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Plantagenet's Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be broadcast live on Facebook on December 13 from Chesser's Park in the village. Photo by Leeça St. Aubin

December 13 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Plantagenet to be broadcast live on Facebook

Residents of Plantagenet will be treated to a bright Christmas this year.

Chesser’s Park will host the village’s outdoor Christmas tree lighting on Sunday, December 13, from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. While spots to attend the event live have already been filled up, anyone wishing to watch the tree-lighting can tune in to Facebook and view it from the comfort of their living room. And of course anyone can stop by to visit the park and the lighted tree anytime during the holidays.

Vive Noël à Plantagenet! is being organized by the Vive Plantagenet – Community Life Facebook Page, started by village resident Leeça St. Aubin. The website aims to promote activities in Plantagenet and the Christmas tree lighting is the first of many events she hopes to organize in the village over the coming years. St. Aubin has already been flooded with ideas and requests to help out through the page and the page has already accumulated in excess of 300 members.

Everybody has been so cool – people started to jump right in and say “I can do this’,” says St. Aubin, who recently retired from full-time teaching at École secondaire catholique de Plantagenet.

St. Aubin has created an ad-hoc committee of people helping out with the event. Vive Plantagenet has also received support from the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet, with Mayor Stephane Sarazin and councilors Ian Walker and Suzanne Lafrance assisting with the project. The township has provided funding for the lights on the tree in Chesser’s Park and to help with some of the events during the day. Support for the event has also been received from Groupe Action in Plantagenet and anyone attending the event is encouraged to make a donation to the charity organization, which provides snowsuits and assistance for underprivileged children througout the region.

A pavilion is being set up in the park by the township and will be ready to go for the event. There are a number of activities planned in the park and around Plantagenet throughout the day on December 13.

Santa will be going through town on a vintage tractor on December 13, before arriving at the tree lighting ceremony to greet those who are there. There will be music, hot chocolate and cookies available in Chesser’s Park, announcement of the winners of Plantagenet’s house decorating contest, and free photos of children with Santa on his tractor taken by St. Aubin, who is also a professional photographer. Sign up for the photos was done in advance and all of the slots are now full.

“I have to keep the number of people at the event under 100, so this is why I organized the photo sign-up sheet – I wanted people to be able to come and go as they please.” says St. Aubin, who is encouraging people to watch the event on Facebook so as to avoid a large crowd. The actual tree lighting itself will be broadcast live beginning just before 4:30 pm, but the Vive Plantagenet Facebook page will be posting live videos as events happen throughout the day.

St. Aubin, who has also added lights to a huge Christmas tree on her property along the South Nation River in the center of the village, says the community’s beauty due to it’s proximity on the river is undervalued and she hopes residents throughout Plantagenet will go overboard to decorate their homes this year.

“I see Plantagenet as having potential and I could see it all lit up along the river,” says St. Aubin, who will be turning on the lights to the tree at her home in the evening once the ceremony for the village’s tree is completed.

Anyone wanting more information on Christmas events in Plantagenet can visit the Vive Plantagenet – Community Life Facebook page and event page in the links at the beginning of this article.

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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