Christmas markets.
“We’ll still have that,” traditional fare, “but it will be more exciting I think,” this time around, Grant noted.
Anyone who would like to join the parade by entering a float or marching a band, reach out to Chelsey Grant at 705-744-0222 to register.
Grant mentioned organizations are welcome, and so are classic cars, tractors, horses, or anything else that can move along the parade route to add to the community’s holiday cheer.
For more information, as well as a complete parade route map, visit the Town of Mattawa’s recreation website.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca