The First Annual Crafty Creations Christmas Festival took place at St. Anne’s Centre on November 27th. Check out the photos by Mark Girdauskas below - just a few of the many small businesses on hand displaying talents from art to home décor, jewellery, knitting, baking ….
Balmy weather provided comfortable temperatures for enjoying this past Friday evening parades in West Lorne and Port Stanley, and Saturday afternoon in Aylmer. Mark Girdauskas was on hand to take in the Dickens Parade in Port Stanley (presented by the Lions and Lionesses) and the after-party at ME & Suzie’s with entertainment by Joe Fournier and friends.
Christmas Open Houses continued this past weekend in Elgin County, with events taking place at Rush Creek Wines, Canadale Nursery and Steed & Company Lavender.
Photographer Mark Girdauskas visited Canadale Nursery in order to check out the reindeer, on hand for a visit before Santa puts them to serious work.
Goats were a part of Norse mythology and winter festivals and may have been the origin of Clement C. Moore’s eight flying reindeer in “The Night Before Christmas”. Rudolph appeared as the red-nosed hero when Robert L. May wrote about him in verse published in a 1939 booklet to be given to children in the Montgomery Ward department stores at Chritmas time.
The Beattie Haven Christmas Home Tour saw a steady stream of people looking for some holiday inspiration. Friday evening and Saturday proved to be the best touring weather in recent years for the Beattie Haven fund-raising event. It included two homes in Rodney, two in Wardsville, the 1873 Wardsville United Church and a tearoom at Beattie Haven.
Divided between two villages, the tour also offered a chance for some rural sightseeing (birds and barns) and a stop at one of the more than 50 locations taking part in the Home for Christmas Western Elgin Shopping Event (Empire Valley Farm Market).
The Arts & Cookery Bank’s 7-Day Hang It Up, Bake It Up, Light It Up Celebration aims to bring community members to the bank to savour the season with a special event planned on each of seven days between November 23rd and December 1st.
Saturday November 26th was devoted to baking cookies. In keeping with the Bank’s aim to be an ever-extraordinary place, several people gathered in the morning determined, not just to bake cookies, but to break a Guinness World Record. That would mean mixing, rolling, cutting, baking and delivering to the judge’s table more than one thousand cookies in an hour.
The Family Flowers' greenhouse is filled from end to end with thousands of poinsettias. November 17th to 19th visitors were treated to the poinsettia parade, refreshments, holiday plant specials and the sheep and donkeys of a live nativity.
Talbot Street was lined with an enthusiatic crowd from First Ave to Elgin for the Optimist Parade on November 19th. Themed "The Colours of Christmas", the evening event was indeed bright, colourful and enjoyed by attendees of all ages.
Heritage Line Herbs was abuzz with visitors to their annual Christmas Open House on November 19th and 20th. Guest crafters; a store full of Heritage Line Herbs own products (dried herbs, stupendous blends, tasty jellies and more); other Ontario sourced goodies and gifts, and a bevy of herbed holiday menu tasters and recipes provided plenty of holiday inspiration.
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Ye Old Forge and Anvil Museum in Sparta had a cosy fire lit and was decked out for Christmas on November the 19th. Tables were laden with a bounteous supply of baking and preserves, and a treasure-trove of hand-crafted items for sale.
Crowds packed the market building and first row of outdoor stalls for the first Horton Farmers' Holiday Market ever. Although wind gusts sent things flying outside a few times during the morning, sunny skies and warm-for-November temperatures were a welcome treat. The mood was fesitve and visitors to the market were happy to reconnect with some of their favourite vendors, and some new seasonal crafters.
Slide shows below capture some holiday market moments.