Christmas in Alexandria this year may be as merry as ever, but it won’t be as bright. The Festival of Lights, a tradition in the community, will not take place this year.
The Festival was founded by Ron Aubin, the owner of Alexandria’s Home Hardware, who in 2006 recruited the aid of other businesses and friends to create 22 light structures in Island Park. Since then, the Festival has grown and thrived, becoming an enterprise which cost $25,000 to $30,000 to mount, supported by $5,000 from the Municipality of North Glengarry, which also contributed access to Island Park.
Each year, a committee involving local businesses was formed to plan and execute the Festival of Lights. But in the spring of this year, the committee dissolved and no volunteers came forward to take their place.
According to one committee member who asked not to be named, ‘an incident’ occurred in the spring.
Although the festival has been cancelled for this year, founder Ron Aubin says the festival could be revived next year or in the future, if someone was willing to take on the responsibility.
Light in other places
But even without the Festival of Lights, there are plenty of other holiday activities taking place in North Glengarry this year. Maxville led the way with a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and a Gingerbread House Contest taking place at King George Park, on Saturday, November 17. The Maxville Santa Claus Parade was held on Sunday November 18.
On Friday November 30, there will be a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at Mill Square in Alexandria, an event that includes free wagon rides from Chartrand’s Independent Grocer to Mill Square and back, starting at 6:30 pm. And of course, Santa will be on hand in Mill Square to greet the children.
New this year, the Township of North Glengarry will host Fireworks in the Park, on Sunday December 2, following the Alexandria Lions Club Christmas Parade, which will leave the Glengarry Sports Palace at approximately 6 pm, heading down Main Street in Alexandria.
Shop and celebrate locally
Christmas isn’t Christmas without presents. If you are looking for a unique, hand-crafted gift, head to the Maxville Christmas Market and Craft Show at the Maxville and District Sports Complex on Saturday December 15, between 10 am and 4 pm.
Another tradition in the area is Santa’s Village in Dalkeith, which will be open every weekend between December 1 and Christmas, from 10 am to 4 pm, where children can pet the deer, goats and ponies, while the adults find the perfect Christmas tree. The Glengarry Evergreen Farm in Alexandria will be open on December 1, for visits and photos with Santa and a chance to pick out a tree and hand-crafted decorations.
For a complete list of North Glengarry community events, visit the event calendar at www.northglengarry.ca.
Her short fiction has been published in many Canadian literary magazines.Numerous humorous and non-fiction articles have been published in the Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and Toronto Star. She has also published two local histories and is the former Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Ryerson University.