Two pre-Christmas events in Vankleek Hill will not look the same as usual, but Excellent Events has plans to host the Vankleek Hill Christmas Craft Fair and the Parade of Lights in new ways.
The 2020 Christmas Craft Fair will take place over six weekends — the 2020 event will take place each weekend in November and during the first two weekends in December, according to Samme Putzel, speaking on behalf of Excellent Events, which organizes these two annual events.
Vendors at the Christmas Craft Fair will be installed at two venues: at the Vankleek Hill Creating Centre and at Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre. In order to respect physical distancing, a reduced number of vendors will be at each location but there will be different vendors each weekend of the Christmas Craft Fair, notes Putzel. This will allow for physical distancing of vendors inside each location, she explained.
Vendors wanting to take part in the Vankleek Hill Christmas Craft Fair can contact Putzel at 613-678-2873.
Parade of Lights on December 4, 2020
Although plans are still in the works, Putzel says that for 2020, parade floats will be “parked” at various locations on the streets and perhaps in parking lots (where permitted in Vankleek Hill), within a prescribed area, so that people can walk or drive through the parade route. The route will not be the usual one which is somewhat widespread, because care will be given to ensure that the route is walkable, while being safe, for families.
Walkers can enjoy the stationery floats by using the sidewalks, while those who wish to drive through can drive along the streets. Maps with the locations of each float will be available ahead of the event and parade visitors will be encouraged to drive through the parade by following the route — with vehicle and pedestrian traffic flowing safely in one direction — and with walkers respecting physical distancing.
There was no way that the parade could take place in its previous form, Putzel said. People were standing five-deep in places along the parade route, and Putzel said that would not have been safe.
Putzel, who owns the Vankleek Hill Creating Centre, said creativity is precisely what is needed right now.
“People have to open up their minds and we have to find new ways of doing things,” she pointed out.
There is still room for hope, she continued. “There is so much potential here and there is room for everybody. We are so lucky to be where we are,” she ended.
Coming up on Sunday, September 27, another mini outdoor concert, part of “The Piano on the Street” series, takes place at the Vankleek Hill Creating Centre — outdoors, where there is a piano at the ready.
For information on the creating centre, or these events, contact Putzel at 613-678-2873.