On November 19, the Christmas spirit will be in Vankleek Hill in full force when the Vankleek Hill Porch Tour takes place and there’s more!  Christmas enthusiasts can shop at three church halls in town for holiday decor items–both old and new– and pick up baking in time for the holidays.

Here is the rundown on what’s happening on November 19.

Five porches will be decorated by professional decorators and a specialty vendor will be located outside at each location. Tour-goers will be able to walk to each porch and while they tour, they can use their map to record their answers for the Gnome Scavenger Hunt.

The Porch Tour was developed last year by Jade Garden owner Erin Dawson and Pink Bow Tie owner Rebecca Bradley as a safe way for visitors to soak up some holiday spirit, they say.

The idea came to them in 2021 when they learned that the annual Christmas Home Tour, organized each year by The Review newspaper, was not taking place.

Again this year, with no traditional home tour taking place, the two business owners have put together an outdoor Porch Tour.

“We know there is an appetite for people to visit Vankleek Hill at this time of year, so the Porch Tour gives people a chance to visit, walk around, get in the Christmas mood and spend some time in our town,” said Dawson.

The Review and Louise Sproule have spearheaded a complementary initiative happening the same day. Called ‘Tea and Christmas Treasures’, three church halls will have vendors selling old and new Christmas decor items of all kinds. There will be tea and treats available at each church hall, Sproule notes. There are only a few spots left, but anyone interested in selling their surplus Christmas decor items can contact Sproule at [email protected] or can call 1-877-678-3327. A $25 space includes a table and two chairs, she notes.

“These are ordinary people like you and me that simply have too much Christmas stuff, but we all know that those who love Christmas always want to buy something to add to their collection,” Sproule said. Vendors will include folks who make Christmas ornaments, wreaths or other types of holiday decor and there will be Christmas edibles everywhere, she notes, adding that church organizations are hosting bake sales, offering tea and treats or a place to sit down, and enjoy some homemade goodies.

There will be a quilt show happening in the church itself on November 19, Sproule said. And Église Saint-Grégoire will also have the church open on Higginson Street, and will be serving tea and treats inside, and there will be a bake table and a craft display.

Admission to all of the churches is free, but there is a modest fee if visitors want to enjoy tea and treats.

Indigo Hill Dye Studio at 26 Main Street East will have a pop-up shop at their location on November 19 and Arbor Gallery at 36 Home Avenue will also be open, with pop-up shops, in addition to their gift shop inside.

In the meantime, the Vankleek Hill Creating Centre at 11 High Street will be open for one of its six consecutive weekends presenting different crafters each weekend as part of the annual Christmas Craft Fair.

Tickets for the Vankleek Hill Christmas Porch Tour are $20 per person. The ticket price includes a map of the porch locations, the Gnome Scavenger Hunt entry form and a holiday lunch at the Windsor Tavern. Call 613-678-6008 (Jade Garden) or 613-678-3223 (Pink Bow Tie) to reserve your Porch Tour ticket (tickets are limited) and you will be asked to book your lunch time when you purchase your ticket.

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